Screen name: jking
Title/Functional role: Programmer
Project title: IFrame Shim
Time to complete : Years to discover – a few hours to complete.
Project details: This isn’t a submission about some huge unsung project, but rather a small technical contribution to the web developer community that took off and became the standard way to solve a nagging DHTML problem. The “IFrame Shim” discovery was my way of solving a problem that exists in many browsers where the use of DIVs layered over anything that is a “windowed control” caused the DIV to to be obscured. (Select Boxes in IE, Flash objects, Java Applets, etc.) The IFrame Shim (as it quickly came to be known) was an easy to implement solution that allowed DIVs to be placed at the top of the Z order, above the windowed controls, without the need for hide/show scripting and the compromises brought by that earlier solution. Before this discovery everybody used script to hide windowed controls when they needed a transient intersecting DIV layer (such as a popup menu). At the time of the discovery, I owned a small web control firmed by the name of Coalesys, Inc. and I was hard at work on the second major release of WebMenu for ASP.NET. In the cut-throat marketing world of ASP.NET Web Controls, with this problem plaguing every control available, it was tempting to try and obfuscate this discovery and capitalize on having the only product to solve it. But outweighing this was the fact that the problem also plagued every DHTML coder out there, with whom I identified the most. I felt the discovery should be shared, so I posted about it on my (at the time) “Dotnetjunkies” blog. The direct link to that blog has since vaporized for reasons I cannot comprehend, as that page alone generated an enormous amount of referrers for the owners of Dotnetjunkies, however a copy of the blog entry comes up as the top Google hit when typing “IFrame Shim”: http://www.macridesweb.com/oltest/IframeShim.html It went from discover to blog post and from blog post to popping up in every corner of the internet programming community within only a few weeks. The IFrame Shim technique became the common way to solve the windowed-control issue after many years of developers living with the earlier compromise. And if Googling “IFrame Shim Joe King”, you will find that developers perpetuating the early buzz of this solution were good enough to credit me and my blog post. I now read about this solution in print, how-to websites and forums everywhere, and I examine the code behind feature rich sites like Google, Gmail, Yahoo and GoDaddy to discover it in use. A take a bit of pride in knowing what sharing this discovery meant to fellow DHTML coders.