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We provide some information about this site for those interested in these kinds of things. We have always developed our site in-house as a means of experimentation with new technologies and user interfaces, throw in a touch of tight-fistedness and we have a volatile mix.
December 2013: We started publishing validated HTML5 pages. The policy is that when we are doing a major page change we convert to HTML5, otherwise leave it as validated HTML 4.01. We defined what changes we had to make to do HTML5 page conversion. Very site specific obviously. Mileage for others may vary.
October 2013: After a serious turn off from W3C standards with the HTML 5 betrayal around 2010 we stopped doing page validation. Period. All our careful preparatory work for XHTML was causing page warnings, and even page errors, on almost every page (all that closed tag stuff for img, br and input). Fast forward to 2013 and, while we still continue to believe that HTML5 will stabilize around the end of the millenium, it's time for hope to triumph over experience again. We have validated all pages to be HTML 4.01 compliant (after undoing all our previous XHTML preparatory work to get them to work - not trivial) and may experiment with a couple of HTML5 pages from time to time. In the meantime every time we revisit a page we do a quick HTML 5 check, and then validate and publish as HTML 4.01.
October 2013 - Added popout/flyout CSS menus to the left hand side menus on most tech section pages in an attempt to make navigation quicker. As a side effect of this change we have also stopped all work on keeping MSIE 5/6 current. Our web stats tell us that traffic is almost non existent. We are close to being DOM 2/CSS2 only and with Opera's decision to move to WebKit based rendering another quirk will shortly disappear.
September 2013 - After another injection attack we finally decided to limit the use of our mail this page feature. Implemented using a PHP enhacement to an existing script and an SQLite3 database (nice technolgy) to limit usage from any IP address in a given period and to permanently ban IP addresses which contravene the limit plus a small additional threshold. Sad day for us.
March 2013 - We are not big on social media, but recognize that many others are, including some of our readers. We cleaned up the top right hand pane to allow click through to add page links to a selected set of social media sites and took the opportunity to clean up the page features at the same time by placing print, mail page, font size increase, font size decrease into a single box. Again to try and provide a consistent page interface for regular readers and users.
November 2012 - Change to advertising policy on our Tech Stuff pages. We use a single graphic advertising slot at the top of the central pane. While we do not like to carry advertising, we only do it on the free (tech stuff) part of the site and it does help to pay for its bandwidth usage. We feel this single location provides the minimum visual disruption to readers and users, while providing us in turn with a minimum income. Minimums all round.
November 2010 - Finally removed a problem of unsightly --> text and a lack of multi-level drop-down, fly-out menus for MSIE 7+ browser users. Apologies for the long delay in fixing this problem - entirely related to the handling of MSIE conditional statements that changed from MSIE 6.0 to MSIE 7+. Shocking oversight.
October 2007 - Addition of printer friendly style sheet for all pages.
September 2007 - Addition of an RSS (2.0) Feed covering our tech section. We would have liked to add an Atom feed as well but decided that is was not - at this time - worth the effort. There is just too much momentum in RSS 2.0 and - while we would like to support the IETF standard Atom - we could not find a simple OS publishing tool to provide both formats.
September 2007 - Change to 1.0em for central pane character size and addition of a line-height 1.03em in order to improve readability for the visually impaired. This has the effect of defining the size of the font to that defaulted for the font style in the users browser or, where the browser supports the feature, to that defined by the user. All major browsers set this default to 12pt for major font types such as sans-serif and serif which is normally reasonable for most users. CSS class definitions used in this central pane use a % value for the font not an absolute value (such as 10pt), thus if a smaller font is required it is defined as 80%, a larger one %140 and so on. This has the effect of preserving the users font size override, thus improving accessibility. 2013 Update: While updating our style sheet for HTML5 conversion it was discovered that most browsers use a very small default point size (~8pt) for monospace fonts (Courier New and others) which means the em technique is not effective. Further, the div definition which sets the font size (in our case to 1.0 em) can only contain one font style, thus it is impossible to set or override the basic monospace default to a more reasonable default.
May 2006 - Overhaul our 'mail this page' script (PHP) due to an injection attack. The script now does extensive checks for various injection methods.
Mid 2005 - progressive conversion to Ruby for all new web development. We will keep enhancing the PHP stuff but are not developing anything new in PHP.
Fall 2004 - Addition of a third level menu for W3C browsers (Gecko and Opera 7.4+) only for both the home page (side pop-out menu) and all other pages (top pop-down-menu).
Fall 2003 - Adoption of CSS for pop-up/pop-down menus for Gecko (Mozilla and clones) and Opera 7.4x+ browsers. Change to the graphics in all page banners to reflect the site content.
2002 - Facelift to make site lighter and cleaner. > 1,000 pages took about 4 hours due to CSS1 usage. Initial implementation of table-based liquid page design. Addition of drop-down menus on all pages.
1997 - Site rework - extensive addition of material to cover new products. Conversion to Frontpage publishing framework.
1995 - initial Frame based web site. In-house development. HotMetal HTML Editor.
We have six objectives for the site:
Comments are welcome as always (use the 'mail us' navigation at the top or the comments section at the foot of the page).
If you are interested, the site currently uses the following technologies:
We want to support the existing W3C standards and to ensure that the various browsers comply with those standards.
The buttons are conditionally generated by CSS to indicate page features and the underlying technologies used. You may not see any of them depending on the page or your browser.
The button idea has a long and illustrious history - they are modifications of Eric Meyer's CSS implementation of the Raging Platypus design who got the idea from Antipixel. So there. We conditionally generate them on a page using CSS Selectors.
This button indicates that the page has been modified to use modern STANDARDS COMPLIANT W3C CSS page layout techniques. We have provided some notes about our implementation.
This button indicates an RSS 2.0 Feed is available. By hovering over the image instructions should be displayed as to how to utilise the service. In the event these do not display the following process should be used.
If your browser and OS supports the service, just drag and drop the image into your RSS Feed Reader.
Alternatively right click with the mouse and depending on the browser use either 'Copy Link URL' or 'Copy Shortcut'. Paste into your RSS Feed Reader.
If everything fails, click the image link and copy the URL from the Address line of your browser and paste into your RSS Feed Reader.
We try to keep them to a minimum and use them consistently. Everyone thinks they have the most obvious symbols on the planet ... but no-one does. We are no exception.
|Go Back to.. a specific page (text explains where) or use the 'Back' button in your Browser to return where you came from.|
|Go to ... additional information (arrow may be black, blue or white)|
|Go to top of page... or page contents|
|Go to location below on this page|
|links||We normally use blue and under-line when you mouse-over a link. If you mouse over a link that opens a new window it will look like this.|
|Home||Click the ZYTRAX Logo on any page to go to our home page.|
Well, we said there were not that many ..
If you are happy it's OK - but your browser is giving a less than optimal experience on our site. You could, at no charge, upgrade to a W3C standards compliant browser such as Firefox