web development

Usability guru says surfers much less patient with websites

BBC News is reporting on the annual report into web surfer's habits by usability guru Dr. Jacob Nielsen.

Not surprisingly, Dr. Nielsen has reported that web users are becoming more impatient and are "more ruthless" when it comes to the web.

What makes a professional website?

Admittedly, my job can be very frustrating sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do and am thankful I have the rare opportunity to get paid for something I love to do. But sometimes, only sometimes, people don't want to listen to a professional, or they are listening too much to someone who is not a professional.

Section 508 And The Web

In response to an inquiry regarding Section 508 compliance and Washington State...

I don't believe it's a matter of how long. And I don't believe it's up to the state, as it is already a federal law. It's just not being enforced. There is not agency testing or enforcing these laws (the Department Of Education enforces laws pertaining to schools). I believe it's a matter of avoiding a lawsuit.

Detecting Javascript In Coldfusion And Other Languages

I had been struggling for a while trying to find a way to detect JavaScript capability in my applications, then adjusting the application accordingly. My employer requires accessibility to all websites and web applications with JavaScript disabled. This can be done using the noscript tags with a meta refresh, but this is very, very bad form.

Using ColdFusion, I was able to solve this problem. I believe this can be done in any language which allows the setting and manipulation of cookies. Here is the code:

<cfset jscript = 0>

Dynamic Picture Generation Using ColdFusion

I had an unusual problem to solve today. One of my applications generates signed documents using Microsoft Word. The user clicks a button and is prompted to open or save the word document. The signatures are important ones, and stored outside the webroot.

I solved this by referencing a coldfusion file in the src attribute of the image tag in the html that outputs the document. The file is called dynpic.cfm. So the image tag looks like this:

<img src="https://someserver.someschool.edu/production/someapp/dynpic.cfm?pic=chair" />

XMLHttpRequest Problem In Firefox Part 2

I've noticed another odd behavior in FireFox while using the XMLHttpRequest object. When posting to a page on a server that requires authentication, the first post will go through just fine. But the second post, without refreshing the page, will cause the server to want authentication. I'm not sure if this behavior was present in the previous version and this behavior his not present if the object is querying a page using get. Using post works fine using IE 7.

Ajax: The Basics And Get

I've been working with some aspects of the Ajax group of technologies lately. It sounds complicated and difficult to learn, but it really isn't. It uses the XMLHttpRequest object supported by many browsers. My current development requires I code for IE and Firefox, although it seems to be functional in Netscape.

To use the XMLHttpRequest object, I put together two simple functions and put them in a file named SimpleAjax.js. Here are the functions:

Detecting A Secure Server Using ColdFusion

I needed a quick tag to detect if the page the tag resided in was called using a secure URL. Unfortunately, the CGI function was not easily found, so here it is.

<cfif CGI.HTTPS EQ "off">

<cfset NewLink = "https://" & #CGI.HTTP_HOST# & #CGI.PATH_INFO#>

<cfset NewLink = NewLink & "?" & #CGI.QUERY_STRING#>