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Last Build Date: Wed, 28 Oct 2009 18:29:37 -0500

Copyright: Copyright 2013

Shares Well With Others?

Wed, 28 Oct 2009 18:29:37 -0500

Expect your site to be shared with Facebook users and on other social media platforms? Don't forget to provide page/article appropriate thumbnail and copy.(image)

IE8 et compatible, vous

Tue, 24 Mar 2009 20:51:54 -0500

Microsoft released the final version of IE8 last week (3.19.2009); your users will soon be automatically upgraded unless auto-updates have been explicitly blocked. Are you ready?(image)

MacNikto 1.1 Released

Sat, 20 Sep 2008 22:58:34 -0500

(image) MacNikto is an Universal Binary, Open Source (GPL) AppleScript GUI shell script wrapper built in Xcode and Interface Builder. It provides easy access to a subset of the features available in the award-winning Perl-based Nikto web security scanner, installed along with the MacNikto application. (image) (image) (image) Use it to audit and lock down your web servers. Works on Panther, Tiger, and Leopard OSen (OS X.3-.5), and now supports Nikto 2.03 along with interface enhancements and bug fixes. More info and downloads at the MacNikto page.(image)

The Web Design Survey, 2008

Sun, 10 Aug 2008 12:56:11 -0500

(image) 33,000 web workers took A List Apart's first survey in 2007, won't you help make this year's even better?(image)

Firefox 3 Blocklisting

Mon, 23 Jun 2008 10:12:22 -0500

Firefox 3 phones home at launch daily and checks to see if it should disable any of your plug-in/extensions. One plug-in currently being considered for blocking is pre 9.0r124 releases of Flash Player. If you are a Firefox 3 user and your Flash content suddenly no longer works, this new feature may be the reason why. Via John Dowdell.(image)

Flash Player 10 Public Beta

Wed, 18 Jun 2008 09:26:29 -0500

Code-named Astro, Flash Player 10 was announced last October at Max 2007 and released for public preview mid-May. I highly recommend immediately downloading and installing the beta and testing your Flash content, submitting any issues you run across to Adobe's bugbase -- better that issues are uncovered early and given a chance to be addressed before general release. A common problem with upgrades are older detection scripts that fail to recognize newer versions -- fix these now rather than when your client calls to complain (hint: swfobject 2.0 was recently released). Key New Features (from Flash Player's Sr. Product Manager's coverage):
3D Effects - transform any display object in 3D with easy to use ActionScript APIs while retaining full interactivity.

Custom Filters and Effects - In addition to the native filters in Flash Player you can also make your own using Adobe Pixel Bender. These filters, blend modes and fills can be scripted and animated using ActionScript

New Text Engine - Bi-directional text, vertical layout, styeable device fonts are all part of the capabilities of the new text engine. In addition, this generic engine will power a new set of text components with really mazing typographic and layout functionality.

Visual Performance - through two new wmode settings you will be able to take advantage of the video card to speed up rendering and blitting.

Vector - A new ECMAScript 4 data type that is very much like an array but only accepts one type. By knowing what type will be stored in the array access performanc is dramatically faster.

Runtime FileReference access - With Flash Player 10 beta you can open a file dialog box to ask a user to select a file and load it into the runtime. You can also save content from the runtime to the desktop.
Really cool stuff discussed by Adobe engineer/product mgr types: Justin Everett-Church's Peer to Peer (P2P) in Flash Player 10 beta and RTMFP in Flash Player 10 beta. Tinic Uro's Adobe Pixel Bender in Flash Player 10 Beta, What does GPU acceleration mean? and what one of my colleagues calls The Holy Grail of Flash audio, the three-part Adobe Is Making Some Noise. Finally, and once you've installed the prerelease, get on over to Adobe Labs and check out the feature demos and feature videos, hosted by members of the Flash Player team. TETO!(image)

Flash Hardens, Some Sites May Shatter

Mon, 07 Apr 2008 21:55:16 -0500

Skinny: upcoming Flash Player update may break sites that use Flash to talk cross-domain, via sockets, or to the hosting html, especially via javascript:. Also affected are Flash apps that use custom headers. Accommodation may require the inclusion of the allowScriptAccess object/embed parameter, the creation and hosting of socket security policy files, or recoding of your content. The Security update is expected to be released this month, so the time for retrofitting and testing potentially affected content grows short. Full details in the Adobe Dev Center article Preparing for the Flash Player 9 April 2008 Security Update.(image)


Fri, 14 Mar 2008 19:17:25 -0500

Turns out that later-model Flash Player 9 ActiveX installers "fix" the registry to prevent IE users from downgrading. So if you are running the latest and greatest but need to test an earlier version, say the first release of Flash 9, it will install but won't run. Starting with r45 the installer will helpfully complain and then refuse to complete. Nice. Preventing users from downgrading protects same from security vulnerabilities, but makes the life of a tester difficult. The fix is to run the official Flash Uninstaller from the command line while passing a special argument that tells it to delete the relevant registry settings. Simply open a command line prompt, cd to the Flash Uninstaller's directory and run the following:
uninstall_flash_player.exe /clean
Now you can confirm that your baseline r28 detection works and your interactive does what it's supposed to. Angst lifted.(image)

IE8b1 released, Literally Breaks With The Past

Thu, 06 Mar 2008 19:29:23 -0500

This week Microsoft released a public beta of Internet Explorer 8 for developers, which promises to fix long-endured standards compliance issues while breaking all of your sites. Don't panic -- this is actually a Good Thing™! Why? Because better standards support means easier/faster development and maintenance. And breaking all your sites? A stop-gap solution is trivial to implement (see below) and provides an opportunity to renew old client contacts and relationships which could lead to more work. Perhaps now is a good time to consider/pitch that redesign?(image)

Faviconic Revisited

Tue, 11 Dec 2007 20:17:26 -0500

The Favicon Support Chart has been updated to reflect changes in newer versions of Safari and AOL along with needed corrections due to an improperly formed multi-res favicon. Check it out and let me know what you think.(image)

Flash Player 9 Update 3 Released

Sat, 08 Dec 2007 18:30:58 -0500

Code-named Moviestar [press release|download], this latest update to the Adobe Flash 9 Player supports H.264/AAC, MSAA via the Windows plug-in as well as the ActiveX Control, Leopard compatibility, and offers many performance improvements and bug fixes. Released this Monday for all plats 'cept Solaris, the official release version of Flash Player 9 Update 3 is 9.0r115. Interested readers should visit the October infogift Moviestar article for background info and my H.264/AAC licensing notes, and of course Adobe Flash Player Product Mgr. Emmy Huang and Flash Player Engineer Tinic Uro have blog entries worth checking out.(image)

EOLAS & Microsoft Kiss & Make Up

Tue, 20 Nov 2007 10:10:34 -0500

MS licenses EOLAS code, announces plans to drop 'click to activate' hack for all IE 7 users in an April 2008 update. No word yet on whether Microsoft will also remove the hack from IE 6. An optional 'preview release' will be posted next month for developer testing.(image)

Safari 3 for Tiger, Too!

Wed, 14 Nov 2007 18:31:01 -0500

Safari 3 for Tiger is part of today's OS X 10.4.11 update, and should be appearing on Tiger Macs near you shortly. Users will enjoy feature updates including enhanced tabbing, resizable form fields and better compatibility; developers will really appreciate the better handling of DHTML and the new Web Inspector. Soon enough Safari 3 usage will displace that of older versions, but until then testers need a way to check sites on both the latest and the last 2.x version. One way to do that is to maintain machines with older OSen, another is to use special Safari versions conveniently packaged by Michel Fortin at his Multi-Safari project page. Michel notes that the stand-alones:

"...mimic original Safari rendering and javascript behaviours. HTTP requests and cookies however are still handled by the system and may not work exactly the same."

My tests of the packaged 2.0.4 version on Leopard so far appear to work well. Enjoy!(image)

reCAPTCHA: Stop Spam. Read Books. Do Good.

Sat, 20 Oct 2007 19:15:56 -0500

Many sites use CAPTCHA mechanisms to secure comments and forums or access to certain features. Sadly necessary to prevent automated attacks and bot spamming, purportedly 60 million CAPTCHAS are solved daily. If we assume 10 seconds per, that represents 150,000 hours of human time wasted each day. Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science realized they could reclaim that wasted time and put it to good use with reCAPTCHA, a free CAPTCHA web service that instead of presenting randomly selected letter/number sequences to solve, serves words from book scanning projects that failed OCR, thus lowering the cost of book digitization and preservation at the Internet Archive. This is a brilliant leveraging of network effects for the common good. reCAPTCHA addresses many usability concerns and meets Section 508 requirements by including an audio CAPTCHA for the visually impaired, the ability to refresh challenges if the current is too difficult to discern, and works when Javascript is absent or disabled. I've implemented Josh Carter's reCAPTCHA plug-in for Movable Type -- take a look at the comments to see how it works. For this site I've chosen the 'blackglass' theme with some added CSS so that the input field uses my type style. You can also select from red and white themes, or elect to create your own styling on a 'clean' theme. Visit reCAPTCHA's Resources page for info on the API, links to the many application and programming environment plugins and the reCAPTCHA developer community.(image)


Wed, 03 Oct 2007 00:01:00 -0500

As I wrapped up my overdue post on the public beta of Adobe's Flash Player 9 Update 3 (a.k.a. Moviestar), Adobe was busy unveiling the capabilities of the next version of Flash Player at Chicago's MAX 2007 conference. With Flash Player 10, codenamed Astro, Adobe keeps pushing the boundaries of what Flash will be able to do with features like 3D perspective transforms, an advanced multi-column bi-di text layout engine with enhanced html capabilities, and finally, custom bitmap filters using a new pixel shading scripting language called Hydra, the latter of which is available today from Adobe Labs. This is exciting stuff... A couple conference goers have already posted video; first up is Aral Balkan's must-see footage of the Astro sneak peek keynote where all these features are smartly demoed, and Adobe Evangelist Lee Brimelow posts a short interview with Senior Product Manger Justin Everett-Church, who speaks to how the new 3D transforms complement rather than compete with the Papervision3D project and how the Adobe Image Foundation toolkit allows us to build Hydra filters and even use them across Adobe applications. Mr. Everett-Church doesn't give away clues as to when Astro will hit; perhaps someone will wear down the Adobe staff before the end of the conference?(image)