Three lightbox libraries worth checking out.

As I wrote before I am implementing a lightbox into the Getdeb website. I have tried several different libraries that all basically do the same thing, the libraries I tried are Beatbox, Lightwindow and Highslide JS.

The first library I tried was Beatbox.
Beatbox is something I saw in action on sitepoint.com and it sure looked what I was looking for. I downloaded the script and implemented it on our website, unfortunately it didn’t quiet do what I wanted. Beatbox requires the url to end in an image extension like jpg, png. We use a php script to get the image and it doesn’t end in a recognizable extension. I made it work by hacking the source code but that makes it all a bit harder to maintain in the future.

The second I tried was Lightwindow 2.0.
Lightwindow depends on two other libraries, prototype and scriptaculous . This is an awesome implementation of a lightbox. Besides a single image it also supports a gallery with only one link to start the gallery, media (Quicktime, Flash, Flashpaper, PDF), pages. I really, really like this library and it is definitely something worth checking out.

The last one I tried was Highslide JS.
From the website.

Highslide JS is an open source JavaScript software, offering a Web 2.0 approach to popup windows. It streamlines the use of thumbnail images and HTML popups on web pages. The library offers these features and advantages:

* No plugins like Flash or Java required.
* Popup blockers are no problem. The content expands within the active browser window.
* Single click. After opening the image or HTML popup, the user can scroll further down or leave the page without closing it.
* Compatibility and safe fallback. If the user has disabled JavaScript or is using an old browser, the browser redirects directly to the image itself or to a fallback HTML page.

This one is very slick looking and the latest version can be customized to your needs by selecting what you want in the script on their website and it will create the script for you. If you are not going to use iframe popups, just don’t select it and keep it out of your script.

What we are going to use for Getdeb hasn’t been decided yet, it’s either Lightwindow or Highslide but what ever it’s going to be cool to do.

Reference:
Beatbox – http://www.brothercake.com/site/resources/scripts/beatbox/
Lightwindow 2.0 – http://stickmanlabs.com/lightwindow/
Highslide JS – http://vikjavev.no/highslide/

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