Aleksandar • Vacić

iOS bits and pieces

Going X

The transition continues - the website is now based on XHTML Transitional. This was a natural transition. All the hard work was done in the redesign few months ago. CSS based design was the major change, with all the scripts recoded to only use DOM stuff.

At that time, I did not have a satisfying solution for form validation, and there was no time to work on it. I was under pressure to deliver high speed web site and thus no time for trying stuff out.

After the launch, I had plenty of time. Along came the form styling tests, as well as validation ones. I believe that this way of validating is the best of the breed. Script have no impact what-so-ever on the HTML (apart from the field naming convention), thus being the least intrusive. It also works best for ASP.NET pages, as the developer doesn’t have to worry about client-side code emission (VS.NET users will know what I mean).

Another major change is the way Flash is used. Even after redesign, Flash was written using invalid markup. It did not influence page validity as the code was written using Javascript, but I did not like anyway. This is the valid markup now used:

<object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="660" height="75"
codebase="<span class="code-break">»</span>
data="http://SITE_ADDRESS/file.swf" standby="Loading Flash....">
<param name="menu" value="false" />
<param name="quality" value="best" />
<param name="movie" value="file.swf" />
... alternative content (i.e. img)

I have more plans for the future. Right now, there are still some server-side decisions regarding what to display to the browsers. And don’t like that at all.

SSL fix for IE

I today encountered a problem with Internet Explorer (oh, well, I know). I used ADxMenu on the page that was under SSL. Page loads fine. Then, I hover the menu actuator, which brings up the famous dialog:

This page contains both secure and non secure items.

Do you want to display the non secure items?

There was nothing wrong with the menu, but with WCH script. If you remember, it creates iFrame element on the fly and places it below the menu.

Well, if you don’t have the src specified for the iFrame, IE treats it as unsecure item, hence the dialog. Solution is simple, as usual (once you find out what is the problem):

   '<iframe <strong>src="/inc/e.html"</strong> id=...></iframe>');

Rest of the line stays the same. This e.html is a simple empty file already present in the project. Use anything you want.

Amazingly stupid feature of ad-blocking sw

For weeks, one of our client was receiving customer complaints that some of them are not able to use the web site we built properly. Some features, that are dependent on page-onlaod script execution were simply not working.

Those were all IE/Win users. At same time, they reported that banners at the page top were not visible. We requested screen shots. Almost all of them contained this:

1 item remaning error in status bar

“1 item remaining” message means that page has not finished loading and that none of the scripts executed. This caused the behavior customers mentioned (feature did not work).

Problem was narrowed to Flash banners only and object tag used to display them. Apparently, if the .swf file does not exists, IE will forever try to fetch it, thus never reaching page complete status. Yet another object-related bug in IE. :(

I tried many things, even added the option on the home page to turn Flash off. And still some people complained.

Totally stumped.

And then, today, I saw this on web pages that suck. Ad-blocking software, by default, are not loading files with “banner.”, “ad”, “adclick” and many other in the directory or file name. Client banners are located in banners directory and the file called for them is “banner.asp”. I couldn’t believe it! Stupid, really stupid feature.

This software should be giving me the option to do this myself if I want to, not deliberately forbidding it. Hopefully, when we rename those in the next few days, my days will get brighter.