Saturday, January 21, 2012

New Feature: Subscription Viewer

Yo dawg, I herd you like viewing your video subscriptions, so I put an subscription viewer in your chat bar so you can view your subscriptions while you watch videos.
I hope I got that meme right :).  As stated in the meme (or lack of), you can now view your subscriptions while you navigate myVidster!  Before I started developing this feature I had set 3 goals.  The viewer needed to have a simple user interface, fast loading and non obtrusive. Here is a summary of how I accomplished these goals.

User Interface:
The viewer looks a lot like the existing subscription page, but with fewer features (you cannot search/display videos by user).  Users are given the option to naviagate though their subscriptions by clicking the prev and next buttons.  The state of the viewer (what page its on) is maintain while the user navigates the site.  To notify the user of new videos collected by those they follow, the existing video bookmarks in the viewer will fade out and the new video bookmarks will fade in.

Fast Loading:
Smart caching is used to speed up load times and when the data needs refreshing the data is pulled from mysql memory tables.  Other features like minify html/js/css are also used to minimize the 'payload' sent to the user's web browser.

Non Obtrusive:
By default the viewer will remain open and auto refresh is enabled.  While I feel these features are great I know some users would prefer not to use them.  I can see this being the case with users with low resolution monitors (especially older laptops) where the viewer is taking up too much space.  With that in mind, users can disable the keep open and auto refresh feature.

I hope you will enjoy this new feature as much as I enjoyed coding it :).  That is all for now and keep collecting!

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