Application developpers like to illustrate the process and layout of the work they are planning. Customers like to have a visual sample of what's coming, and that's exactly the kind of step that clarifies discussions when negociating work and contracts. Balsamiq mockups is a basic ilsutration application that you can use to very quickly build a UI mockup. A lot of softwares do that, wbut this one is rellay simple to use and very light to install, the free version is actually browser based ! Mockup below took approximately... 15 minutes !
My last article on Silvesrtripe CMS online image editing feature led me to investigate alternative solution for websites and software developers that wish to implement this kind of component for their backoffice.. Surfing on CAKEPHP framework homepage turned out to illustrate perfectly the kind of component that should be standard on all CMS : resizing is now pretty common, and what we want now is cropping. There is actually a plugin for jquery that does the interface job, ImgAreaSelect. ImgAreaSelect come with loads of configuration options that make it a perfect tool for cropping images : the selection area is responsive, draggable, and can be adjusted to work only within specified limits or predefined aspect ratio. What's missing in Jquery is the server side of things, and you'll find that either on webmotionUK for pure PHP or on CAKEPHP's site for Cake integration.
Sometimes, the most apparently useless feature is one that reveals great ambitions : In spite of its wonderful administration layout that is one of the most usable content management systems, we focus today on one aspect of Silverstripe Admin interface : the image editing feature.
This great little free application focuses on one simple task : resize and optimize your pictures for web publishing. We got to use and became addict because of the very simple right click feature, which allows anyone to resize pictures just before sending them to the web, while browsing your workstation for the best illustration. as such it really is a producticvity tool, which also suports raw formats, such as canon's cr2 !!