Remember the CSS Gallery I wrote about a while ago?  Yes, the one that I'm building?  Well, IT'S ALMOST DONE!!

I am incredibly excited.  The design, I feel, really came together, and the final result is something simple and sleek, but still (at least IMO) memorable.

One of the most exciting things about this project for me is that it's allowed me to flex some ColdFusion 8 muscles–muscles that I have had not yet really had a chance to use until now.

What kind of features are there going to be?  I'm glad you asked!

On the client side, I completely Web 2.0-ified the site submission process.  When you click "Submit", instead of getting redirected to a form page, I'm using Thickbox to present the form. The form itself is pretty sweet, too.  First, there's a fairly interesting hint tool that I developed.  But the power of the form is that not only does it check the XHTML and CSS validation on the site you enter while you're finishing up the form, but even the form submission itself is AJAXed.  No stupid submit and refresh here!

Once a site submission is approved and live, each site will have comments attached, as well as a rating mechanism.  As I blogged about a while ago, I'm going to use Spry's newest tool, the Rating widget.  It is awesome because not only does it manage all of the javascript stuff horribly simply, but it also includes built in methods for interacting with the server for saving and retrieving rating values on the fly.  

The thing I'm most excited about with this gallery, however, is that I've built it with lots of hooks into various webservices, AND I've made it so that I only have to click ONE BUTTON to create a new site.

First the hooks:  When I approve a new site, I tap into some simple webservice calls that hit Twitter to post an update, and to upload a new screenshot (the one I just approved).  But where did this screenshot come from?  Again, I'm glad you asked!

The power of my application is that I am lazy.  Let me explain.  For most CSS galleries out there, the process goes like this: someone comes to the site, submits a url, and waits.  The administration logs into their admin tool (most likely WordPress–boooo) and review.  If they approve it, they have to go to the site, take a screenshot, go into Photoshop and hack up 1, 2 or possibly three sizes for use on their site.  After this is done, they they have to upload and link the new entries into the site management piece. 

Okay, it works, but it's a lot of work.  I want a shiny button I can click, and be done with it.  SO…to accomplish this, I'm using a combination of a web snap-shot tool ( and ColdFusion 8's coolest new tag, cfimage.  

First, with, I have a http call hit their API and request a screenshot.  Their application goes out, takes a screenshot, and stores it on their server with a standard naming convention.  Upon my 1-click approval, I have cfimage run out to the web, grab the url and use its super-cool image magic to resize and crop the images into the sizes that I need and save them to my server.  Then an entry is made into my database with the correct thumbnail paths.  

But my laziness goes even deeper.  I've additionally built in a mechanism that allows me to approve site submissions from my email–still a click, but one less login. Huzzah!

So hopefully this now ridiculously lengthy post communicates how excited I am about this.  Stay tuned, for it will be coming soon and my readers will be the first to know!