Monday, April 16th, 2007

LightWindow 1.1: A window to various media

Category: UI

Kevin Miller has released LightWindow 1.1, another in the trend of light boxes.

Another one?

After researching every single modal window, lightbox, slimbox, etc out there nothing fit the bill. Granted some of them were very nice but only fit a specific purpose, others were a nightmare on the code end, and others were just hacks of another. None of them truly supported all of the features we needed and those that were close could not be easily adapted without a bottle of Prozac near by.

This puppy works nicely, and supports various media such as PDF, movies, Flash, and more. It also supports every way that you probably want to use a lightbox.

And, they do have a sense of humour:

This library is 52k uncompressed & requires both prototype 1.5+ and scriptaculous 1.7+, if you just screamed, then it’s probably time to learn how to publish your files like a grown-up. Compressed, this library is 9k.


Posted by Dion Almaer at 7:12 am

4.2 rating from 82 votes


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The media type lightboxes dont work for me. I am using FF2.0.3 on XP-SP2, so no reason why it shouldnt work. works in IE tho. otherwise pretty nice.

Comment by Gordon — April 16, 2007

Gordon, please describe the problem in detail and provide any other info like screen shots at my blog and I will see what i can see. Thanks!

Comment by Kevin Miller — April 16, 2007

Kevin, well, i dont know what went wrong but whatever it was decided to go away now. When i clicked any of the media lightboxes, the lightbox would show up, but there would not be any media content loaded into it. I tried several times. Now after I have tried with IE it works in FF too. I have no idea why but I cant reproduce it anymore. Probably just random windows weirdness.

Comment by Gordon — April 16, 2007

This is great! I really like it. Kevin, I noticed exactly the same thing as Gordon. The media types didn’t work in FF, but after opening IE7 and trying the Flash it worked in IE7 and suddenly even in FF2. And after IE7 was started the PDF example also worked in FF2. Weird …

Comment by s0enke — April 16, 2007

I had the same issue as Gordon, however after closing the browser and going back they then worked. Weird.

Comment by Phill — April 16, 2007

I like the panel that scrolls up within the opened LightWindow in the image gallery. But as someone posted yesterday the loading of the new images still takes too long. Someone needs to make a “smart preloader” that fetches the next 2 or 3 images in the background. ;)

nice work!

Comment by Alex — April 16, 2007

This is funny. The bug only shows when I came from this site. I tried twice now. When I follow the link from the article and click on SWF a blank box appears. When I call up the URL directly or reload after I followed the link it works fine. Can anyone confirm this?

Comment by Gordon — April 16, 2007

Kevin, absolutely brilliant! Thanks for doing it right!

Comment by Michael — April 16, 2007

Looks really nice, Kevin. Awhile back I had modified the Thickbox script to accommodate media files, but could never get past the problem of closing the lightbox window while the video was playing. The audio would continue to play in the background even though the movie was gone from the screen (and from the DOM). Just curious if you encountered this bug and, if so, how you worked around it.

Comment by Jason Levine — April 16, 2007

Holy crap, it works in Safari without crashing.

This is me being amazed.

Comment by Kelly Storm — April 16, 2007

Awesome job. Love this, cant wait to try it out.


Comment by FishNYC — April 16, 2007

Oh yeah, I wasn’t cusring IE when I made this, I cursed Safari!!!

Comment by Kevin Miller — April 16, 2007

I started work on a similar project a while back (it’s about half-done and got worked into a larger project), and the biggest problems I encountered were with positioning in IE and iframes in Safari. I noticed your script has one of the iframe bugs I encountered, or rather has part of the bug:

If you load a link in an iframe, then close the lightbox and click another link that will load an iframe, the previous page is still visible for quite some time. I remember that destroying the iframe element and creating a new one with the same id wouldn’t address this in Safari, and I left it alone for the time being.

I wonder if you might want to discuss some of the issues you ran into with Safari in general? I’d be interested to know.

Comment by Trevor — April 16, 2007

Trevor, definably, Safari has been a pain and I am sure there are some more bugs out there I don’t know about. Hit me up at my email.


Comment by Kevin Miller — April 16, 2007

Ouch, 4,516 visitors so far to the page and only 12 votes… Can’t really complain though, I almost never vote either :)

Comment by Kevin Miller — April 16, 2007

What are we supposed to vote for? The article written (meh), the subject matter (LightXXXs in general, meh), or the thing about which the article is written (LightWindow 1.1, 5 stars!!!)?

Comment by Giggle Platypus — April 16, 2007

Kevin, excellent work… My first reaction was “oh Geeze, another Lightbox” yeah. After seeing the demos, I am really impressed.

I had same problem with FF as others have stated. It happens when you directly click on link or via new tab (all you see is white box, no media). Also noticed that after you close the “whitebox”, the back button is broken. If you launch via a new window your site and demos are fine.


Comment by Mike Kidder — April 16, 2007

The pdf doesn’t work. In firefox, I’m set to auto-download pdf’s so the file downloads, then leaves me with a blank white window, with no way out of it – any way around this?

Comment by ajaxianfading — April 17, 2007

and on the form in a window, I get this error:
Warning: fread() [function.fread]: Length parameter must be greater than 0. in /home/albanyvc/public_html/ on line 16

I love this whole idea (especially displaying pdf in window), but this appears to be very very buggy, from where I’m sitting.

Comment by ajaxianfading — April 17, 2007

I have a simmilar Problem to Gordon. FF2.0.0.3, Windows 2000SP4.
When I join your site (no matter if linked from here, or typed in the adress bar) and I click the first link with the Quicktime media. The modal div occurs. I head music, but no video, no close button. I can scroll but as for the modal thing I can’t access the website below.


Comment by R.N.L. — April 17, 2007

Sadly, the SWF, QT and PDF links seem to fail in FF – XP:SP2. So far, various ways of opening the link all seemed to produce the same behaviour described above. Works great in IE6, though… love the functionality!

Comment by Jack — April 17, 2007

Hai Everyone-

v1.2.1 is out and fixes the media bug described here numerous time about the window coming up blank. As for PDF’s it works but only if a viewer is installed on the browser, so use that function with that in mind. I have also cleaned up the css to be less obtrusive. If you have a bug or want to see some more functionality, hit up the forum!

Comment by Kevin Miller — May 4, 2007

What about the support for SVG?

Comment by Maarten — May 11, 2007

I’m having trouble with lightwindow in Safari. For some reason the video is not being loaded. We are already playing the video on the page… does that affect lightwindow to be playing the same flash file twice?

Comment by grandecomplex — June 27, 2008

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