All posts in Standards

No IE for You!
The title of this post was going to be:

If Microsoft Insist On Making It Nigh-on Impossible For Us To Test IE Effectively Then Why Do They Think We Should Bother Supporting It?

But I decided that was a bit too long, so I took inspiration from the soup kitchen chef instead, it’s more to the point.

Anyway the reason I’m back writing about adventures in IE testing land is I have a week of some horrid IE browser testing of my current, JavaScript heavy, project coming up if the first quick check through all versions of IE is anything to go by. Yes I know I should have been testing as I went along, but having to refresh 9 browsers with every change really kills my buzz (especially when 3 of those are IE).

So I did some initial browser testing last week and got zero issues in 6 browsers, but each version of IE threw up massive amounts of JavaScript errors — absolutely all over the place — and we all know how annoying debugging JS is in IE. This combined with my aging (and decidedly creaky) Windows XP Virtual Machine (running in Parallels on a Mac Pro with more than enough grunt to run multiple VM’s all at once) meant that tonight I decided to look for new alternatives (as multiple versions of IE on a single VM have never been great anyway).
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I decided quite a while ago, probably about 18 months ago, that I wasn’t going to attempt to style form controls any more.

This was based on my personal experience and my personal preference – I think your average user appreciates being able to easily identify a text box, a form button etc. – as forms can be confronting beasts to some people. If you leave all the form controls in their default style in the users chosen browser then at least they can readily and quickly identify and understand them.
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For those of you who have had the pleasure of dealing with browser testing slightly complex CSS the title explains it all.

For those of you who haven’t, all I have to say is this: you lucky bastards.

For a current project I needed a browser based image cropping user interface, I wanted it to have the same features as found in something like Photoshop and be based on the Prototype JavaScript framework and possibly, as they are both being employed in the area this tool will be used, plus taking advantage of their power would reduce the weight impact of the interface.

I did quite a lot of searching for some ready made solutions and found none that had the complete feature set that I required or any complete versions based on Prototype, the closest I found was Encytemedia’s Prototype/ Javascript Image Cropper, but this is far from complete.

So after a week and a half of work, I present the JavaScript image cropper UI, built on Prototype &, there is also demo page which allows you to try out all the functionality of the image cropper UI.
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When I saw Steve Jobs present iWeb at the January Expo, the interface reminded me a lot of another Apple product; Pages.

I liked the look of the interface, just as I like the interface of Pages and I can see the market that Apple are aiming for with these products – the home computer user who wishes to make their creative output appear more professional.

My other first thought was "I bet the code output is awful", apparently I was in the minority there.
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