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HTMLfixIT Archive for August, 2007

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007 by Don

I really don’t like Microsoft. I was working on a website the other day, (that broadcasts local sporting events in west Michigan like high school and college football games — and I do like them) in an effort to improve the usability of their site. As a result of using that site to listen to a broadcast, Windows Media forced me to update. So I did … and then before installing it required me to phone the mother ship (not literally but via the web) to authenticate my copy of Windows XP (thankfully I am not yet forced to use the lousy new Windows Vista). It finally gave me the green light and then … it tried to change my defaults all over the place to “use Windows Media Player 11”. They were kind enough to give me a select all button so I could wreck my experience universally, but didn’t bother to give me an unselect all button so that I could affect as little as possible. Common courtesy dear Microsoft programmers says any time you add a select all, you add the opposite toggle for unselect all. That is why I dislike you: you always try to force content on me.

Windows Media Player 11 Lacks Unselect All Feature


Saturday, August 18th, 2007 by Don

I was having a dickens of a time tonight extracting content from a WordPress install. The template tag the_content() always wraps your content in paragraph tags <p> and this caused me problems as I wanted to substitute <li> tags.

I found a great little plug-in called “Content Extract: Taking control of excerpts in WordPress“. Now granted it didn’t do exactly what I wanted to be sure as it would actually use the excerpt if there was one, but I modified it to my liking by always forcing it to use the actual content, strip the paragraph tags if any were present and then use the content after wrapping it in a set of unordered list tags.

Excellent find.

1 Comment »

Friday, August 17th, 2007 by Don

As you know we are a big fan of shared work on the net. Someone today pointed out a PHP mail form handler script that appears to be drafted with some thought to avoiding spam, serves as a nice replacement for Matt’s Old Perl Formmail Script and even helps you to configure itself.

I have not examined the coding, but they certainly address many of the issues I would be concerned about in their text and claim they are on top of those issues.

I am looking forward to giving it a try and digging into the code a bit.

As a web designer, if you install formmail scripts, you should log those installations and check at least quarterly to see if they have been updated. While this script claims no known vulnerabilities that have been exploited, of course there is someone out there as we speak trying to find one. Eventually if you don’t keep upgrading, changing, etc. they catch up to you so regular updates (this script was updated yesterday) are good.


Thursday, August 16th, 2007 by Don

We regularly help people get OSCommerce installations set up. We sometimes write a custom piece, but more commonly adapt something someone else has started (no sense re-invention wheels right?). For a project I am working on today, I am looking for a modification for OSCommerce that will allow a customer to upload a logo or other image when they buy say, a can cozy. I found several things which look a little promising, but thus far not quite right.

I find a contribution that looks ideal:

File Upload .7 (for PA – Option Type Feature)

This is a file upload utility for use as an attribute on the product_info.php page. Using the standard HTML upload utility (FILE box with a browse button), one can upload a file and link it to a product as an attribute.

I tried it and didn’t get it functioning. It appears to be a little stale and OSCommerce has moved to osCommerce Online Merchant v2.2 Release Candidate 1, so perhaps that is causing issues. I also see that there are several bug fixes and I’ll go through those again slowly, maybe I missed something.

I also found a T-Shirt Program that looked hopeful, but before shelling out $150 I wanted to know if it is adaptable (because I am not selling T-Shirts). Anyway, I wrote them and no reply. That program is Custom T-Shirts” module for Oscommerce by Zaur Nagiev. Perhaps another user can share with me if they were able to use it in another fashion such as I want to do. I don’t really need the image preview like this product has, and yet, it might work well with or without the preview.

So any help would be appreciated!


Sunday, August 12th, 2007 by Franki

What is HTML 5? I hear you ask. Well apparently it’s mostly HTML 4 with some extra tags and attributes.

For the structural elements of HTML 5, we have the following:

* section: A part or chapter in a book, a section in a chapter, or essentially anything that has its own heading in HTML 4
* header: The page header shown on the page; not the same as the head element
* footer: The page footer where the fine print goes; the signature in an e-mail message
* nav: A collection of links to other pages
* article: An independent entry in a blog, magazine, compendium, and so forth

Which is lifted straight from this IBM Developerworks page. There is a great deal more on that page that I am not going to detail here including examples, so I suggest everyone read though it.

HTML 5 isn’t hard, it is compatible with HTML 4 and degrades nicely. Near as I can tell it seems designed to bring web design more in line with the conventions used in GUI application design (Progress bars for example) in addition to adding different methods of embedding video and audio. It would be a surprise if the changes didn’t find their way into the next generation of xHTML as well.

W3C HTML 5 Editors draft.


Saturday, August 11th, 2007 by Franki

What a great couple of months for Linux it has been. First Dell jump on the desktop Linux bandwagon, then Lenovo
, then Google buys into the Open Invention Network which among other things will help protect Linux from Patent claims, and now Novel has won their copyright case against SCO which mostly invalidates SCO’s other outstanding cases against both IBM and Linux users. The case was more about Unix than it was about Linux, but it would have affected Linux in a significant way had the ruling gone otherwise. As it stands now, Unix ownership has been cleared up and a great many people heard about Linux because of the case, so other than the money wasted on lawyers, the result for Linux has been positive.

So SCO will now owe big time money to Novell for Microsoft and Sun Unix licenses, the end result of which is that they will probably become insolvent and Darl Mcbride and co can be remembered only for their greed and dishonorable and possibly dishonest behavior. It will also be interesting to hear Maureen O’Gara’s take on things since many have the impression that she was in SCO’s pocket from the start and her articles certainly gave the impression that her sympathies lay with SCO. I guess she will either claim the ruling was wrong, or that the judge was bought or some other such nonsense. Hopefully she will just disappear now that people must realize that she has nothing relevant to add and a good deal of what she has said was utter dishonorable rubbish.

Incidentally, as you might imagine, Novell seem pretty happy with the result also.


Friday, August 10th, 2007 by Don

I am a big fan of the Tour de France. I watch it religiously each summer and someday hope to go watch it in person. Are these men, or machines, or doped up combinations? It doesn’t matter I guess as the cheaters eventually get caught if they get to cavalier. I liked Victor, but he is gone and probably forever shamed. What really happened with Floyd Landis (notice that he was never mentioned in this years coverage?). How do you test negative one day, positive the following, and negative the next?

T-Mobile - Germany - Online ScreenshotWell my point is that if you watch the tour, you know T-Mobile and their loud pink colors. So what has this to do with the web? Well I happened to their site today, and oddly enough you get re-directed over to here: Why?

What I liked (I think) or found unusual is the division mouseovers employed at the top. There are six buttons and when you hover, you get a feature. It was smooth, fast and worked well. I am not a big fan of animation and I hate flash immensely! But this seemed smooth and well done, so they are my doped up (or not) featured site of the day.

1 Comment »

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<random humor>
Plus Don's kid is a good runner and she goes through sneakers fast.
</random humor>

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  Time  in  Don's  part  of the world is:   June 12, 2024, 8:57 am
  Time in Franki's part of the world is:   June 12, 2024, 9:57 pm
  Don't worry neither one sleeps very long!

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1600 x 12001.02%
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Windows 20033.91%
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Windows 950.00%
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