Saturday, October 26, 2002

Cascading along

At the beginning of the year I read a piece on Acts of Volition about Cascading Style Sheets, XHTML and other stuff. At the time, I wasn't sure that I fully understood it all, but shortly after we kicked off work on a further refresh to ukonline. Right up front, it was clear that this was the way to do it. We'll be relaunching before the end of the first calendar quarter next year and, although there won't be dramatically visible change to the citizen, the work that's gone on under the hood is significant. Load times will be faster, support for screen readers will be improved, a greater range of browsers should be supported more easily (let's not talk about digital certificates here). So, I was gratified to read having made this move that Wired was doing the same. We're doing extra work with uko so that other departments will be able to drop their content into our existing platform and then manage their site directly, without needing to to endless design work, without needing to implement a content management system and without needing to buy hosting environments. Lessons learned and all that. Then, my weekend was made further when John Leyden at The Register published a great piece showing how e-commerce sites (banks in this case) struggle to cope with the various browsers that are available today. Browser variety is no fun - a webpage is a webpage to me and having to cope with the foibles that each company's software displays is frustrating. Now there's a good problem to crack.

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