Course Finder Web Widget
University Course Finder Application
- University College Falmouth
- Go Live date
- January 2010
If you want to see what it does then visit the University College Falmouth website and try it for yourself. The beauty of it is that it can work with ANY website that can support the mootols libraries and where we can establish connections with any underlying database.
The next step is to turn it into an iPhone web application and make it mobile friendly.
Styling the task bar
During the design process it was agreed that the task bar would be fixed to the bottom of the screen using a position: fixed css rule. As usual nothing is ever simple with browser bahaviour and there were some problems with a Firefox bug causing flickering content which need a work around. We also used a css expression technique to work around IE6's lack of position: fixed support.
The Quick links and Course finder flyout behaviour was implemented using some bespoke mootools code for opening and closing the windows. The Squeezebox class was used for the help link.
Coding the Course finder
The Course finder itself was also written as a bespoke mootools class. We used the Scroller class for the scrolling effect, the very flexible simple tabs class for the category tabs and custom code based on the autocompleter widget for the text search. The text search reads text from the dom during initialization to create an index then searches through this index when text is entered in the filter box.
Cross Browser Issues
Web development wouldn't be quite the same fun challenge without some cross browser issues to work around. Apart from the above mentioned issues with position:fixed and flickering, the main problem was with the scroller's height calculations inside a position fixed div. This was caused by a bug in the version of mootools we were using (since fixed upstream). As a mootools upgrade would have been too disruptive, we backported the fix by monkey patching the mootools Element class.
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