This week I converted a site from XHTML 1 to HTML5, and as part of this I moved the ARIA landmark role attributes from generic div elements to various new elements. And I got to wondering whether this could have unforeseen consequences.

I know from feedback that the ARIA landmark roles have proved useful for some users of this site, so it would be a bad move if this stopped working because their screen readers didn’t recognise the role attributes on “unknown” elements.

<div role="banner"> vs <header role="banner">

I guess what this boils down to, are there any user agents that (a) support the role attribute and (b) use the DOM as generated by a browser engine that fails to recognise HTML5 elements?

Firefox 2 and Internet Explorer won’t style HTML5 elements (though IE will after applying a little JavaScript magic) but styling isn’t the same as recognised at a basic level.

This seems like an edge case, as most of the reports I’ve found whilst searching have indicated that HTML5+ARIA is a good thing and works, but most of the reports don’t specify versions of user agents used. Does anyone have any links to first hand research into this issue?

I’ve updated my 15mm Dinosaurs and other prehistoric miniatures page with Khurasan Miniatures, who currently sell a couple of woolly rhinos, but have recently shown the green for this Triceratops. Which looks like a very nice thing.

For future reference, here’s what’s happened so far:

  • Tuesday March 2nd – viewed house for first time.
  • Saturday March 6th – viewed house for second time.
  • Tuesday March 9th – made initial offer.
  • Friday March 12th – had final offer accepted 🙂
  • Saturday March 13th – mortgage application.
  • Thursday March 18th – survey (allegedly, not seen results yet)
  • Monday March 22nd – met with solicitor.
  • Wednesday March 24th – massive amount of paperwork arrived from solicitor. Budget removes stamp duty for first time buyers on properties up to £250,000 which includes us 🙂

This is just the most recent part of a marathon: we’ve been looking since September, have spoken to eight different estate agencies, seen houses with five of them, seen sixteen houses in total, and seen four of those houses more than once.

As a follow-up to Desert Island Discs, the team at work have been doing our top ten films, and this week was my turn. The only condition was that one of the ten had to be set in London. Once again, I’ll be buggered if I’m writing all this lot up and not turning it into a blog post.

Forbidden Planet (1956)

I remember watching this, aged about 8, sitting on the floor at school during one of our headmaster’s film nights. As most people know, it’s Shakespeare’s Tempest mixed with a bit of Freud and set in outer space. The special effects contain some real “how did they do that back then?” moments. And notice that the starship is a flying saucer and the crew are all men – that was the status quo in almost all science fiction back then and would be for another ten years, until Star Trek rewrote the rules. The “sequel” is also well worth seeing 😉

Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966)

My London film. Well the first half is set in 22nd century London (that looks awfully like 1960s London).
This is the second of the two Peter Cushing Doctor Who films, big(-ish) budget, technicolour, remakes of the first two Dalek TV stories. To be honest I prefer the TV version – the scenes of Daleks patrolling an abandoned London are much more atmospheric in B&W. But this film is more important because this was repeated on telly almost every summer holiday from the mid-70s onwards so several generations of Doctor Who fans grew up with this version in their childhood memories. So much so, that at least one later TV episode references events as they took place in the film, not the original.

The Italian Job (1969)

(Also got some London bits) I haven’t seen the remake. Why would I want to?

Kelly’s Heroes (1970)

Just a private enterprise operation.

The Sting (1973)

Probably the best confidence trick movie ever. And parts of it are ripped off by almost every episode of Hustle.

Star Wars (1977)

I am a member of the Star Wars generation. This film came out at the exact moment in my childhood for me to be hooked. And that’s why we have the original here, not the “more grown-up” The Empire Strikes Back. This was when George Lucas knew how to have fun, before CGI, before the “expanded universe”, before we all became cynical.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

There have been 11 Star Trek movies to date. Some of them are rubbish; some of them are good fun; two of them are really quite splendid. This is the film that saved Star Trek. After the worthy but dull and expensive Star Trek The (Slow) Motion Picture, this is the film that remembered that Trek should be fun and brash and really over acted. This is the film that gave us some of the finest Shatnerisms. (Including, of course, Khaaaaaan! )

Aliens (1986)

I think that the Special Edition of this was the first film I owned on video tape. An incredibly influential film – twenty years later and films, comics, computer games are still playing with variations of the future-war look created here. “I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

The Usual Suspects (1995)

This was from a period when I was going to the cinema a lot and seeing a lot films that have really stuck in my mind (Unforgiven, Apollo 13, Once Were Warriors, Quiz Show, Strange Days, Ed Wood) but this one stands out. Repeated viewings are about spotting clues and inconsistencies but if you saw it first without any spoilers, watching the story unfold without knowing how what came next was something special.

Hot Fuzz (2007)

(Also got some London bits) Best British film of the decade? If you grew up in the home counties, where winning village of the year was a big deal, then parts of this film are worryingly accurate…

Say hello to Primaeval Designs from Acheson Creations. A new range of 28mm prehistoric animals (plus a very big ape).

If the style of the figures looks a little familiar, then that’s because they are by Richard Deasey of DZ and Dazed fame.

European distributor coming next year, so right now we in the UK will need to play the post office roulette with respect to customs fees if we make a large order.

Primaeval Designs have worked closely with Two Hour Wargames to produce their new “Adventures in the Lost Lands” rules, released last week.

As well as the eight items listed so far on the web site there over 30 items in production, awaiting photos, and more than one hundred masters completed!

Read the rest of this very true thing…

Magister Militum TherizinosaurusIt’s been ages since I did a round up of what’s new in the world of miniature dinosaurs and friends, so let’s see what’s happened?

Magister Militum continue to add new creatures to their 10mm range, including the Therizinosaurus shown here.

MegaMiniatures have expanded their range of 25mm prehistoric mammals with Megalonyx, Smilodon and Andrewsarc​hus. I like the Andrewsarchus, not quite so keen on the other two.

Two Hour Wargames have posted some battle reports that give a flavour of their forthcoming set of rules Adventures in the Lost Lands.

Top sculptor Sean Cooper or Paleocraft has recently completed a commission in a smaller scale than usual. This 1/48 scale wooly rhino has been handed over to the very lucky Jodee who is investing getting it cast and possibly putting it on sale.

If you know of any other news about miniature dinosaurs then leave a comment below. And did you know that you can subscribe to an RSS feed of just my dinosaur related posts?

On Wednesday night I attended the preview of a new exhibition, Dinosaurs Unleashed, on Oxford Street. It’s a slightly surreal experience seeing life size animatronic dinosaurs backdropped by the office blocks and department stores of central London.

I’ve already written about it on the Visit London blog and you can see more photos on Flickr. And, in a isn’t the internet cool moment, this morning I was added as a Flickr contact by the workshop who produced the dinosaurs and you can see behind the scenes photos of them being made.

A couple of dinosaurs, but where ... ?

More to come…

A few of you may remember this sterling piece of work from last year. Well today I found a very similar case on another site.

<a href="#mainsection" class="skip">skip to content</a>
<a href="#topnav" class="skip">skip to main navigation</a>
<a href="#topnav" class="skip">skip to main navigation</a>

  1. “skip to main navigation” is repeated twice…
  2. but does nothing as “topnav” is not present anywhere on the page
  3. The skip links aren’t wrapped in any form of structure (thus also requiring the class=”skip” on each link)

The site claims to be XHTML 1.0 Transitional but has 76 validation errors, including a character encoding mismatch between the HTTP header and the meta tag. It calls in 8 external CSS files and 23 external JavaScript files and contains large chunks of commented out HTML (so it will be slow as well as inaccessible).

Compared with this, some of my stuff is not so bad after all.

Yesterday, I tweeted "According to my LibraryThing records I’ve read 141 books this year: 26 novels, 7 non-fiction, 102 graphic novels and 6 ‘other’."

Then I went out and bought another two graphic novels… But it must be said that most of the comics I’ve read this year came from West Norwood library, and now that I’ve exhausted most of their good ones, and some of their bad ones, I think 2010 may be slightly less weighted towards graphic novels.

How many of my 2009 books have you read?

Available as a poll over on Live Journal (you don’t need an LJ account to vote, just an OpenID account which means an account from, Google, Yahoo, Blogger, etc.)

Read the rest of this very true thing…