Despite the fact that our Zentools module can handle responsive video natively we still needed an option that was easy for users to implement responsive video in their sites.
Once installed and published the Fitvids plugin transforms any video added to your content into a fluid / adaptive video element - automagically making it scale to the width of the parent container.
This is a super simple implementation of the Fitvids.js script from Chris Coyler and Paravel. The script loads the css and html markup required to transform fixed width video into a fluid and resizable video elements in a web page.
Despite the fact that this page isn't itself responsive you can see from the examples below how the video automatically fills the width available in the parent element.
Using the plugin is simple.
Just install and publish and then if necessary set the selector of the html element that contains the video object that you want to target. By default the plugin looks for the .container rule (which is a generic container we use in Zen Grid Framework v2 Joomla templates), but if you need to be more specific you can enter the specific selector to use for your template in the plugin administrator.
I'm currently in the midst of finalising our next Joomla template release and have just updated one of the document pages related to Zentools. You can see the new doc on targetting featured items in Zentools here.
For a sneak peek at some sneaky dribbble shots check out the Highline project page on Dribbble.
As of Zentools 1.5.5 it is now possible to target featured items in any zentools layout. The update adds no inherent styling to the module but creates a hook for us to target in our themes and for those of you who are building your own.
For a full run down on the new functionality check out the document over at the Zentools documentation area.
Unfortunately one feature that was omitted from that release was the ability to assign independant links to your items. This is a commonly requested feature on our forums and I believe represents one of the last missing pieces that makes Zentools one of the most versatile Joomla content modules available.
After a fair amount of wrangling (and delay) v1.3 of the Zentools module is now available.
This is a major update and one that I almost considered releasing as version 2. It comes with some great new features including the ability to apply presets and defaults as well as a new pagination layout.
Members can download Zentools from the Zentools download page.
Introducing Presets and defaults
While Zentools is mostly easy to configure, we have added preset and default options to make it even easier to get up and running. Now it's simply a matter of clicking a few buttons and you can replicate any of the default layouts we showcase on the Zentools demo site.
Yesterday I released a major update of our free Joomla twitter module. jTweet has been in need of a bit of a refresh for quite some time and this release adds a lot of flexibility and a lot of power. jTweet is built on the brilliant Sea of Clouds Tweet script with a few additions and enhancements.
Drag and Drop templating
If you've used our Zentools module you will know how easy it easy to create your own content layouts using the drag and drop interface; and now that same flexibility is available in the jTweet module. That means you can just drag and rearrange the elements you want to display in your tweet stream which means you have total control over how your twitter stream appears.
Yesterday I released an update to the JB Type plugin.
The new version is essentially a bug fix but I added some new styles to the plugin that I had scheduled for the next major update that I felt just couldn't wait.
Adding grid layouts to your content ...
As you may have seen we use a percentage based responsive grid in our Joomla templates which is also available to users to implement within their content. You can see these grids in action in the Lifestyle template as an example.
However the latest release of JB Type now provides the ability for users of the Zen Grid Framework to use the simplified JB Type syntax to render the very same grids.
As an example users can now specify a grid such as:
Here be monsters
Any content that has the grid tags applied to it will then be automatically rendered in a div tag that has the grid_four class applied to it. Within a Zen Grid Framework template this will be output as a block of text which floats to the left, has a margin of 3.4% and spans 30.75% of the available are within the content item.
If you wanted to apply the zenlast class and float the block to the right and remove the margin then yopu would use the following syntax:
You can see an example of how this renders in the upcoming Corporate Joomla tempolate below.
In particular Zentools has pulled in two of the new features into it's layout options.
Using Joomla 2.5 article images for the Zentools image
Joomla 2.5 now allows you to specify images for your content without the need to actually display them in the intro or full text of the item. Zentools has been doing this with K2 for a while, but now you can use an image in the module that isn't displayed in the item itself. The benefit for this is that you can use large images in the slideshow that do not then disrupt the flow of content in the content item itself.
Specifying alternate links in Joomla 2.5
One of the more common requests we have had over the years for our modules is to be able to specify a unique url for the item in the module. Joomla 2.5 allows us to do this easily so now via the url fields in the content item. If you have a unique url specified in the Joomla content item you can have that specific Zentools item link to an external url - this applies for both the lightbox and content item link options.
The filter view for list and grid layouts...
When I first developed version 1.0 of Zentools I left out the filter view option which can be still found in the older Microblog module - It soon became clear to me that I under estimated how popular this layout was.
Zentools 1.2 implements the filter option albeit in a slightly different way by using the item categories to sort and filter the items. So when your items in the module come from two or more categories (and you enable the category filter option) a list of the category titles is displayed above the module content.
When the user clicks on the category title it shows the items from that category and hides the rest. It does this via a lovely animation provided by the Isotope script.
Single item galleries in Zentools
Another useful addition to Zentools v1.2 is the ability to display a single item that leads to a lightbox gallery. The concept is simple but I'm sure this will come in useful for people wanting to use a single trigger to launch a gallery of images or content items in a fancybox lightbox.
So what's coming in v1.3?
This is actually where you get to have your say (again).
I'm looking at adding support for Zoo from Yootheme to the module and also adding flickr and twitter layout options.
What would you like to see in Zentools v1.3?