HTML

Aether theme

by George Paterson.

Being a new father i haven’t had much time to write articles and have spent most of my effort working within repositories on Github.

One thing i’ve been meaning to do with this site for some time now is change it to a responsive design. This is what i’m doing with the Aether theme and i’ve updated this site with the first incarnation of that theme.

jQuery HTML5 video background 1.3

by George Paterson.

Release 1.3 is now available on GitHub. This release includes a number of improvements to the code including requests from ursbraem, Colin-Insivia and papandreou.

Tesco Direct launch

by George Paterson.

This week marks the release of the new Tesco Direct UI. It’s been almost a year since work on the UI was completed by the team at LBi London with support from Spindrift in content management and Infosys providing system integration.

The team i was fortunate enough to lead included permanent members Ray Brooks, Lee Ryan, Aaron Faber with Sam Clohesy leading project management. The project wouldn’t have started without Will Howat’s development review which should a number of issues that LBi London were asked to resolve.

jQuery UI custom select widget

by George Paterson.

This is the first build of the jQuery UI custom select widget available on GitHub. There is a demo page and wiki page available outlining how the widget works. It is hoped that the widget will simplify custom select development.

The jQuery UI custom select widget is designed as a method for applying a custom design to a native HTML select element. Currently the only applicable method for doing this to replace the select element entirely, duplicate it’s functionality in a new element and replicate any changes to the new element back to the select element.

America’s Cup site released

by George Paterson.

This week we at LBi London released the first phase of the new America’s Cup website. I had the opportunity to work with the hosts of the oldest active trophy in international sport as lead interface developer, with a team including Francesca Mancuso, Aaron Faber, Jamie Collins and Pia Gamon.

The site itself was built on EpiServer; which means .Net development and some of .Net’s more interesting aspects (web forms etc). What we produced is a HTML5 based site that is progressively enhanced using CSS and JavaScript. We couldn’t use all the elements HTML5 supports because we couldn’t be reliant on JavaScript for presentation in IE7 and 8. JavaScript development utilised jQuery and jQuery UI libraries.

This is only the first phase of ongoing development, with performance improvements including minification and new features for the site but an important first step in supporting one of the great yachting competitions.

CSS sticky footer

by George Paterson.

A number of web site designs require the page footer to stick to the bottom of a page, no matter the content. There are other solutions but after using a min-height solution for a number of years i have found it to be the most robust.

The increasing maturity of the browser market means the CSS has simplified to using min-height only. There are alternative solutions for min-height support using JavaScript, alternatively should the CSS fail it should not cause a significant issue to site usability.

Cargo cult science and web development

by George Paterson.

In 1974 Richard Feynman gave the commencement address at Caltech and coined the phrase cargo cult science. Cargo cult can be used to describe any process using a flawed model of causation.

The term cargo cult is used in anthropology to define the religious cults that spring up in the wake of a technologically advanced society interacting with a technologically primitive society. Most recently this happened during World War II in the Pacific South West when Allied and Japanese forces created military bases on islands with limited previous contact with the modern world. The military base would commonly use air fields to import war materials.

The technical details of why and how the air field is set up would be beyond the basic understanding of the local populace but they would be able to see the process and witness the outcome which would be bountiful supplies of cargo brought in from the sky.

jQuery Equaliser plugin 1.0.0

by George Paterson.

After writing about the cross browser display inline-block i was reminded of a requirement from “The Sceptre of Rajim” project. Each item in a row of items would have the same height but also a number of designated elements would have an equal vertical position in that row.

The code written for the project targeted a specific list of items and was limited in scope. Requirements change over time and this sort of positioning seems to be a common feature, so after the project i resolved to make good on the promise i always make, to create reusable code.

The jQuery Equaliser plugin is a simple plugin that iterates across an array of elements with a declared parent element.

Cross browser display inline-block

by George Paterson.

While drinking stout at @pubstandards on Thursday, we did broach the subject of code. While talking about equal height list items which have traditionally been difficult to work with, I raised an interesting technique that doesn’t seemed to have got much traction.

Instead of using floats to line up your items in rows, where varying heights that can tangle the floats, use display: inline-block.

Google TV, the web made for TV?

by George Paterson.

At LBi London we’ve had the good fortune to get a Logitech Revue with Google TV. It’s an interesting piece of technology and i fully support the web enhanced TV experience.

As a web developer what interests me is the web experience designed for the TV, what Google calls spotlight. At first glance it is a rich experience that should do well in the consumer market. The problem i see is how that experience was created.

When first using spotlight you could be mistaken in believing you are visiting the existing web site enhanced for Google TV, promoting the One Web experience.

You’re not.