Recently in Web Standards Category

Feeling validated

April 6, 2008 8:44 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0)

After feeling pretty pleased that I had so easily switched from the old site’s templates to MT4’s, I spent this weekend fine-tuning my sidebar and transferring static pages into the MT4 content management system.

Then I decided to check out how valid my pages were. Horrors! I had 128 errors.

WTF?! My new blog template has 128 errors?!

The majority of errors were caused by Movable Type code, with problems popping up in all sorts of templates, modules and widgets.

Getting Open and Social

November 7, 2007 2:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

I was interested to hear about Google's OpenSocial API. They have cleverly stepped in to address the proliferation of social networks with different standards and made themselves the central connecting point.

Despite the global popularity of sites such as MySpace and Facebook, the rest of the social network market has been fragmented into a Long Tail which makes it difficult to target a wide range of people in a cost-effective way. The new API will be a master key to unlock easy access to the whole range of networks participating in this initiative.

Having said that, I don't really forsee a major problem targetting the Singapore market specifically, as most of us are probably on Friendster (the older ones), Multiply, Xanga, Facebook (the latest craze) while the more professional networkers are on LinkedIn. Correct me if you think otherwise. However, if we're 'kiasu' (afraid to lose out) we'd welcome the OpenSocial API - isn't it always better to know that we could unlock many other networks now?

Facebook in particular is going to be very interesting over the next year as we move beyond creating Facebook groups and start developing our own apps. A good app has viral marketing potential as it gets forwarded to friends and integrates itself onto personal profile pages, becoming part of that user's identity - at least until the user gets tired of it and uninstalls it. The app has to be well thought through, if not I'd rather not attempt one at all!

We have a Facebook group for Singapore developers, do join if you haven't already. There's an OpenSocial Initiative group on Facebook, and an official forum.

If you happen to be a Facebook developer, drop me a note. It's a new market but we have some ideas.

Nested within these pages...

May 11, 2007 12:59 AM | Comments (0)

I spent a couple of hours yesterday cleaning some old website's code that was handed over to me for temporary maintenance.

It is the year 2007 but people are still using nested tables to arrange their text. Imagine a three-column table, with spacer GIFs in the right and left columns and the body text inside the middle column. And that table's residing inside another table.

Printing with style

April 18, 2006 11:22 PM | Comments (4)

I was applying for a CDP account online, and was asked to fill in my details. Finally, I had to print a summary page, sign it and mail it to them.

However, these were the instructions:

  1. Select "File", click on "Page Setup"
  2. Select Page Size as "A4"
  3. Adjust the margins for header and footer to 0.2 inches
  4. Remove the headings for header and footer
  5. Click Ok to save

And I wondered: can't a print stylesheet resolve most of those problems?

You could set the margin-top and margin-bottom to 0.2 inches (and adjust the padding too).

You could specify a class or ID for headers and footers, and display:none when printed.

Not sure if we can set page size using current CSS techniques. But a print stylesheet would definitely make things easier for users.

This puts the icing on the cake - Someone looked at a Microsoft stylesheet and noticed a most amusing comment. See the original screen shot.

So they're human, after all.

However, I just checked the stylesheet in question and it appears that all references to 'stupid hack' have been removed. Hush now.

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