Miscellaneous

Reboot Redux

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I started this blog back in 2004-ish on the domain csb7.com. I lost everything once due to a server crash, then lost it again when my hosting company shut down and I was stuck with a corrupt Plesk backup. At some point I may try to scour the Wayback Machine and try to resurrect some of my more popular posts from back in the day, but for now I’ll just be looking forward to newer content.

Time limits on forms = really bad user experience

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A few months back I came away from TicketMaster.com with a really bad taste in my mouth, and 2 really expensive tickets in my pocket.

Unlike a traditional e-commerce site where you have time to evaluate your purchase before checking out, TicketMaster.com has unrealistic time limits on each step of the checkout. After searching for tickets, here’s what they give you:

  • Confirm seating selection: 2 minutes
  • Log in or sign up for a new account: 1 minute
  • Complete purchase: 2 minutes

In the first step, it took nearly 2 minutes just to pull up the web site of the venue, find their seating chart, load their ridiculously slow Seating Chart Java applet, enter the section and row of the seats that TicketMaster was holding for me, and wait another 20 seconds for the 360-degree panorama to load. So by the time I did that and saw that they were really good seats I had just enough time to go back and click Continue. I had already been burned once by the time limit, so it felt like a pretty high-presure sale situation the second time around.

Next screen: sign up for an account in 1 minute. 7 fields (one of which is hidden until the end), 1 minute total, 8.5 seconds per field. That’s crazy.

Last step: Checkout, 2 minutes, including billing and shipping info. Have you ever been rushed trying to enter a credit card #? You are guaranteed to make a mistake.

* This post was originally published on January 21, 2008 at http://www.csb7.com/blogs/whyblogwhy/2008/01/21/time_limits_on_forms_really_bad_user_exp

Differences in HTML 5 from HTML 4

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Here’s a link for all my developer friends:

HTML 5 is still being drafted, but here is an early list of differences from the current HTML 4 spec. There is some very interesting stuff being proposed for this version. One thing that caught my attention early on is that the specification won’t be considered complete until there are at least 2 complete implementations of the draft – something very different from previous versions. Also, the input element will have a lot more choices for the type attribute available, such as date pickers and true combo boxes. It will be interesting to follow this through the draft process. And the specification will have two sets of guidelines – one for web developers/content writers and another for browser/user agent developers. (One reason why <font> is not dead in HTML 5)

http://dev.w3.org/cvsweb/~checkout~/html5/html4-differences/Overview.html

In related news, the W3C is calling on all web professionals to participate in the HTML 5 discussion.

* This post was originally published on June 29, 2007 at http://www.csb7.com/blogs/whyblogwhy/2007/06/29/differences_in_html_5_from_html_4

URL rewriting for WordPress to B2evolution migrations

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I made a rather lengthy post on the b2evolution forums detailing some of the code that I put into place to assist with the migration from WordPress to B2evolution. It doesn’t go into importing posts from one to the other, but rather how to redirect requests for WordPress fancy URLs to a B2evolution post or search page.

* This post was originally published on September 25, 2006 at http://www.csb7.com/blogs/whyblogwhy/2006/09/25/url_rewriting_for_wordpress_to_b2evoluti

Bootstraps

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We’re back online after the data loss. We lost every record from a bunch of databases when our host upgraded. I think I snagged all of the old posts from Google’s cache so I’ll begin back-posting when I have a moment.

Since I would have to reinstall the blog software anyways, I decided to drop Word Press and go with b2Evolution. I’ve been working with the b2Evo community for a project at work and the software is quite nice. It’s still technically in beta release, but the latests versions have some really cool stuff. Plus, since b2evolution supports multiple blogs under one installation I can house Sarah’s blog and mine under the same roof. I’ll be adding some for the kids as well.

And finally – the RSS feed address is changed. You can subscribe to Why, Blog, Why directly or use my new Feedburner URL.

More to come.

* This post was originally published on September 7, 2006 at http://www.csb7.com/blogs/whyblogwhy/2006/09/07/bootstraps/

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