August 18, 2009

Tagnetic Poetry for Blogger?

Here's something interesting I've been working on lately: a "Tagnetic Poetry" widget/add-on for Blogger.

Based on Roy Tanck's Tagnetic Poetry plugin for Wordpress, this widget can be used to add interesting stylized links for label pages or other interesting posts. It uses Flash to create and display the links and their titles, and chooses a different layout each time the page is reloaded. Try refreshing this page and you'll see how this works.

Here's an example of how this Tagnetic Poetry widget displays linked label tags from this blog:

Tagnetic Poetry by Roy Tanck and Merel Zwart requires Flash Player 9 or better.

Ideally, this widget needs lots of space and short labels/titles to display properly. The script will not display lengthy tags unless there is enough room for them to be rendered properly, so where many tags are displayed, one or two tags may be missing.

So... it's not ideal, and certainly not a useful function for bloggers who require a great many links to be displayed, but you've got to admit it looks pretty good ;)

I understand that many of you would like to install a tag board like this in your template, so I am working on an installable widget/gadget which will enable you to add this to your layout or within a post page.

However, installation is rather difficult. We cannot simply use labels to auto-generate the links because the script requires the tags and links in "escaped" HTML, and I'm unable to replicate. We would also experience the problem of lengthy (or many) tags interfering with the display and unescaped spaces in URLS (which would break the script altogether)... I'm sure this is a lack of experience with JavaScript on my part, and would welcome any ideas to improve this widget!

So in the meantime, I'll work on a tutorial to explain how I add this to Blogger templates and pages. This will be complex, but will enable you to install with a bit of work. And if there are any JavaScript developers who would like to help me work on an installable version - please do get in touch!

Thanks to Roy Tanck, upon whose hard work this Tagnetic Poetry widget is based. Don't forget to check out Blogumus - the Blogger version of his excellent WP-Cumulus plugin, and feel free to leave any comments below.

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