For a long time, Rapid Ideas disappeared from the scene and we presumed that they’d joined the likes of WeaverAddons – gone, possibly never to be seen again. As it turns out, Christoph’s website has been overhauled and now looks cleaner than ever. There are even seven new stacks and a new theme online. News Grid, U Weather and Slide Overlay. Let’s begin with those first.
News Grid is a new take on an old theme. Think RSS feed. What do you see? Right – a list of feed titles either animated or static. News Grid is, just as the name implies, a whole grid built with an RSS feed which fits responsively into whichever stack you’ve placed it. The grid will display not only the post’s title, but some or all of the post itself – including images. This is not a stack that you’re going to lightheartedly squeeze into the corner of a sidebar.
Once the stack was on my page, I found a multitude of options that allowed me to set the colours of the background container, frame colour, all aspects of text colours, etc. plus options to truncate the text and limit the number of posts pulled from the feed.
A refresh time can be set – the standard setting is 60 seconds – so that should a post be added to the feed whilst the page is open, the new post will automatically appear. The date format can be set to relative (two hours ago) or absolute (publishing date) with various settings for the date format.
If you’d prefer the posts to be listed underneath each other, instead of in Grid Format, you can set the Layout to ‘Simple’ the posts will then fill the width of whichever column stack they are in. At present, with the standard settings, it is only possible to use News Grid once on each page. The simple layout works, but not the grid. Christoph is aware of this and may provide a solution in a future update.
U Weather If you’d like to show your virtual visitors what they’re missing, U Weather is a widget that will display the weather in any major city around the world. All you have to do is enter the city’s name and, in some cases, country. Longitude and latitude may also be entered. Smaller towns are a little hit and miss, but that is not the widget’s fault – the data comes from openweathermap.org.
U Weather will display in three sizes over an optional full-page background image with (also optional) a video overlay. Temperatures may be set to metric or imperial measurements. The language can be set and the colour of each element can be altered individually.
Slide Overlay is another interesting stack. Once dropped into your stacks page Slide Overlay gives you an image container and a stack-well. Anything you drop into the stack-well, will be displayed when the mouse hovers over the image.
The Slide Overlay is not limited to text, so the possibilities are quite appealing. A sepia image can fade to full colour, or a second image may slide into view with a text overlay. An image mask to highlight an area of your picture… The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
I found a choice of twelve animation effects that can be set for the content change and there are a row of sliders that can alter the image’s colour settings. A word of warning, though – make sure that the content of your overlay isn’t larger than the original image. Content overflow will be hidden.
It looks as if Rapid Ideas has made a successful comeback.