The next major update to Zentools is now available and although it's not the major v2 milestone I was hoping for it's a worthwhile update for anyone using Zentools.
There are a number of important bug fixes in this release and importantly some fixes for the lightbox which seemed to have some trouble in some browsers (not mentioning any names) when it came to keeping track of responsive images and dynamic lightbox resizing.
Font Awesome 3 adds some nice new features and icons:
- - Optimised (even more) for use with Bootstrap
- - 28% Smaller payload
- - Plus 40 new icons
Checkout the new styles available on the main Font Awesome page and the JB Type syntax used to render them below.
Zentools v1.9 is a relatively minor update but i thought it warranted a 0.1 increment. You can get a full rundown of the changes and fixes on the Zentools changelog. If you are new to Zentools - check out what it can do on the Zentools demo site.
No need for JB Library in Joomla 3
This new version no longer requires the JB Library plugin when using it in Joomla 3.0 - so there is one less plugin to install on your site now.
Folks using the module in Joomla 2.5 still need either the framework or the library installed to process images as well as load jQuery.
I'm happy to announce the availability of Zentools v1.8 - our all in one responsive content and image gallery module. The main additions in this release are a beautiful new responsive lightbox, the introduction of font icons for some of the module assets and a new simple slideshow theme.
Responsive Lightbox for Zentools
One of the weak points in our responsive arsenal, up until now at least, has been the zentools lightbox. It certainly looked pretty but became problematic once you started changing the browser size or adding oversized content on smaller screens.
This release solves all of that by dropping in an elegant and intelligent responsive lightbox solution. The new lightbox will scale according to the viewers screensize and also cleans up the user interface to make it a much more inuitive experience for the end user.
The new lightbox also supports deep linking so it is possible to link directly to a lightbox element. Click here to see an example. In addition to this it also supports full screen mode for those browsers and os's that support that as well as a slick thumbnail viewer which becomes available when viewing image galleries.
You can see the new lightbox on the zentools demo site.
I've just released JB Library v2.1 which features two new improvements to the way that the library plugin works.
A new script loader
Technically, jQuery should be able to load as many times as you want on a page - although best practice is to only load one. Even with multiple instances of the jQuery library loading on the page, it's core functionality should remain unaffected. However because Joomla components, modules and plugins are triggered at different times during a page render and because there are a few different ways to include assets within that rendering, it's not always possible to control the exact order that scripts are loaded on the page and so we often end up with a jQuery conflict.
If you have had a chance to look at the demo of our November Joomla template - Ecospirit - you may have noticed that we have used some very handy font icons in the menu and in the content of the site. We have done this using our JB Type plugin which now comes with the complete set of Font Awesome Icon fonts.
Fast and flexible fonts icons
While Icon fonts have been around for a while they are fast becoming (one of) the next big things in web design. Icon fonts are great because they are a single font asset (no images needed) and are able to be scaled using traditional css techniques - this makes them fast and flexible. The icons behave like any other font and so you can specify their color, size background etc using some simple css.
Font icons also scale to suit the pixel ratio of your browser - so no need to specify a new image for retina or higher pixel ratio devices.
I've just released Zentools v1.7 which adds a really handy new feature - the ability to load images in the module based on the users screensize. This means that you can now tell Zentools to load small images on mobile browsers and large images to desktops, which will significantly reduce the asset payload for our responsive Joomla templates on mobile devices.
The new functionality comes courtesy of the response.js jQuery script which uses data attributes to determine which size image to load on the site according to your visitors screen size. This has the benefit of making sure that your image assets loaded through our zentools module are optimised for the context in which they are being viewed.
Up until now if you had loaded a full width slideshow on both desktops and mobile devices the same image was used for each. Now you can specify an optimum image size to display for each viewing size.