Older blog entries for dorward (starting at number 72)

Do I like Forecast.io?

I’m trying to decide if I like Forecast.IO. One thing is certain, there are a few pieces which I don’t like about it. This is the greatest of them:

Forecast.IO in mobile Safari prompts me to add it to the homescreen

Detecting that someone is using Mobile Safari and then not letting them use a web application without “Installing” it, is obnoxious.

Forecast.IO in Chrome for iPhone prompts me to add it to the homescreen

Detecting that someone is using iOS and then not letting them use a web application without using a feature that isn’t available in their browser is worse.

Syndicated 2013-04-03 13:46:35 from David Dorward

Golfing World live on the Samsung TV App Store

We’ve managed to get our new Golfing World application into the Samsung TV App Store.

I wrote a large portion of both the front end and the back end for this, so I’m quite pleased that we’ve finally got it launched.

Now you all need to develop a love of golf and buy a Samsung TV made in the last couple of years and you can stream lots of golfing videos over the Internet!

Syndicated 2013-01-23 10:05:04 from David Dorward


I received a job advert today, which opened with:

Reinhart Django was an excellent guitarist, he could play brilliantly, even with fingers missing! Could you code well without your fingers? is your passion for Python Django so deep, that you would, through adversity code with a single digit?

My reaction to this was a desire that recruiters would spend as much time matching CVs to jobs instead of just carpet bombing anything with a keyword.

How naïve of me. Twenty minutes later, the same recruiter sent me another advert for a different job with the same boilerplate at the top.

They do spend as much time matching CVs to jobs as they do thinking up clever things to prefix their emails with.

Syndicated 2011-05-13 10:45:00 from David Dorward

In a moment of self-deprecation, I refer to my beer of choice as “Poncey Organic Honey Beer”. It turns out that Google agrees with me.

Syndicated 2011-03-30 22:40:45 from David Dorward

The hash-bang discussion

Beware! This article contains links to pages that depend on JavaScript. This is stupid, and that’s the point.

It started when Simon Willison noticed that Gizmodo had redesigned, and depended on JavaScript for their URIs to work.

Mike was unimpressed and wondered how you were supposed to get at the data without JavaScript.

Danger! The next paragraph contains and links to sarcasm!

I knew the answer to this one — you use the highly intuitive special Google URI rewriting technique. (Sadly for me, Mike had already found the answer from elsewhere, and Twitter timestamps prevent me from taking the credit for informing him)

More than a few people agreed that the URI format was not a good idea. Terms used to describe it included stupid, not proper, decreasing accessibility and evil.

Then along come the inevitable car analogies. Thomas Fuchs compared JavaScript to the steering in your car but Steve Marshall pointed out that your steering column isn’t randomly cut from time to time.

I prefer to think of JavaScript as something more akin to satellite navigation. It’s very nice when it is working properly, but a bad signal can cut it off and sometimes it can lead you in the wrong direction. I’m glad we haven’t yet reached the point where road signs are not considered worth the effort of erecting.

Since then, some nice analysis of the problem has been published (which is why this entry is largely a collection of links and not an attempt to explain the problem in detail).

I think Peter put it best when he said:

Stop breaking the web with hash-bangs (#!) and stop thinking JavaScript is always on. NO, SERIOUSLY.

Syndicated 2011-02-09 21:26:00 from David Dorward

iPad at work

Last week we released the iPlayer for iPad as part of a project to put iPlayer on lots of different devices.

One of these devices is an appliance which can output debug information to a Windows application over the network. Unfortunately, said device had ended up at the corner of the department opposite to the Windows machine on the development network.

An iPad came to the rescue today when I pointed a VNC client at the Windows machine and happily watched debug information scroll by without having to run back and forth between the two screens.

Syndicated 2010-06-01 16:10:58 from David Dorward

Jobs you know you want

A job advert just crossed my email, and like many others is full of incompetence.

It is for, apparently, “NMA top 10 media agencies”.

Gosh, a job working for all 10 of the best new media and advertising agencies? Wow!

It requires:

  • Css
  • Html

Oh dear, bit of a failure with the abbreviations there. Some of our capital letters are missing.

  • Javascript or Jquery

How wonderful! The jQuery library is very popular. Isn’t it nice how whomever wrote the advert swapped the capital letters about?

What is next I wonder? A job advert for an English teacher that requires knowledge of the English language or the works of Charles Dickens?

Who writes these things anyway? Does HR knock them out, fail to let the people doing the job already proof read it, then pass it on to a job agency that doesn’t know the industry it is finding people for?

Syndicated 2010-05-04 13:50:31 from David Dorward

Validating email addresses with regular expressions

Yahoo! can’t get it right and they are a huge name, why do you think you can?

Syndicated 2010-04-06 08:12:15 from David Dorward


My journey into work this morning was hellish, mostly because a central line train “detrained”

verb leave or cause to leave a train.

I’m yet to work out how and why a train was a passenger

Syndicated 2010-03-23 10:11:00 from David Dorward

Consumer appliances and custom browsers

I’m having the joy of writing webpages targeted at consumer appliances. Unfortunately, the vendors of many of these devices have not seen the light and thus failed to grab one of the open source browser engines on the market or go to Opera. Either they are rolling their own, or buying browsers which have never seen a desktop computer.

Thanks to a bug in the rendering engine of one major vendor with a name that starts with S, I have to have odd spaces when I make text bold.

      foo <strong>bar </strong> baz


However, this causes a bug in the browser used by a different vendor (also with a name starting with S) so I’ve ended up with:

      [% MACRO sfix BLOCK; IF product.browser.someVendor; %] [% END; END; %]



      foo <strong>bar[% sfix %]</strong> baz


Isn’t that just lovely?

Oh, if only I could just target Webkit and Presto!

Syndicated 2010-03-18 10:17:28 from David Dorward

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