Development

Thoughts On Cross Browser Testing (And a Tool to Simplify the Process)

Posted by | Development, Recommendations | No Comments

If I were asked to identify one primary annoyance associated with a web development career path, it’d be the abundance of browser inconsistencies. From the consumer’s point of view, the web is an endless source of content, and they are given the ability explore that world. Browsers permit such exploration, but the resulting experience depends on a multitude of factors, most of them transparent to the consumer. There’s an organization known as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and their entire goal in life is to ensure the long term growth of the Internet. In accordance with this objective, the W3C took the time to define standards for the core technologies they created, such as HTML and CSS. Yet, the reality is that browser developers don’t…

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Visual Feedback in Google+

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I’ve been using Google+ for about two days now, and I have to say – I’m impressed. While they certainly still need to iron out a few things, I’m happy to see they’ve put some serious thought into polishing the social experience. While testing out some of their features, I noticed a “Feedback” button that appeared on the bottom right of all their pages. When I clicked it, I expected to see a fairly standard feedback form, where I could describe the problem, and then submit. Boy, was I wrong.   Sure, the feedback form was there – but they also added the ability to highlight or black out elements of the page. With the highlighting controls, you can easily point out the area you’re…

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Testing Web Performance by Throttling Bandwidth

Posted by | Development, Recommendations, Tips & Tricks | No Comments

In the past, I often found myself wondering how some of my websites would perform when accessed from a low bandwidth connection. Unfortunately, I had no convenient way to test such a scenario, so I usually just forgot about the idea. I recently found myself in a similar scenario at work, and my searches returned a useful tool, Speed Simulator, by Vikas Patial: Speed simulator is a simple throttling proxy which allows you to see how your site behaves under different connection speeds. It was written by me to test AJAX/Flash loaders and see how much my time took to load. You can simulate various speeds like that of a modem or a ADSL. A pre delay function is also there to help simulate delays due…

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Two Inexplicably Dangerous Characters

Posted by | Development, Humor | One Comment

Yesterday, as I was writing an e-mail to one of my employer’s clients, I encountered a strange bug with Excel. The e-mail I was writing included instructions that the client should perform, and one of the steps actually involved creating a CSV file, which would then be opened in Excel. Before sending the e-mail, I decided to step through the instructions myself, and make sure everything worked as I expected. When I reached the CSV step, I found that while I could export it fine – I couldn’t open it in Excel. I’ll guide you through what followed using a really simple example CSV: ID,NAME 1,KARA 2,GAIUS 3,SAUL As you can see, the above CSV contents are completely valid. However, when I tried to open…

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An Easier Way to Search for Domain Names

Posted by | Development, Recommendations, Tips & Tricks | No Comments

In the past, whenever I wanted to search for available domain names, I checked with individual domain registrars. While this worked, it really wasn’t optimal- every time I wanted to check another domain’s availability, I had to press Back in my browser, re-enter a domain, re-submit the request, and then I’d know. Most websites were set up like this, unfortunately. Furthermore, if I wanted to compare domain registration fees, I’d have to check multiple websites. I’m happy to say that these inconveniences are now no longer an issue. The solution lies in a site called Instant Domain Search. The webpage aims to facilitate the process of searching for a domain, and to do so, it: searches automatically as you type lists different rates from leading registrars lists domains names…

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