As you know – as a regular here – I’m developing several Blackboard (BB) Building Blocks (B2) for the DEVELOP project.

In one of them I have list student submitted links to websites and the potentially show a website inside an iFrame (yea I know, but my hands are tied, ask BB!) This I thought would be looking a bit more interesting if I could do this inside a Lightbox, i.e. a window inside the webpage where the website would show up, and the user would then not have to move outside BB to review student submitted links. There are plenty of options out there, but this has proven a bit harder than it ought to be.

My restrictions are as follow:

  • The lightbox must be open source – MIT / GPL style we don’t care.
  • The lightbox should run in IE, Firefox and Chrome.
  • Must *NOT* rely on jQuery, YUI or Mootools.
  • But can use Prototype.
  • Cannot rely on variables that point back to an internal file location (B2 cannot be linked to absolutely, at leat I haven’t found a way to do it…)
  • Should still be “alive”, although we use it if it is the only solution that works.

So right now I’ve tried:

  • Lightwindow – Works, but not in IE9
  • GreyBox – require links to folder
  • HighSlide – works but is not open source, and only free for non-commercial use, which Universities hardly can claim these days…
  • Prototype Window – seems to through cross domain exceptions, and it hasn’t been updated since April 2007, so I would have been surprised if cross-domain access rules hadn’t changed since then.
  • ShawdowBox – Works, but is only for personal, non-commercial usage.
  • Lytebox – WoW, that seems to work!! My search seems to have ended…

And yet another day passed in the life the Doctor!

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2 Responses to Lightboxes

  1. karlund says:

    except that certain websites, such as iGoogle seemingly breaks the box and defaults to a new window. But I believe this is a more general problem, which I did spot in the other libraries I got working…

  2. karlund says:

    Found a solution to the internal URL problem at:

    (more for my self to remember 😉 )

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