“jumpy” jQuery slide animations

I recently decided to add paper abstracts to my academic website, to allow people to get a quick overview of a paper without downloading the whole thing.  I wanted these abstracts to be hidden at first, and then revealed by clicking on a link.  The perfect excuse to dabble in a bit of Javascript, and whip something up in an hour or two, right?

With Google-given example code I was indeed able to get something basic working pretty quickly that made the entire abstract either visible or not, by twiddling the display CSS property.  Then I started thinking: what would it take to have the abstract appear with a “slide in” animation, instead of just suddenly becoming visible?

Well, at least I had good intentions to start. Continue reading