Abel Mohler

jQuery Mapbox Updated

October 8th, 2012    Abel Mohler

Just to let anyone who uses my plugin know, I’ve officially updated it.  It has proven to be my most popular plugin (by far), and I appreciate all of the response and feedback I’ve gotten so far.  This is not not the type of plugin that gets a huge audience, but I was recently excited to learn that some developers have been using it for over two years.  I’ve personally deployed it in production systems for over 3 years, and it works great in everything I’ve used it for.

https://github.com/wayfarer/jQuery-Mapbox

Why I moved things to GitHub.

I was excited to learn that people were still using it, but I current have very little time to support this free product.  I was delighted when GitHub user https://github.com/dschenk offered some real improvements to it.  To see the improved plugin, bundled with all of the files needed for it, and updated to “Strict Mode” for cleaner code, go here: https://github.com/wayfarer/jQuery-Mapbox.  For other comments see the source tree itself.  All of the documentation here still applies: Mapbox Demo and Documentation.

Introducing WowWindow

February 14th, 2011    Abel Mohler

I’ve had this idea to build a new type of modal window for a while now.  I’ve been fascinated with the idea of using CSS3 to create a better presentation layer for windows, but what has always held me back is the lack of support in the latest Internet Explorer browser.  Needless to say, graceful degradation is a solution, but it is very disappointing if the majority of users on the web won’t even see something that you’ve designed.

Try WowWindow

I’ve been heartened enough in the last month by progress on IE9, enough that I gave it a shot.  Though the IE9 beta version did not support CSS 2D transformations, it was assumed by all that the final version would support them, since they were included in the preview version for some time now.  As it turns out, this assumption was not unfounded.  What we all have as developers now, is the chance to take advantage of technology that, in the coming years, is going to change the web as we know it today.  Degradation will still be required, but it will be less of an issue, as the majority of users will either adopt IE9, or be using one of the other browsers, which already support this. Read More…

Software Patents are Patently Ridiculous

September 25th, 2010    Abel Mohler

I don’t have time to write a long post about this, but suffice it to say I feel very strongly about this.  Software patents are almost always an absurdity, and they leave me feeling like their only real purpose is to sue other companies with.  It has been consistently demonstrated that openness leads to innovation, and that copyright of source is strong enough to protect companies and individual’s rights to intellectual property.

If you live in the U.S. and feel like I do, you can make a difference. The  USPTO is asking for feedback as to how they should shape their new policy regarding software patents.  They are giving everyone until September 27th to submit their opinions about this.  It is very unusual for them to ask for feedback from average citizens, which shows what an unusual situation this is.

For more information, and for how to contact the USPTO, see this page from the Free Software Foundation:

Encourage the USPTO to stop issuing software patents; deadline September 27

How a Blog can Improve your Site and How it Can’t

March 1st, 2010    Abel Mohler

I’ve built several sites that have blogs built as a section of the site.  Giving a site a blog these days is only par-for-the-course.  With WordPress of course, this task is extremely easy, making it match the rest of your site is a simple matter in the right hands.  I wonder though how much of this is a wasted effort?

Let’s say you have a “normal” home page, with an introductory paragraph, heading, title, etc, telling you what the site is about. This content doesn’t change much, though you may adjust it from time to time to refine your message and make it clearer to your users. Read More…

Competing in a Global Marketplace

October 31st, 2009    Abel Mohler

JennyBecause I live in a Western country, the United States, and work online in a global marketplace, Odesk, it has always concerned me that I should be able to compete against sources of labor that try to undercut the marketplace with outrageously low prices. This was such a concern for me, that at the beginning of my current career path, it almost stopped me from becoming a full-time freelancer, because of how discouraging the marketplace appeared to be.

There are many voices in the Odesk community, some louder than others, that constantly complain about how low the rates are.  Most of these complaints come from those living in the West who are trying to enter the market as virtual assistants and data-entry providers.  Some of these people actually end up working for less than five dollars per hour because they are so badly in need of work.  Needless to say, this is not a sustainable living wage in the US. Read More…

How not to use the canonical tag…

April 14th, 2009    Abel Mohler

I’ve had an interesting if not exactly enjoyable time transferring a popular site onto a new host.  If you have ever changed hosts, you know it can be a sometimes frustrating and patience-consuming task.  This is especially true when the site has been built over many years of time.

Upon completing the move, we soon learned that there were many more 404 errors than there should have been.  Read More…