As my life has been slowly re-attaining equilibrium after having a second child, I have still somehow managed to find time to make things. Thank god, because making things keeps me sane when life wants to dog pile my schedule, and my personal, professional and family life. Of course I have never really stopped making things, I have only struggled to find the time to tell people about the things I have made.
So today I break the silence and begin to catch you up with some of the many things I have made recently. The first thing I want to tell you about is a new tool I am especially proud of: Image Cropper.
Image Cropper is a plugin, sponsored by Talking Points Memo (an Endevver client) and donated to the Melody and Movable Type open source community, that helps bloggers compose and craft the images used on a web site to promote their content and stories. Of course Movable Type and Melody both possess the ability to do this today natively, but the difference between an amateur and a professional blog like Talking Points Memo, is the time and care they put into the polish they put into every single blog post. TPM for example employs producers to create these images and thumbnails manually because Movable Type's default behavior is ultimately insufficient. To see what I mean, let's look at a quick example.
Suppose we are composing a story about a visit between Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy and we have the following photograph to accompany the story:
One thing you may notice about the photo is that the primary subjects of the photo are not centered in the photograph. This poses a problem because the thumbnail Movable Type will create for you automatically will crop out one or more of the primary subjects from the photo. Furthermore, at such a small size, the thumbnail created makes it difficult to determine who the primary subjects even are. This is why Talking Points Memo relied on a manual process to create these thumbnails so that they could produce the best possible result for their readers. Enter Image Cropper.
With Image Cropper we can override the default thumbnail and specify our own to produce an undeniably better result -- all from within Movable Type.
Furthermore, Image Cropper allows you to fine tune the file size and image quality of the image generated as well as annotate the image with text so that you can attach a photo credit or by-line.
To show you how easy it is to create results like this, here is a quick demonstration of the plugin in action: