Category Archives: Rants

Developer Problems #0002

True story, from my glorious agency days:

*Receives email about a critical bug*
*Notifies relevant parties that I’m on-task, fixing said bug*
*Phone rings*

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Daily Mail Fail

I noticed a couple of Facebook friends post a link to a Daily Mail article scaremongering about Summer hay fever. I’ve seen examples of how the Mail has done this in the past, terrifying old people with reports of the worst Winter since time began, so I decided to do a quick search of hay fever stories over the last few years.

 

 

2013: Hayfever sufferes will have it worse then ever this spring
2012: Hayfever victims face an extra month of poain[sic]
2011: Summer hell for hay fever victims
2010: Hay fever hell is on its way
2009: Summer of misery for UK’s hay fever victims
2008: Hay fever alert as pollen count starts to soar

British journalism at its best.

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Tables Are Bad, Mmmkay?

A couple of weeks ago I got into a heated “discussion” with a fellow dev about the use of tables in HTML. His argument went something like:

“Tables for layout are bad!”

Which I countered with:

“Agreed, but using tables for tabular data is both correct and DDA compliant.”

Which was met with:

“Tables are BAD!

How’s about that for nerd snobbery? I fancied debating the guy on how IE is improving with regards to standards compliance but I fear he would’ve hit meltdown.

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Client Quote of the Day

During a meeting with one of my clients, she noticed that the mouse and keyboard we were using were wireless. I guess she’d never seen a wireless mouse before:

“Oooh, this mouse has no ropes!”

I honestly have no idea how I kept a straight face.

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Client Quote of the Day

“I want the logo changing of course… I want it to… Umm”, (looks blankly for a few seconds), “umm… web two point zero”.

Thank God it’s Friday.

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Developer Says ‘No’

I’ve just had an interesting discussion with one of my accounts managers which raised the question: when do you say ‘no’ to a client’s request?

The client in question was asking if their main navigation could stay anchored to the top of the browser window when a user scrolls down the page. I said that, it could but the effect might not work in older, browsers. It was then mentioned that the client had an alternative solution: An internal scroll-bar, (iFrame style), on the content. I pointed out that that was stupid because anyone on a low resolution, (or anyone who resizes the browser window, for that matter), would probably see two scroll bars – one for the page in the browser and one for the content on the page. That’s just dumb.

I could see the manager trying to think of a way out of the situation, without saying ‘yeah, but it won’t work for everyone’ but it begs the question: Why not just tell the client that keeping the menu at the top of the page and not having crazy scroll bars everywhere is pretty much the norm. We are after all employed by the client to advise as well as acquiesce to their wants.

Sure, we’re likely to keep a client sweet if we do everything they ask for, but if what they ask for is stupid and potentially detrimental, isn’t it up to us to draw the line?

I’ve also seen the same situation with client-led ‘design tweaks’. This cartoon illustrates the dilemma, perfectly.

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MySQLHell

I’ve just had a nightmare of a development problem. In a nut-shell, I’ve had to import data, (specifically content articles), from one server to another.

This is normally not a problem, but in this instance the source database had each article’s content split into multiple ‘page’ rows. Also, the source database was developed and hosted by another company. They refused to install PHPMyAdmin, (for “security” reasons), and would not give me FTP access. All I had to work with was a terrible database admin system which they’d cobbled together.

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‘Favicons’ and IE

I’ve just had some great fun trying to add a browser Favicon to a website I am working on. We don’t get much client demand for these, so it’s been a while since I’ve had the task of creating one.

I decided to read-up on Wikipedia and on W3.org before-hand and followed all of the suggestions therein. The result? Icons which show in Firefox, Safari and Opera but not IE 7 or 6. What a surprise!

A further Google search revealed that IE is a bit strange in it’s handling of Favicons. Apparently, if you already have the site bookmarked without an icon, you must remove then re-add the bookmark to get any new icon to show. Unfortunately I have tried doing this and the icon still fails to display in either my bookmarks, in the location bar or within my page tabs so I’ll have to do some more research.

This is turning into a lot of work for such a simple gimmick…

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