Web Site Stats

Heres a quick table giving you an idea of what browsers people visited my site with so far this month.

Table showing the % split of user agents visiting my site, so far during July.
USER AGENT Percentage Split of Total Hits
Mozilla (Netscape etc) 12.92%
Internet Explorer 80.36%
Opera 3.26%
Bot/Other 3.21%

Microsoft Internet Explorer has a strong showing, however my personal favourite, Mozilla, isn’t doing to bad either.

PHP and MySQL

Well I’m begining to get my feet wet using PHP and MySQL for database driven sites. Usually I stick with ASP and MSSQL or Access, but a client wants to run an application from a linux box. Learning PHP isn’t turning out to be too difficult, I’ve used a few programming languages before, (C/C++, Java, Visual Basic etc) so learning a new one isn’t too difficult. File uploading seems a lot easier!

Still strong with the CSS Despite doing a lot of server side scripting, I really enjoy writing style sheets. One of the facets of stylesheets I’ve been trying to get to grips with is using @page rules with the projection stylesheet. This is only implemented on Opera at the moment (although Mozilla seem to be heading in this direction).

Check out MACCAWS

A new project, MACCAWS, aimed at making a commercial case for adopting web standards has just launched. The aim is to provide a Validation Kit that will enable web developers to convine their financial bosses that investing in a standards based website is the right decsision commercially. The project seems to be initially taking the path of producing a white paper to that lays out the commercial case for web standards, with an emphasis on ROI.

While thinking about the project I remembered a comment I made a short time ago in response to an article on the MCUMaking web site accessibility a bottom line benefit is what will drive the accessible web into the mainstream. The MACCAWS project has reminded me of the statement I made and reaffirmed my commitment to doing my part to help make the web a more accessible place to be.

Discuss

I’ve finally gotten around to adding a couple more templates to my CSS layout collection. The new templates are designed for use in on-line discussion forums, I’ve provided both threaded and unthreaded templates depending on the type of discussion board you are implementing.

Work is keeping me pretty busy at the moment but I am really enjoy getting to grips with some different technology (I usually develop using ASP), I’m looking into PHP, MySQL and Zope at the moment.

Temporary Service Announcement

Well just to say I’ve been on holiday in madrid, hence the lack of updates to the site. I do have better things to do than to post regularly while I’m on holiday. Rest assured that I am in the process of sorting through my photos etc and will no doubt be posting a few of them on the site. In the meantime take a look at the site of my new employers steam & speed. I’m going to be working for them during the summer period where i’ll be programming back end stuff in ASP. Well that’s all for now.

Microsoft Shutting out Mozilla

A few month ago Microsoft came under fire for shutting out users from their popular MSN site, now they’re telling users of the latest Mozilla browser that they should upgrade to a newer browser, Netscape 4.08 or later.

I came across this while my girlfriend was using my computer to sign up to a new hotmail account. I have the newly released Mozilla 1.0 installed as my default browser so she was using that, next thing you know she saw an interesting message
Link to Screen shot showing Hotmail signup rejecting Latest Mozilla browser and suggesting the user should 'upgrade' to Internet Explorer 4 or Netscape 4.08!

Back to their old tricks? Looks like Microsoft have turned back to their lockout strategy, they may let browsers like Opera through, only after serving them a different “you should upgrade” page, but it seems like they are overly reliant on dodgy browser sniffing technology (or particularly targeted sniffing?) Whatever there doing I found it hilarious that they suggested I should upgrade to Netscape 4.08, yeah right.

Pure CSS Popup Menus

CSS guru Eric Meyer has come up with some good CSS trickery in the past, now he’s just released a pure CSS popup menu, and not a bit of Javascript in sight. This demo only works in the latest versions of Mozilla (RC2 and up) and Netscape 7 (not sure if this is past the developers release yet), if yo visit the site using another CSS aware browser then you get to see just the top level of menu items, if you visit in a non CSS aware browser then you get the menu displayed in a nested list. No browser sniffing neccesary here.

Not the only one This technique have also been developed independantly by at least two others, check out Inigo’s version and Porter’s version. Yep CSS trickery is on it’s way up.

WebStandards.org Relaunched Today

The long awaited relaunch of the WebStandards web site has taken place today. Theold site concentrated it’s evangelistic efforts towards the people programming the new wave of web browsers, the second phase of the web standards project is directed more towards those creating the websites.

A New Buzz? The relauch is intended to change both the scope and the attitude of the project. Introduced is a new blog populated by many of the new members of the WaSP team. The next few days look as though they are going to be quite interesting, with regards to webstandards.

A New Style! The newly designed style sheeet for the WaSP has been designed by Eric Costello and Todd Fahrner, they have managed to resist the pixel defined text sizing temptation. Having a look at the source code for the page reveals something interesting though, a commented out javascript text resizing utility, it looks like we’ve narrowly avoided the javascript widget mania. Javascript workarounds just don’t cut it in my opinion, if I want to choose a different size for my typeface I’ll use my browsers inbuilt method rather than messing with a Dynamic HTML widget. I spend far more time on the rest of the web than I do on any of these particular designers websites, so I am not going to spend the effort to customise a site I only visit for a couple of minutes a day at most. A web page should be focused on delivering information to the web user, the user interface is the responsibility of the web browser, not the web page.

Splash Screens Revisited

While I was browsing today I came across a link on Craig Saila’s site that pointed to a site containing some alternate splash screens for the Mozilla browser. This prompted me to add another of my own splash screen designs. The first two splash screens I designed were quite subdued, my latest effort is similar but it is a little darker. The thumbnail images below link to bitmap image files, this is the file type which is needed for the splash screen customisation to work.

The latest version:
The latest alternate Mozilla startup splash screen[jpeg version]

The orignal efforts:
The first alternate Mozilla startup splash screen[jpeg version]The second alternate Mozilla startup splash screen[jpeg version]

Mozilla Splash Screen

If you’ve been using the Mozilla browser you should be familiar with the splash screen that appears while the browser is loading (at least on some platforms). Personally I’m not a big fan of the screen, luckily there is a way to change it.

Instructions for the Windows Distribution: Put a bitmap image called mozilla.bmp in the folder where you’re mozilla executable is located. That’s it. Here are a couple of sample bitmap files I’ve quickly knocked up Splash screen one [based on a graphic from the Mozilla ODP] & Splash screen two.

It’s even got partial CSS 3 Support, but still a bit buggy As well as claiming support for CSS1 and 2, Mozilla is also claiming to partially support CSS3. Full support is of course impossible as CSS3 is still a work in progress. I discovered what I think is a bug today, reported it as bug number 149602.