Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

Consider the following code:

<form action="whatever" method="POST">
<input type="hidden" name="foo" value="a very long string" />
<input type="checkbox" name="confirm" />
<input type="submit" />

In Internet Explorer (confirmed in both 6 and 7) submitting this form with the checkbox ticked results in no response from the server. (Submitting it without the checkbox ticked just brings you back to where you started.) No problem at all in Gecko-spawn or Opera.

Anyone seen anything like that before? And better still, got a solution?

I’m working on a new web site that will be live for the next two or three years, hence I’m keeping an eye on both versions 1.0 and 2.0 of the WCAG guidelines. One of the things that has been requested is embedded videos (similar to YouTube) within relevant pages as opposed to having a standalone video section.

Thinking about embedded video meets accessibility and looking through WCAG 2.0 I’ve come up with the following:

To meet Priority One guidelines

  • Provide a full text based alternative to the video, i.e. a transcript plus a label explaining, more or less, “there’s a video and this is the transcript of it”.
  • Provide synchronised on screen captioning replicating the dialogure and important sounds in the video.

To meet Priority Two (our goal) guidelines

  • Provide synchronised audio description (noting changes of location, identifying speakers, etc.) in the gaps in the dialogue of the video.

To meet Priority Three guidelines

  • Provide an extended audio description that pauses the video in order to create room for extra information to be relayed aurally.

Does this agree with everyone else’s interpretation of the guidelines?

As we’re all blogging for history, here’s a bit about my day.

Alarm went off at 7:00. Lettice got up. I didn’t. Whoops. Staggered out of bed at 8:00 and between checking e-mail, showering, eating breakfast and faffing about managed to get into work around about 9:45. No meetings this morning so not a problem. Check work e-mail and calendar and tell the project manager that I love her because she’s worked out that in our incredibly tight schedule for the site ( redesign I actually have no tasks allocated to me between the end of November and the sometim in February so I can take some holiday after all. But then I groan as I realise that Friday is booked up with meetings from 10-12 and then 12:30-16:00. Ouch.

Spent most of the day working on a project for our kids’ site ( Nothing terribly exciting – a bit of CSS, bit of XSLT, bit of JavaScript (enforcing my own recently written coding standards to avoid document.write and use appendChild() etc.). Minor panic regarding the half term edition of the kids’ newsletter but it got sent out on time and everyone seems very happy with the new style.

Went to lunch with Lettice – she’s working at VL for a few weeks. And after that it was time for today’s round of meetings about the redesign project. Time and money versus ambition. Same as every project I’ve ever worked on. We actually have a very good team (and soon to be a much bigger team, an ad will be appear in this week’s New Media Age for six positions within the web team at VL) and doing most of the work in house will cut down on some of the headaches.

Ended up working until 18:30 which makes up for the late start, though a fair chunk of the last hour was spent playing Bang! Howdy ( whilst waiting for other people to go through the designs of the Christmas pages with me. We need to have some pages up very soon in order to cover the switching on of the Christmas Lights.

London Bridge was busy and I just missed the 18:39. I bought this week’s New Scientist (suckered in by the ‘what would happen to Earth if humans vanished cover story) and this month’s .net (a couple of articles that I can quote mine for a brainstorm in one of Friday’s endless meetings). Ran into Séverine and we caught the 18:51 to Tulse Hill and then walked up to West Norwood together.

Home, sausages for dinner, then watched CSI: Miami with Lettice before sitting down to write this.

So there you are, not my usual sort of post and probably not of any great historical interest.

What’s that? That’s the output from a rather nifty applet that draws diagrams of the HTML structure of web pages (technically, it produces a graphical representation of a first order approximation of the DOM tree by examing element nodes only). In this case that’s the front page of Very True Things as of Thursday evening.

The big grey blob at the middle top is the page head, here full of the <link> elements that Word Press generates. The main content of the page is to the left and the side bar is to the right. The red clusters at top left and bottom right are tables – a meme result and the calendar respectively.

Have a look at the examples given by the creator to see how some big name sites compare. And then see the graphs for everyone else’s sites on Flickr. (Via Pharyngula.)

What’s really scary for me is that when I look at the graph for VL I can instantly spot where one extraneous (but harmless) link has been inserted by accident.