I have a home network that contains a mixture of devices, some of which that receive a...
If you’re new to this website, you probably haven’t noticed. But the background you’re seeing is actually something new. And random. And streamed from Flickr. It’s a new plugin that I am developing for WordPress called ‘WP Flickr Background’.
A little over two weeks ago I changed my theme to Motion by 85ideas, and was intrigued by its effective use of transparencies and the background. And since I quickly get bored looking at the same thing, I thought ‘Why not make this background random’? Flickr provides millions of photos, many of them under a Creative Commons Attribution License, and this would be an excellent source for those random backgrounds. So I started coding…
Interestingly, it wasn’t as straight forward as one would expect. After all, you could simply use a dynamically generated CSS style sheet with a ‘background’ element pointing to a random Flickr photo. Right?
But small photos cascade and your website will look like a bad 1995 rendition of your first HTML page. And the large photos may be SO large, you end up staring at just a grain of sand instead of a beach.
CSS3, the brand-spanking new version of CSS style sheets, supports stretching of background images. Unfortunately, not a single browser I have tried supports it. So I reverted to good-old image hacking, basically injecting the background in a negative Z-indexed <div> block at a fixed position.
If I am satisfied that there are no major issues with the plugin, then I will make it available for download. In meantime, I will be re-arranging a few things on the website once again to make room for the new plugin and a few others I am thinking about writing. So please excuse construction going on in the next few days!