Net Twits

2004-05-15

The Amazing Invisibility Cloak

Most people don’t like to have long URIs for their website, such as http://www.myisp.com.au/~username/ — they’re long, difficult to remember, and not very attractive to your visitors. Plus, ISPs can change, which would mean that anyone who bookmarked my site at my old ISP, would suddenly find they can no longer visit. So, wouldn’t it be nice if, just like Harry Potter, we had an invisibility cloak to hide ourselves in, so we can show off only our good looking, easy to remember domain name. Well, today’s twit thinks they’ve got the answer.

So, todays twit comes, surprisingly, from my own site (well, sort of…). At the time of writing this, my domain, http://www.lachy.id.au/, is currently implemented using a URI Cloaking mechanism that my current domain registrar, Bottle Domains calls URL Forwarding. It’s implemented by delivering a <frameset> which allows the client’s UA to fetch the real document from my ISP’s web space. Here’s the full code used for this: (skip code)

<HTML>
<HEAD>
    <TITLE>Lachy.id.au</TITLE>
    <META NAME="description" CONTENT="Add description here">
    <META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="Add keywords here">
</HEAD>
<FRAMESET border=0 rows="100%,*" frameborder="no"
        marginleft=0 margintop=0 marginright=0 marginbottom=0>
    <frame src="http://myisp.net.au/~username/" scrolling=auto
        frameborder="no" border=0 noresize>
    <frame topmargin="0" marginwidth=0 scrolling=no marginheight=0
        frameborder="no" border=0 noresize>
</FRAMESET>
<NOFRAMES>
    <BODY>
        <P>
            <BLOCKQUOTE>Add description here</BLOCKQUOTE>
        <P>
        <A HREF="http://myisp.net.au/~username/">Click here to go
            to www.lachy.id.au</A>
    </BODY>
</NOFRAMES>
</HTML>

It’s not even Valid HTML!. There’s no !DOCTYPE declaration, some attributes do, and others don’t quote their values, there’s a <BLOCKQUOTE> within a <P>, folllowed by an <A> outside the paragraph. Anyone who knows how to code valid (X)HTML, should understand just how invalid that is.

It just seems like a cheap and nasty solution to a problem, to make a quick profit without actually doing any real work! IMHO, they shouldn’t offer such a service. Instead, they should do some kind of server-side processing to have the actual content delivered directly to the client, keeping the entire implementation completely transparent. Anyway, I’m just glad it was a free trial period, so I didn’t waste my money! Also, my real hosting is expected to be set up by next Tuesday, 2004-05-18. So finger’s crossed that they’re not just offering the same service, calling it Web Hosting, and charging excessively for it!

2004-05-13

Does my Browser Really Smell that Different?

Many of us, who don't use Internet Explorer, have fallen victim to some poorly written JavaScript browser sniffing that only supports IE, thus leaving the site inaccessible to all other users. However, there are the occasional authors who do try to do the right thing, by thinking outside that Microsoft box they live in to incorporate some other commonly used browsers.

However, this quite often stops with Netscape, and occasionally Opera. This blog is a result of some browser sniffing by both the Microsoft Office and Intel websites that don't seem to know that anything Netscape 6 or 7 supports, is also supported by the open-source browser Mozilla or any of it's other variations. If your browser fails to display the warnings, view the Intel screenshot and the Microsoft screenshot.

When will people learn that if standard's compliant coding is used, there should be absolutely no reason to even consider browser sniffing!

2004-05-12

Where's the Text?

Since this is the first post, it really needed to be something special. So, I think I've found one that really comes close to defining what this Blog is about. We all know about thousands websites that use image-text navigational links, where text should be appropriate, but this one really takes the cake on the abuse of that technique!

MGM Australia have decided that the formatting of their website is absolutely, and undoubtedly the most important aspect of a website. The user has absolutely no ability to change anything, including the colour, font or size (with the exception of Opera's zoom-everything approach). Basically, the only textual content in the whole document comprises PRIVACY POLICY TM & © 2003 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved. at the end of the document. The rest is basically just one extra large sliced image. And, to top it all off, all the alt attributes have been explicitly set to alt="". In case the site's been changed by the time you see it, view the MGM Australia screenshot. The images have been outlined so you can see how they've been sliced.

Blogger

This WeBlog is a gallery of websites that basically, just get it wrong! The aim is to showcase the stupidity of some of the worst HTML-Terrorists. It's not just about the millions of average website builders who use image-text navigational links, tables for layout, or nothing but <font> tags. This blog aims to point out those who take that little extra step in making their site difficult to use, completely inaccessable, totally annoying or just hypocritical!

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