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Ask Slashdot: Why Won't Companies Upgrade Old Software?

danhuby Possible fix - multi-browser engine app? (614 comments)

There should be a simple fix for the specific IE version issue. It's possible to run multiple IE browser engines on the same OS as there's an app that does this already (IETester).

It should be possible to create a piece of software - if one doesn't already exist - a web browser that is designed for enterprise use and allows the IT department to specify different browser engines for different sites.

That outdated internal application could be configured to use the IE6 engine - other newer applications and external websites could use newer IE engines or another engine entirely such as WebKit.

It could be rolled out by replacing 'iexplore.exe' and assuming the interface was very close to Internet Explorer it could even be transparent to users and thus very easy to roll out.

about a year and a half ago
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Google Forbids Advertising On Glass

danhuby Re:Cable TV (274 comments)

I think I agree with that. Google are probably worried that initial sales would be hampered by the preconceived notion that it would be used for major eyespam.

about a year and a half ago
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Testers Say IE 11 Can Impersonate Firefox Via User Agent String

danhuby Re:Parsing user agent strings = bad. (252 comments)

In my view these are both examples of the bad practice I mentioned in my post.

Your first example requires a continually maintained list of phone browser user agents. The second example, a list of search engine user agents. There are a vast number of devices and browsers and you're unlikely to stay on top of this list.

Creating a unique table row for every visitor to your site isn't the best application design for the reason you point out - a browser without cookies is going to add a new row with each access. My approach would be to generate a session key but store that in a cookie only, with session related data stored only as necessary (e.g. basket rows). Search engines are unlikely to POST so you won't get any basket rows from them (if you're adding to a basket via GET then you will have other issues).

about a year and a half ago
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Testers Say IE 11 Can Impersonate Firefox Via User Agent String

danhuby Parsing user agent strings = bad. (252 comments)

I've been developing web applications full time since 1996 and I've never once had to resort to browser detection via user agent strings. It's just bad practice.

The fact that some people have been doing this has led to the very convoluted user agent strings we see today, rather than a simple description of the browser / rendering engine and version.

It's perfectly possible to write code that works cross-browser without having to detect browsers via user agent strings. The closest I've come to any sort of browser specific code is occasionally including IE specific CSS to work around IE bugs, but this included in an IE specific way and is ignored by other browsers.

A browser vendor should be able to put whatever they like in the user agent string, and if that breaks a web site or application, then so be it. It's the fault of the developer for making assumptions.

about a year and a half ago
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Gov't Report: Laser Pointers Produce Too Much Energy, Pose Risk For the Careless

danhuby Re:So then... (260 comments)

I think it was a joke.

about a year and a half ago
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Open-Xchange Launches "Open Source" Browser-Based Office Suite

danhuby Re:Wait what? (39 comments)

This is free for home and business use also. The non-commercial restriction applies to the operators of the software, not the users of it.

Google docs on the other hand is completely closed source.

about a year and a half ago
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Why Hasn't 3D Taken Off For the Web?

danhuby Re:A better question (320 comments)

Do you really need 3D support for 3D product visualisation? Object rotation videos (like QTVR's Object VRs) have been around for ages. I company I used to work for was creating these back in 1998. It's a series of photos of the actual product, so you can rotate and see the product from different angles. A non-plugin JS version would be trivial to build.

about 2 years ago
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Why Hasn't 3D Taken Off For the Web?

danhuby Re:No plug-ins on mobile (320 comments)

Safari for iOS and Chrome for Android don't support browser plug-ins.

...which is a problem with the native code route. Java applets weren't a bad solution to this problem, but of some reason they fell out of favour. There were a lot of terrible applets, but there was nothing wrong with the technology in my view. 3D acceleration support via OpenGL / Direct3D is there.

about 2 years ago
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Why Hasn't 3D Taken Off For the Web?

danhuby Why? (320 comments)

I don't see why we would need pages of information to incorporate 3D elements. The only two uses I can think of are games and gimmicky UI / animations. The former would be better served via native code with a browser plugin (e.g. Unity3D) or a virtual machine (e.g. Java applets). The latter - gimmicky animations - we could probably do without.

A better use of 3D might be to use XML/HTML/HTTP type technologies to model virtual worlds that can be linked together in the same way we link pages together with anchors. We already had this with VRML and it didn't take off. It might have been ahead of its time, as bandwidth was much lower back then and hardware 3D acceleration was less common. I'm not convinced, though.

about 2 years ago
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LibreOffice 4 Released

danhuby Re:Difference between GPL and MPLv2? (249 comments)

GPL: the whole of a derived work, even new components, must remain under the GPL
MPL: only the code files licensed under the MPL must remain under the MPL

about 2 years ago
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Should Microsoft Switch To WebKit?

danhuby Re:It'd make my life easier (244 comments)

That sounds promising. Unfortunately, at the moment we must still support Windows XP and IE8, but it is good to know that the situation will improve.

about 2 years ago
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Should Microsoft Switch To WebKit?

danhuby It'd make my life easier (244 comments)

As a web application developer, this would certainly make my life much easier. I'd estimate that implementing work-arounds for IE can add 30 to 50% on to the initial HTML/CSS build, and IE specific issues add a fair amount of to ongoing support costs. This is for versions = IE8, I'm not sure if IE9 / 10 are better.

about 2 years ago
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NASA DTN Protocol: How Interplanetary Internet Works

danhuby Re:IP already delay tolerant? (109 comments)

Huge, yes - but not astronomically huge.

The delays were longer than 16 minutes... over an hour in most cases. There's the printing of the data, strapping it to the pigeon, scanning it back in, it all adds time.

I'm not sure if they increased timeouts to cope with the problem.

about 2 years ago
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NASA DTN Protocol: How Interplanetary Internet Works

danhuby IP already delay tolerant? (109 comments)

Isn't IP already delay tolerant? I remember in the IPoAC trial for obvious reasons there were huge delays, but it still worked.

about 2 years ago
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OS Upgrades Powered By Git

danhuby Re:The Dam Tour. (92 comments)

Oh, OK, I must have assumed that. You're Swedish?

more than 2 years ago
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OS Upgrades Powered By Git

danhuby Re:The Dam Tour. (92 comments)

By the way GIT was developed by Linus Torvalds and he's Swedish, so it's not the USA we'd have to 'get back'.

more than 2 years ago
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OS Upgrades Powered By Git

danhuby Re:The Dam Tour. (92 comments)

The term "git" is not used in the USA? I didn't know that. I just assumed it had the same meaning over there but nobody cared. After all, there is GIMP.

more than 2 years ago
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OS Upgrades Powered By Git

danhuby Re:arg (92 comments)

I have never liked the term "automagically". There's no need for it, because it is exactly the same as "automatically". Unless the user is somehow implying that magic is involved.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Apple ban "Sweatshop themed" game from app store

danhuby danhuby writes  |  about a year and a half ago

danhuby (759002) writes "Apple have removed sweatshop-themed game Sweatshop HD by UK developers LittleLoud from their app store citing clause 16.1 — "Apps that present excessively objectionable or crude content will be rejected.". According to the PocketGamer article, Littleloud's head of games, Simon Parkin, told Pocket Gamer that "Apple removed Sweatshop from the App Store last month stating that it was uncomfortable selling a game based around the theme of running a sweatshop.""
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