Walter Zorn’s treasure trove of Web app code

* Tool tip libraries and more

Every now and then I come across someone’s pet project or projects that just blow me away. Often it isn’t because they are massive feats of engineering but rather because they are clever, well designed, effective, and robust.

I recently stumbled across a site that contains a small treasure trove of incredibly useful code for Web applications. The site is, the home of (as you might guess) one Walter Zorn, a software developer and recumbent bicycle enthusiast from Munich, Germany.

I found Walter’s site because I was looking for a tool tip system written in JavaScript for my wife’s apparel company Web site and I found Walter’s cross-browser JavaScript library (to see how I used it go here and click on the “Why” link).

This is one of the nicest tool tip libraries I’ve seen. It runs under Gecko Browsers (Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape 6+, Galeon and others), IE 5+, Opera 7+, Konqueror, and Safari, and features automatic bubble width, inclusion of any HTML content including formatting, images, breaks, tables, links, etc., and it supports extensions.

The extension I used on my wife’s site is the Balloon Tooltip. This creates a really slick cartoon-style tooltip. Note that if you use this extension and want to change the balloon background color you’ll have to change the colored pixels in all 11 image files that make up the sides, corners, and stem of the balloons (make sure to set all other pixels to be transparent!).

Walter also offers some other excellent tools that I have yet to use “in anger”. These include an amazing DHTML JavaScript library that implements Drag & Drop for Images and Layers, a JavaScript VectorGraphics library, and a JavaScript Online Function Grapher that can do some impressive math is under development.

Like I said, amazing stuff and all released under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) for free (PayPal donations are encouraged). Tip o’ the beanie to Mr. Zorn.

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