Up Down

Big things! Thank god for clever code. I’ve managed to take a few fun ideas and put them all together, making for a drastically awesome update.

Update: a couple more tweaks added.

Let me run down the list.

– Bigger Cover Images On Reading Orders

I re-sized the default thumbnail size and made a couple other sizes, so the reading orders and front page has nice big thumbs now. I also made some larger “thumbs” (actually 300 and 600 pixel auto generated images) for later use. Will probably come in handy for mobile stuff.

Thickboxed Images On Reading Orders

This is awesome. I’m already having so much fun with it. Basically, now you can browse large covers just by clicking on the thumbnail, just like in the blog posts and database pages!

– No More Default Thumbnails

Bye bye gray boxes. I liked them, but we had to remove them to make way for…

– Amazon Image Backups!

Now, any book with an ISBN number will automatically query amazon for an image. This will work for thumbnails and even large images!

Awesome, right? This means when I upload those 3000 marvel books, about 90% of them will come with some kind of picture!

Obviously it doesn’t work for books without the ISBN, but it’s already made a difference for our Novel Reading Orders since they were all uploaded with isbn numbers!

– Preferential Treatment to Our Scans!

Amazon images are often wrong, low quality, or simply not the right edition (especially if I want to show all the same cover runs for a set of books, often Amazon just picks random editions to show the cover of.) This way, all I have to do is upload my own image and it takes preference over the Amazon one. Eventually, every book will be using our images, not Amazon’s (I like higher res scans and take some care in correcting.) but this way we’ll be able to upload a lot of content and have it look pretty good – plus, a book with an isbn number will automatically get an image added to it as soon as Amazon updates the cover!

– Image Pecking Order

Update: I wanted to figure out some way to display covers for books regardless of their edition, IE, SC, HC, or weirder. It works now – I created a conditional statement that pulls in this order:

TRO Uploaded Cover > Hardcover by ISBN from Amazon > Softcover by ISBN from Amazon > General ISBN (catch-all/older custom field) from Amazon > Gray Placeholder Image

So there should always be something on a database page or in the reading order listing. Even if it’s just the return of the gray box.

Sweet, right? I’m really excited about this. Until last night, I didn’t even know it was possible.

I also fixed some formatting, hover-over-image-title-display stuff, centering the find-book info on database pages.

I’ve still got some issues to figure out (wordpress is scaling down images to the new thumbnail size instead of using the generated thumbs, which results in jagged images and slower loading pages) but I’m pretty happy with this latest update.

I can’t wait to see how the Marvel list looks!

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3 Comments Post New »

  1. Chris D. wrote on at February 1, 2011 7:36 pm:

    Wow, Great Update!!

    I love how you can click on the image now and get a beautifully large cover image.

    Way to figure out the amazon cover pulls man, that will save you a ridiculous amount of work. Plus, as a bonus it will be fun to see how messed up the covers can be when they pull the wrong image. I’m thinking an accidental Dr. Phil cover where a Wolverine cover should be will be a treat to find ;)


    Ian replied on February 1st, 2011 at 7:42 pm:

    it’s not usually that bad, but I’ll definitely want you guys to keep an eye out for bad covers.


  2. duncanpr wrote on at February 2, 2011 6:35 pm:

    Looks good! It’s nice to get an idea of the cover while just browsing. :)


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