How long will we need to fully support IE8? It’s about 10% of our traffic now but with no media query support, and our push for responsive designs, we’d like not to (we’re not using respond.js). I had thought IE8 would die a slow death like IE6—since you can’t upgrade IE8 on Windows XP (still a large market share) and it got into installs of Windows 7—but other factors may speed it’s demise. One is Microsoft’s almost year-old agressive IE upgrade policy. Another is in less than a month, on 11/15/2012, Google will discontinue suport for IE8 for all Google Apps services. With Google leading, others may follow. Google is recommending Google Toolbar for IE which includes Google Chrome Frame (GCF). We’re already supporting GCF via our htaccess (ala html5 boilerplate; see “Better website experience for IE users”) and we should be seeing GCF activity increase in our Google Analytics. On a related note, back in June, jQuery announced v.2 would not support OldIE (IE6/7/8) then clarified v1.9 would, and would be supported “As long as oldIE is a significant factor on the web.” Time will tell.
Lately, I’ve gotten into the habit of sharing links with my children via email. I’ve always shared with them but usually just when we’re all in front of my laptop. Links get saved to Delicious and tagged as “kids” but I wanted to see if we could get more out of the experience by having a dialog. So far, I have to prompt them to read it and comment back to me. We’ll see how this social experiment goes. In the meantime, here’s some of what I’ve shared:
Some more interesting video (not shared with the kids):
Insightful and detailed article by the fantastic Mathias Bynens on how to guarantee your MySQL database will accept any unicode character you throw at it.
“For a long time, I was using MySQL’s utf8 charset for databases, tables, and columns, assuming it mapped to the UTF-8 encoding… By using utf8, I’d be able to store any symbol I want in my database — or so I thought.”
—execerpted from How to support full Unicode in MySQL databases, by Mathias Bynens.
Applying programming principles to HTML, CSS and JS reveals these technologies as legitimate “players” and gives us the tools we need to build, scale and maintain—and a language to describe—the complex systems they (we) are capable of creating. OOCSS and SMACCS are applications of the object oriented paradigm to CSS. Here’s another tenet of OOP—the open/closed principle—as it applies to CSS, that Jonathan Snook just referenced from Harry Roberts’ post, open/closed principle applied to CSS.
In a nutshell –
“software entities (classes, modules, functions, etc.) should be open for extension, but closed for modification.”
Harry looks like he’s doing a series as evidenced by April’s The Single Responsibility Principle Applied to CSS
Today’s thoughts put to post are inspired by notes I checked out yesterday from a talk. While I wasn’t at An Event Apart, I read Brad Hopkin’s notes on Karen McGrane’s talk after catching this tweet from Zeldman and it got my brain in a tizzy (in a good way.) Jotting those thoughts here to refer to later. Read more →
From my Twitter digest — RWD is Google’s recommended configuration for best ranking. Separate URLs and conditional markup from the same URL are accounted for but may not get your site ranked as well. Here’s why (from Google’s detailed explanation):
- Using a single URL for a piece of content makes it easier for your users to interact with, share, and link to your content, and a single URL for the content helps Google’s algorithms assign the indexing properties for the content.
- No redirection is needed for users to get to the device-optimized view, which reduces loading time. Also, user-agent-based redirection is error-prone and can degrade your site’s user experience (see “Pitfalls when detecting user-agents” section for details).
- Responsive web design saves resources for both your site and Google’s crawlers. For responsive web design pages, any Googlebot user-agents needs to crawl your pages once, as opposed to crawling multiple times with different user-agents, to retrieve your content. This improvement in crawling efficiency can indirectly help Google index more of the site’s contents and keep it appropriately fresh.
Also, Google added smartphone-specific user-agent strings to its mobile bot, Googlebot-Mobile. It’s disappointing that there is a separate “mobile” bot and that they couldn’t stop there and needed to further silo the web with smartphone-specific attributes. Another side-effect of not having a one-web approach, but this is where we are.
Earlier this month I had the chance to attend the 2011 Hannon Hill Cascade Server Users Conference. When I attended the conference last year, I had just recently started in my current position as a web developer at Vassar College, and I was still getting the hang of Cascade. And although last time was certainly enlightening, this time around, I felt like I was more able to understand and appreciate what was being presented in the various sessions. Also I’m happy to announce that Hannon Hill turned it around this year with better swag – a laptop case and a water bottle. While not the most exciting, they easily beat the mighty keyboard brush we were blessed with last year.
So without further ado, here’s a summary of what’s new and what’s coming for Cascade Server:
7.0 Highlights – What you’ve been waiting for!
Though it remains to be seen how the 7.0 features will be implemented, it goes without saying that I’m pretty excited – full site copy, full HTML5 support, and UI improvements already make for a pretty appealing set of features. I wasn’t overly enthused about the Twitter Module demo, but there was talk of other potential Modules that could be added, so it’ll be interesting to see what ships with 7.0 and beyond. I also wanted to explicitly point out the Velocity Tools upgrade in 6.10. Hannon Hill is obviously committed to making Velocity support in Cascade robust and fully functional. I’ve been getting into some Velocity coding, and the new tools make doing certain things *much* easier.
That’s all for now!
We’ve had a page in Facebook for a while and it’s doing well. It would do better if we had dedicated staff for interacting with our community online, but we do the best we can with the co-administrators of the page. As Google+ joins the social media scene I am curious how it will play out for the college. Read more →
Over the weekend I noticed a poster for a local event with a QR code on it. A QR code is a simple black and white box with a specific pattern–a box-shaped barcode–that you can take a picture of and use an app on your phone to translate it–generally it jumps to a website or shows a message. The code on the poster directed me to a website for the event. This is something we’ve thought of doing for campus events, and the idea of including codes on posters and other print publicity came into conversation recently. Is it time to reintroduce the idea? Read more →
Design is poetry.