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Mozilla Firefox Add-on: Multi Dictionary Lookup

Today, I launched my very first add-on for Mozilla Firefox: Multi Dictionary Lookup.[Graphic: Mozilla Firefox Add-on: Multi Dictionary Lookup | Listing on mozilla.org]

Why did I create Multi Dictionary Lookup?

I created this add-on because I felt the need for a dictionary plug-in that lets me look up the definition of a word without leaving the page that I am reading. A simple right click on the highlighted word brings up a choice of dictionaries with which to look up the word.

New words constantly appear in the English language, and such words may not be present in the official English dictionary. For such words, I consult the Urban Dictionary.

For some words, it helps to know the synonym and antonym, along with sample usage in a sentence. For such words, I consult the Bee Dictionary.

For the rest, the Free Dictionary is the best!

What's next for Multi Dictionary Lookup

I will add other dictionaries, and maybe a thesaurus. Why don't you try out my plugin and let me know what feature you would like to see? I would love to hear from you! Write a review here.

Web 2.0 colors

Web 2.0 color palettes use white as the predominant background color to highlight large areas with soft neutrals. More vibrant colors are used sparingly to deliver a crisper feel to the page. I've come up with a few color swatches that you can use when designing your own web 2.0 sites.

Swatch #1

Blue | Regal Blue #253b4f
Blue | Cello #3b5467
Grey | Slate Grey #607990
Green | Pine Glade #c1c086
Yellow | Ecru #c3b376
Yellow | Sands #c9b77a
Yellow | Rob Roy #d5aa4f
Orange | Crusta #f68a5f
White| Tarvertine #e3dcc2

Usage of the Drupal module me aliases

I released the Drupal 7 beta version of the module me aliases back in May 2011. [Graphic: Usage of me module | Change from 2011-01-02 to 2011-10-23]Since then, usage has taken off slowly. As the square pie charts illustrate, Drupal 5 installations have moved on to Drupal 7, while Drupal 6 installations remain steady. This is probably because official support for Drupal 5 ended with the simultaneous release of Drupal 7.

Using JSON in Google Flights

Google Flights API uses JSON Arrays to send and receive data to and fro its RPC server www.google.com/flights/rpc.

A flight search via a URL like www.google.com/flights/#search;f=SJC;t=EWR,JFK,LGA;d=2012-04-05;r=2012-04-12 causes search results to be returned in 5 parts.

In each HTTP POST request to the RPC server, the custom HTTP Headers X-GWT-Permutation and X-GWT-Module-Base are required to be sent, otherwise there will be no response.

A first look at Google Flights

Google Flights launched yesterday. I would like to stick my neck out and say that an API will soon be available. Having said that, let's see what it looks like right now.

[Screenshot: Google Flight Search | SFO JFK] Say you want to fly cross-country for Thanksgiving. On Flight Search page, enter the From and To airports that you would like to fly, as also the Departure and Return dates. Notice that the URL changes to reflect this input as parameters of an HTTP GET request.

http://www.google.com/flights/#search;f=SJC;t=JFK;d=2011-11-23;r=2011-11-30

This URL is easily deconstructed:

Using Google Maps API and Visualization API for interactive map statistics

Long rows of statistics are enough to make anyone quickly go cross-eyed. Dry numbers are much easier to digest when presented in a visual format. Add interactivity to the mix and you have a perfect recipe for easy understanding.

[Screenshot: Interactive map statistics show India Map with GDP statistics by state]I have used Google Maps Javascript API to embed a map in the webpage. Google Visualization API allows me to embed a bar chart right alongside the map. The demo is here.

Understanding Drupal module Ubercart Affiliate v2

The Drupal module Ubercart Affiliate v2 allows an e-commerce site based on Ubercart to track product sales that were generated thanks to affiliates, and calculate commissions earned by the affiliates on those sales.

Setting up Affiliates on an e-commerce site

Create a role to manage the users that would be the affiliates for the e-commerce site. Navigate to Administration » People » Permissions » Roles or follow the link /admin/people/permissions/roles. Add a role named 'affiliate'. [Screenshot: Drupal Admin | Create role for affiliate]

Using Google Places API in your location-aware application

Google publicly released their Places API today during the Google I/O Developer Conference in San Francisco. This makes it simple to query Google Places information for location-aware applications.

[Screenshot: Google Places API shows Restaurants in Paris]I've coded up a quick demo here. When you load the page, your IP address is passed to GeoLite City, a free GeoLocation database offered by MaxMind. The call returns your latitude, longitude, city, region and country, which is displayed in the top right-hand corner of the page.

Understanding Drupal module me aliases

The Drupal module me aliases provides an easy way to create URLs specific to a logged-in user. Without the me aliases module, URLs for a logged-in user would have the user's uid, for example when editing the user's profile /user/269763/edit. With the me aliases module, the same URL would be /user/me/edit. In effect, the module replaces the me in the URL with the code ($user->uid).

Suppose you want to add a menu item called "My Profile" to your Drupal site. Here's how the screen Site Building » Menu » Primary Links » Add Item would look: [Graphic: Add My Profile link with Drupal me aliases module]