Wednesday, January 04, 2006

New Amazon Controls

If you are reading this on then you have probably noticed the cool new additions to the template.  Namely the two new sections on Books & Movies.  These are examples of a new control I've made available that uses Amazon Wishlists to store collections of books, movies, and cds.  Using the Amazon Wishlist service means I can maintain as many lists as I want, and they can hold any Amazon products I desire.  So I have lists for Top Movies, Mentoree Reading Lists, and Favorites Tunes.  Since they come from Amazon, the details are provided their service and can include information like artist, publication or release date, track information, director, cast, and so forth.

The script that draws the controls is embedded using an ASPX wrapper around a special control I've created in C# using the .NET Framework.  You can download the assemblies here or just reference the wrapper directly as I have done.  If you are hosting your own pages, you might want to pull down the assemblies and embed them directly within your own ASPX pages.  By referencing the control directly in your own host environment, it will improve the performance and make it easier for you to customize the look and feel.  Let me know if you'd like access to the assemblies.

If you aren't capable of hosting your own ASPX pages, then you can reference the wrapper page I have provide at
To embed the script, add the following code to your template:

<script type="text/javascript" src="

You can then change the listid property to point to a list of your own choosing.

The output of the wrapper is JavaScript which will render the items in the WishList as an UnOrdered List.  You can control the look and feel using ClassNames.

Feel free to play with these as much as you like and use them to host your own lists of Amazon items!  You can choose how many items to show, whether they show in random order, and the level of detail associated with each entry.

Any feedback is appreciated.

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