Thursday, April 12, 2007

Beyond the 100 posts limit

After a lot of trial and error, and without having any success to develop a decent piece of programming to call JSON-feeds recursively, I suddenly had a flash of insight in how we can cross the 100 posts limit of the Table of Contents Widget. It's all because of Annie, one of those friends in the Blogosphere that makes me (and others) think. She has 101 blog posts, and is in dire need of a Table of Contents that can list all 101 of them. Well, check out my sidebar, the link will show Annie's table of contents, with all 101 of them!

The new BlogToc Widget release is updated in several ways:
- it now supports > 100 posts
- the link is more user-friendly
- a note is added displaying number of posts and filter applied

If you have more than 100 posts, you have to duplicate the JSON-script-call that is in your sidebar several times, each time with a different start-index. If you have more than 100 posts, you need 2 calls like this:

<script src=""></script>
<script src=""></script> 

If you go beyond 200, you will have to add another line, starting at start-index=201 and so on.
It is as simple as that. Took me DAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYS to come up with it.

There is a new class added, .toc-note, that you can use to style the top-line. I used a simple styling, a 5px left-padding and a 80% font size.

Next stop: adding customization options (especially language).

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

BlogToC Widget Released

The job is done. We now have a complete interactive Table Of Contents. Click the button in my sidebar to display the TOC. You can sort the TOC by Post Title by clicking the column header. Click it again, and it is sorted in reversed order. The same way if you want to sort the posts by date: newest first, or oldest first. And by clicking on one of the labels in the TOC filters all posts with that label. Click the column header to return to the full ToC.

Here is how to install it to your Blog.

Step 1: Back Up your Template.

Step 2: Add a HTML Page Element
Edit your template in HTML-mode, and look for the <b:section> with id=main. This is the section that holds the Blog posts.
Change that line as follows:

<b:section class='main' id='main' maxwidgets='2' showaddelement='yes'>

Save the template and switch to the Page Elements Tab.
Add a HTML page element above your Blog Posts element.
Leave the title blank. Add the following html:

<div id="toc"></div>

Save your template.

Step 3: Add a Sidebar HTML-element
Now add a HTML-element to the sidebar. Set the title to "TOC".
For the contents, enter:

<div id="toclink"><a href="javascript:showToc();">Show TOC</a><br/><br/></div>
<script style="text/javascript" src=""></script>
<script src=""></script>

Replace YOURBLOG with the name of ...... exactly.
Oh yes, and save.

Step 4: Add custom styles to the skin of your template.
New id's and classes are:
#toc : the div-wrapper that contains the TOC
.toc-header-col1 : header of column 1
.toc-header-col2 : header of column 2
.toc-header-col3 : header of column 3
.toc-entry-col1 : cell in column 1
.toc-entry-col2 : cell in column 2
.toc-entry-col3 : cell in column 3

For your convenience: Beautiful Beta uses the following styling:

<style type="text/css">
#toc {
  border: 0px solid #000000;
  background: #ffffff;
  padding: 5px;
.toc-header-col1, .toc-header-col2, .toc-header-col3 {
  background: #ffd595;
  color: #000000;
  padding-left: 5px;
.toc-header-col2 {
.toc-header-col3 {
.toc-header-col1 a:link, .toc-header-col1 a:visited, .toc-header-col2 a:link, .toc-header-col2 a:visited, .toc-header-col3 a:link, .toc-header-col3 a:visited {
.toc-header-col1 a:hover, .toc-header-col2 a:hover, .toc-header-col3 a:hover {

.toc-entry-col1, .toc-entry-col2, .toc-entry-col3 {
  padding-left: 5px;

You can add this to the <b:skin>-part of the template, or insert it in the sidebar widget.


Monday, April 9, 2007

Picasa Album Widget

Picasa is the free-to-download, easy-to-use, and Google-Pushed software tool to manage all your digital pictures. You can upload your pictures to your Picasa Web Albums. Now, wouldn't it be nice to have these albums available on your Blog? That is where this new widget comes in.

This widget will show your public Picasa Webalbums in your sidebar, and links to Picasa itself.

Go to the Widgets and Downloads Page to install this widget to your Blog.

In the widget installer, you have to enter the URL of your Picasa Web Albums. So if your Picasa Web Album is stored at, that is what you have to enter in the installer's inputfield.
In the skin of your template, you can add CSS-styling for a new class, bbpicasabox.
An example of the styling definitions is given below:

.bbpicasabox {
  border: solid 1px #000000;
  padding: 5px;
  background: #efefef;
  width: 180px;

.bbpicasabox a:link, .bbpicasabox a:visited {

.bbpicasabox a:hover {

.bbpicasabox img {

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Custom Search Engine

Visit Annie's Blog to learn how you can add a custom search engine to your Blog. And check out my sidebar for the Beautiful Beta Search Engine, that searches both the Blog and the Wiki for your hottest hacks and templates!

Embed Powerpoint in Your Blog

And now for something completely different. How about embedding Powerpoint presentations into your Blog?Visit SlideAware, and create a free account. Download the Powerpoint Plug-In, and install it to Powerpoint.After creating your Powerpoint Presentation, you can save it to SlideAware. And it is very easy to embed it into your blog using:

<iframe src="" width="480" height="380" style="border:none"></iframe>

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Get the New BlogToc Hack!

It is new. It is working with the speed of light. It is AJAX-based. It is BlogTOC.
BlogTOC is my new Blogger Table Of Contents Hack. Its extremely easy to install. It shows a Table of Contents with Post Titles, Post Dates and Labels. Hovering your mouse over the Post Title triggers a Pop Up with a summary of your post.
If you click the column headers, the TOC will be sorted any way you like: by Title (ascending or descending), and by Date (oldest first or newest first).

In my right sidebar, you will see a "Show TOC" -link. Click it to display the TOC. Click it again, and the TOC disappears in cyberspace! If that isn't magic!

It is now on this Blog in beta version, so please test it here and give your feedback. Planned developments are:
  • Filtering of labels
  • Adding custom CSS classes
  • A Beautiful Beta Installer
So check back the next few weeks!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Visit the Knowledge Base!

Beautiful Beta Wiki is now growing steadily (just the way a snail moves ... steadily). Today I added an in-depth tutorial about the inner workings of the Posts Widget. That's the thingy that puts your blog's posts on the screen. This tutorial can help you understand how it works, so that you can design your own modifications.
But of what use is knowledge if there is no practical application for it? (Well, the sheer BEAUTY of knowledge!). Okay, so that's why I added several simple hacks to the Wiki (more to follow).