Built a Cool Ajax Glossary Term Popup Thing-A-Ma-JigPublished by admin on Thu, 01/12/2011 - 12:57pm
One of the things I hope to accomplish with this site is to have a huge database full of glossary terms that are easily accessible to visitors when they're reading news articles or trying out some of the DIY guides. Thanks to the mind blowing, earth shattering awesomeness of Drupal and Views 3, I was able to find a handy little guide here that provided the steps I needed to get the job done.
I essentially wanted a small, discrete little box that would search for glossary term titles and would display results with an Ajax call, avoiding a full page refresh or have the visitor navigate away from whatever they were reading. Once a glossary query is found, the results would appear and the information relating to that glossary term would popup in a nice, user friendly Colorbox display once clicked on. This allows the user to search for terms without loosing their page and then have the info popup and then go away with the click of a button.
Since the amount of glossary I currently have on the site are few and for between, I've just included the search box on all resource pages for the time being. Once the glossary database grows to a decent size, I may very well display it on all pages. It works really well from what I've seen but I've yet to test it out in IE. If you're interested in checking it out, I've placed it in the upper right hand corner of this post along with every resource post I make.
You'll need to actually hit a search result so try Ubuntu or libfreenect. The full glossary list can be found here. Let me know if you spot any bugs or have suggestions about how to improve it.
UPDATE: Using CSS I was able make it stay put when you scroll down. Now it'll always be there when ya need it. Great for those long ass guides and tutorials.