WebTech: Archive

Entries For June 2004

IE Rebuild Rumour

Wed 30th Jun 2004 14:29 BST by Andrew from Darlington, U.K.

The Register: Malware attacks IE users via pop-ups:

[…] there is now speculation that the company has decided to rebuild Internet Explorer from the ground up in order to ensure that the software is air-tight.

New Skin

Sun 27th Jun 2004 02:03 BST by Andrew from Darlington, U.K.

I've updated the CSS for the whole site again. If you see any rendering bugs check that your browser is not using an old copy of certain files by doing a 'hard-refresh' - CTRL-F5 in Internet Explorer, CTRL-R in Opera, etc. If you still see bugs then maybe you have the time to add a comment to tell me about them.

Changes to RSS Feeds

Sat 26th Jun 2004 11:47 BST by Andrew from Darlington, U.K.

I've modified the RSS feeds for all blogs. Feeds are no longer plain text but should contain proper links and images although most other markup is being stripped by a custom XSLT sheet since it doesn't make sense for my structural markup and classes etc. to be exported outside of this blog application. If you find any problems please let me know. For the time being the feed doesn't technically validate due to an entity encoding issue, but I'm content to leave this 'broken' unless someone has a problem with it?

Feeds also come with a CSS style sheet so it's possible to view the raw feeds directly in an XML-aware browser like (Firefox, IE or Opera).

And You Still Use Internet Explorer?

Fri 25th Jun 2004 17:42 BST by Andrew from Darlington, U.K.

BBC Newsonline: Web browser flaw prompts warning.

Users are being told to avoid using Internet Explorer until Microsoft patches a serious security hole in it.

For security reasons the PC I built for my parents has Internet Explorer effectively disabled, they use Opera or Firefox, it's been like that for over a year.

Internet Explorer is to web browsers as Tasco is to telescopes, as Bontempi is to pianos, as Halfords are to your local expert bike shop, as Trabants are to cars, as Britney Spears is to music and as Special Brew is to lager.

Update [27th June 2004 2:05 BST]

Windows XP & Your Website

Wed 23rd Jun 2004 22:57 BST by Andrew from Darlington, U.K.

How to Make Your Web Site Work with Windows XP Service Pack 2

Does your Web site use Microsoft ActiveX controls?
Does your Web site allow users to download files?
Does your Web site depend on the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine (MSJVM)?
Does your Web site use HTML dialogs?

Webpages That Suck

Tue 22nd Jun 2004 00:55 BST by Andrew from Darlington, U.K.

OMG, Arngren.net is the worst website I've ever seen.

"You Have Kook Mail"

Fri 18th Jun 2004 00:11 BST by Andrew from Darlington, U.K.

It's not very often I'm rendered speechless but the person who just used my contact page to send me this has just done so:

Subject: your Java hijackers
Andrew Urquhart;

Your javascript, version #1.1 2003-03-16 01:19 UTC, is being used by adware/hijackers. It has loaded itself into my computer which really doesn't mean a rats ass to you but I thought you'd like to know that this computer is used to submit documents to the United States Coast Guard / Homeland Security. The reason that I'm telling you this is that you will probley be contacted by the US Attn. Generals office or their counter part there in the UK. I've submitted your name under the Tarrorist laws in this country. You might want to stay ahead of the game and send me the undo file. Have a nice day.

What they're referring to is my freeware script that allows people to use ASPs Request.QueryString command in clientside javascript, nothing more and nothing less. How people use it is up to them. What a scary, deluded individual! I can't decide whether or not to reply. Whilst people like this can normally be ignored, they can cause real-world irritating problems.

Temptation got the better of me and I wrote the following reply:

Dear Ed

The script you refer to is http://www.andrewu.co.uk/tools/request/. The script is freely available to anyone that wishes to use it, whatever they wish to use it for with no indemnification upon myself.

I do not engage in illegal activities and find your email distasteful and offensive. If you have submitted my name to authority, then as well as wasting my time you are also wasting their time.

I suggest that if your Windows 2000 PC is used for anything important that you use a firewall, an auto-updating anti-virus utility, adware detectors and privacy filtering software. A dictionary may also be of use during email composition.

I look forward to my telephone call from Mr Ashcroft / Lord Goldsmith.


Andrew Urquhart

PS: 'Java' is not actually related to 'javascript'

I can see 3 possible outcomes: no reply, an apology or the guy will explode, fly across the Atlantic and make a citizens arrest. 40%, 20% and 40% likely respectively.

[ modified 18th June 2004 2:08 BST ]

Thunderbird Revisited

Thu 17th Jun 2004 12:44 BST by Andrew from Darlington, U.K.

Thunderbird 0.7 is out and promises:

Thunderbird now supports a user interface for creating multiple identities per e-mail account. This makes it easy to have several e-mail addresses which end up going into the same account.

This (GUI version) is what I've been waiting for. I just want Thunderbird to have the option of having accounts configured like Outlook Express (OE) to make having shed loads of email accounts much easier to handle rather than having a plethora of inboxes that are multiple clicks apart. In other words one account with multiple aliases with all email going into one inbox regardless of which email address it was sent to. Many email addresses, one inbox.

I've installed it, but was disappointed to see that on importing my OE mail settings it still created multiple inboxes and didn't give me the option during import to send them all to one inbox. Oh well, a bit annoying perhaps so I'll just do it manually instead. OK, no instructions to be found anywhere but I notice that there's a 'Manage Identities' button on each account. So I set to adding all the other accounts as identities to this one account, same name but different email addresses, and removing the main accounts. Done, but upon requesting to check the mail server it queries the accounts primary email address and doesn't query the aliases. What gives?

Hopefully I've missed something and the option to "have several e-mail addresses which end up going into the same account" is buried somewhere else. Otherwise I can write new messages and have them sent so that they appear to come from any one of my email accounts, but can't actually read the replies because Thunderbird won't query the mailservers of the alias email accounts. ARGGGGHHH! insert sound of breaking crockery.

Web Browsers Are A Threat to Microsoft

10:58 BST by Andrew from Darlington, U.K.

Some interesting conjecture at Joel on Software : How Microsoft Lost the API War concerning browser developments at Microsoft:

… suddenly, Microsoft's API doesn't matter so much. Web applications don't require Windows.

It's not that Microsoft didn't notice this was happening. Of course they did, and when the implications became clear, they slammed on the brakes. Promising new technologies like HTAs and DHTML were stopped in their tracks. The Internet Explorer team seems to have disappeared; they have been completely missing in action for several years. There's no way Microsoft is going to allow DHTML to get any better than it already is: it's just too dangerous to their core business, the rich client.

Spaghetti Is For Eating…

Mon 14th Jun 2004 10:34 BST by Andrew from Darlington, U.K.


Mon 7th Jun 2004 23:18 BST by Andrew from Darlington, U.K.

Safely back from my 3-week holiday in Scotland, I've applied for membership of the Guild of Accessible Web Designers (GAWDS). I'll let you know if they let me in! It'll be something new to put on the resumé!

Oh, that was quick! I've been accepted without any problems — hooray! Some information on who the GAWDS are.

[ modified 8th June 2004 0:02 BST ]

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