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Thickbox – JavaScript Library Extraordinaire


Wednesday, April 26, 2006; 05:27 AM

Thickbox is a new JavaScript technique that builds on the functionality of popular Lightbox JS to create a practical way of displaying content in a “box” layer, superimposed over the parent webpage.

Thickbox is a specialized script, which removes the need for big JS libraries like Prototype, when working with in-page “boxes”, or “windows”.  Additionally, it allows for structural mark-up of the box.

While Lightbox is strictly for showing images, Thickbox allows the inclusion of the following file types: JPG, JPEG, GIF, PNG, HTM, and HTML. Additionally, other file extensions can be added in the Thickbox script.

Author Cody Lindley has made the files available for download at his weblog (http://codylindley.com/Javascript/257/thickbox-one-box-to-rule-them-all), where he reflects on  nothing other than “Web development, Web standards, CSS, XHTML, CMS’s, site optimization, PHP, MySQL, Macromedia Flash, accessibility, information architecture, visual design, interaction design, and information design.

Here’s what he has to say about his creation: “why is Thickbox so cool? Well, because it's unobtrusive, simple to use, simple to implement, and more powerful then Greybox or Lightbox alone. Don't believe me.  …Have a look at what ThickBox does.

Implementing the ThickBox functionality is simple.  Once the JS and CSS files are properly mentioned in the head of the HTML document, any link that has a class name of “thickbox” automatically opens in a “box” layer.  For links to HTML files, simply specify the layer height and width.

ThickBox works in Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.



 The "box."




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