Archive for the ‘The Web’ Section

Posted on February 16, 2007 in The Web by Andy @ Yellow Swordfish7 Comments »

I think I hate the online retailer Amazon with a passion. Their website is a maze of mis-information, lost information, no information which all leads to a level of frustration beyond belief. I used to quite like it when it was a bloody book shop. But now? I had a growing list of music CD’s I wanted to buy so, having not visited for a while, thought I’d give them another try. Having just seen and enjoyed again the film, ‘Waking Ned, my wife asked me if I could add the soundtrack to the list.

Went to the search, selected music and entered ‘Waking Ned’. Amazons response?

Tried the US title – ‘Waking Ned Devine’. And this time?

Tried several terms, all to no avail so gave up. Went to Google and typed in ‘Waking Ned Soundtrack’. Top of the list?

Bloody Amazon!

Posted on October 20, 2006 in The Web by Andy @ Yellow SwordfishComments Off

Earlier this year during May, I wrote up a surprise email I had received from Chris Wilson, Group Program Manager for Internet Explorer at Microsoft. He was asking me why I had stated in an even earlier piece, that Yellow Swordfish looked pretty lousy in IE6 and had gone so far as putting a message over on the left (for IE6 users) stating that view.

He was, understandably, of the opinion that it looked and worked just fine in IE. We shot one or two friendly emails back and forth and he even helped out with a small HTML error I had coded in and, at the end of the day, left me with the distinct impression that the particular rendering issues and CSS non-compliance issues I raised would be fixed up in IE7.

And now IE7 is past it’s beta and is released and I have today taken a long hard look at the official version.

Sorry Chris. Nearly there. But I have taken the notice down so it’s going in the right direction.

Posted on September 2, 2006 in The Web by Andy @ Yellow Swordfish2 Comments »

The website of Sam Devol – Running With Scissors – is fast becoming a great repository of information for newcomers to WordPress with an abundance of step by step advice, troubleshooting tips and links to other sites that deal with specific issues. Sam is a regular on the WP support forum and has helped me out a few times in the past, including one or two fixes for some sloppy code, and he knows his stuff. It’s just a shame that so much of this useful material has to be hunted down outside of the official WordPress Codex.

Anyway, I have Sam to thank for another discovery. FireBug from Joe Hewitt. Yes I’m sure everyone knows about FireBug except me but I am bad at browsing so much of this stuff just passes me by. FireFox is not my browser of choice. But it is the browser I use just about all of the time. And that is largely because of the wonderful extensions that are available. As far as help with web development is concerned, I figured that the absolutely indispensable Web Developer Extension from Chris Pederick was the extension king. FireBug builds on that with even more fantastic help. As the author says: “FireBug lets you explore the far corners of the DOM by keyboard or mouse. All of the tools you need to poke, prod, and monitor your JavaScript, CSS, HTML and Ajax are brought together into one seamless experience, including a debugger, error console, command line, and a variety of fun inspectors.”

FireFox is not my browser of choice but it is more and more becoming the only browser possible for me to use.

Posted on June 26, 2006 in The Web by Andy @ Yellow Swordfish2 Comments »

Id39301Is it just me or has Amazon become the most awful website to try and navigate through? I recall – or at least I think I recall – a time when Amazon was young and fearless and sold books and it was easy and quick to find what you were looking for. And when you ordered something well, damn me, it landed on the carpet two days later.

And now? It’s a mess. The search features are cluttered – and that’s when it helps you find what you seek at all – and half the time the book information is missing price or even a ‘buy now’ or ‘1-click’ button. But most noticeably, it can now hardly ever deliver anything in less than a week and often it’s much longer. And instead of being a book store it’s a… Well, what is it now? It’s a portal to try and sell everything that they don’t actually keep in stock.

Yesterday, I ordered a book that is currently in various top ten ‘must read’ lists and as such, a popular buy. Amazon gave me a delivery date of the 3rd August. That’s about 6 weeks. In town today I noted that they have it in Waterstones. They even have it in Smiths. They even have copies in bloody John Lewis who are definitely not a bookstore.

Well – neither are Amazon any more.

Posted on May 5, 2006 in The Web by Andy @ Yellow Swordfish3 Comments »

I owe Microsoft an apology. Honest – I do.

In my recent item, A New Look I stated that:

This site doesn’t play so well in IE. It is all there but not so pretty. I have grown tired of trying to force my CSS to bend to the peculiarities and non-standards of the ever-appalling IE.

This statement lead to a rather surprising email communication from Chris Wilson, Group Program Manager for Internet Explorer at Microsoft.

He wasn’t asking me to retract the statement or even apologise for it – he was simply asking why I had said it as he thought it looked as it should when comparing it to other browsers. The simple fact is, of course, Chris was using Internet Explorer 7 and my comments were aimed straight at Internet Explorer 6. But I didn’t actually state that in the item so this is by way of clarification and an aplogy to Chris and his team.

I have not yet seen IE7 in action. We now have just the one PC in the house belonging to my wife who is not a fan of downloading new software after having been bitten in the past. I don’t blame her! But if Chris is correct then I am glad to hear this site renders as it should in IE7 and I look forward to the day when I can remove the IE6 CSS compromises to make it look as it was actually intended to look.

So once again my apologies for not making it clear. And a thanks to Chris for being on the ball and showing that he and his team are keen on feedback. Whatever search engine he was using must have been working overtime tio find my little cornen of the web!