Internet Explorer 7: Beta 2 Preview available

IE 7 LogoIt’s public! So if you want to have a go take a look at the Internet Explorer 7 website.

But before you do so, also take a look at the IEBlog:

Especially note:

Can I run the preview and IE6 at the same time?

No, the preview is a system upgrade that replaces IE6 on your computer with the preview code.

As Chris Wilson pointed out, “‘IE’ is actually a collection of system components – networking, browser hosting, core HTML rendering, printing, etc. When we install a new version of IE, we’re installing it for all applications that use these system components – including the tiny iexplore.exe itself.” Because of this, we do not support the various hacks that allow side by side running of IE6 and the IE7 Beta 2 Preview. Running with these could cause issues with the stability of a system.

But that quote from mr. Wilson did not end there. He made a remark that I, as a webdeveloper/-designer, found rather interesting:

… That’s why it’s hard to have multiple side-by-side IEs. We are working on a solution for just HTML rendering, but we can’t have multiple system components installed with the same name.

Now if MS made THAT tool available I would be happy. Hope they don’t forget to put in a IE 6 rendering engine and for old times sake a IE 5 engine… That would make testing/hacking a lot easier.

Note: I’ll refrain from installing as I don’t want to compromise my dev-system.

Google Earth: Suspected Earth Impact Sites (KML)

NOTICE: The KML has been updated.

Impact IconA while ago I found the Impact Field Studies Group:

… The overall intent in forming IFSG is to bring together widely-separated researchers doing work at a variety of impact crater locations to share the observations and field experience for the common good of the impact community.

What’s most interesting about this group is that they’re maintaining a massive data base of 543 suspected Earth impact craters. Note the bold suspected! Now, you may know I’ve already converted the confirmed ‘Earth Impact Database’. You can imagine the former one just has Google Earth written all over it. So without further ado I present you:

All 499 Unconfirmed impact craters on earth,
Google Earth KML the SEIS Database in KML (144KB) (Mac users see note below!)

What’s in this database?
Well three times the dents you got from the confirmed one. Mostly small craters, but a few extremely large ones like the 800 km (~500 mile) Bangui in Africa (covering almost the entire Central African Republic). I had to skip a few because of lacking coordinates. Not all data is correct, as you may notice a few scattered in mid-ocean, just click the icon to find out where it should belong. It’s all a matter of garbage-in-garbage-out (apart from the few conversion mistakes made by me). I hope you’ll enjoy this one.

Bangui suspected impact crater

Silverpit suspected and disputed impact crater

A herd of suspected massive impact craters in Kazakhstan

Note: no network link this time as I didn’t want to polute the confirmed database and fear my little server won’t handle the load churning up 499 craters. 🙂

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR MAC USERS: I found out yesterday that this KML collection borks Google Earth for Mac. Please do not save it in your ‘My Places’ folder as it will work fine at first but after a restart you may loose all your placemarks! Because of some weird character bug, where otherwise fine KML data gets corrupted, it brings down your entire collection. Don’t ask me why or how. You can leave it in your ‘Temporary Places’ folder, just remember NOT to save it.
If you did get the corrupted ‘My Places’ you can get your placemarks back by visiting your ‘~/Library/Application Settings/Google Earth/’ folder (or something like that). Your placemarks file resides there and you may salvage what’s left of it.
Sorry, GE for Mac’s really Beta I guess. 🙁
It works fine on GE for PC, though!

Update 2006-02-21: I think it’s now safe for Mac users, provided you’ve updated to the latest beta.

Google Code: Web Authoring Statistics

Over at Google Code they ran a survey, in December 2005, looking at a couple of webpages trying to find out which elements and their respective attributes are used most. And more importantly how they are used.

We took a sample of slightly over a billion documents, and looked at what elements were used on the most pages, what class names were used on the most pages, and so forth.

Pretty interesting read this Web Authoring Statistics study.
E.g. why would anyone use a <table>-tag and not put any <td> or <tr> inside? Beats me… Is it a remnant of MS ‘HTML’? Or someone deleting a table in a WYSIWYG environment? And there are more examples.

Which Browsers matter in 2006?

BrowsermixIf you are planning to build or rebuild a site this year you may wonder at some point which browsers you should support. If not, you should! Just looking at your new design in IE 6 is no guarantee it works and behaves the same in any other browser.

Not that long ago the browser shortlist consisted of IE 6, combined with IE 5, IE 4 & Netscape 4. And maybe some other occasional ‘weird’ browser. But times have changed and are changing. IE 4 & Netscape 4 are ancient history, support for IE 5 has been dropped in most cases by Microsoft itself. And there are emerging new browsers, either driven by innovation or security issues.

So what browsers should you support today and for the upcoming year(s)? Simple question, simple answer: Check your visitor stats and build/optimise for what they use.

Continue reading “Which Browsers matter in 2006?”

RE: Adobe looking for a Gecko expert

Adobe, formerly Macromedia That is what the below job offering says. But I’m not quite sure what it is they’re building. Remember the Adobe & Macromedia merger? So it’s quite obvious that the the product lines of both will be merged. Meaning Flash and PDF …

Continue reading “RE: Adobe looking for a Gecko expert”

WordPress 2.0 Cache Is Broken!

WordPress takes a bite. As of version 2.0 of WordPress you’ll get a caching feature, which means it’ll ‘remember’ the most frequent accessed static information from your blog. This way it’s supposed to not bother the database but make a ‘fast trip’ to the server to fetch these pieces of info. In the end this should make your weblog go faster, because the information is already there to present.

Unfortunately it’s broken. Continue reading “WordPress 2.0 Cache Is Broken!”

Is WordPress 2.0 that sluggish?

ThinkLemon in AlphaDirectly after upgrading this weblog, little over a week ago, I felt it was a little bit sluggish. Compared to the 1.5 version I was running before. Maybe it could be just the webserver as I’m running on a shared hosting solution. Therefore one of the neighbours could be having a party… again. 🙁

But finding it slow on and off I decided to see how slow or fast WordPress 2.0 really is. This new incarnation of everyone’s favorite weblog tool supports ‘object caching’. Caching generally is a good thing. The results? Hmmm not good…

Continue reading “Is WordPress 2.0 that sluggish?”

{Canvas} demo

If you’re viewing this post with a release candidate of Firefox 1.5, take a look at the below <canvas> demo.

Canvascape - 3D Walker

For now, you can only walk through a maze from a first person perspective. But it runs smooth and looks pretty impressive.

See the “3D Walker” demo on Canvascape

PS: It is rumored to work on Safari too, but I haven’t tried it yet. Confirmed. The demo works fine on Safari (2).

Small update: It appears to be a bad idea to use (encoded) tags in post titles. So I changed it slightly.

Update: This just has cross-browser* Wolfenstein 3D written all over it. 🙂 Or, … yes there I go again… Google Earth?

*IE6 doesn’t support the canvas-element nor is there an indication IE7 will.

Exploring the earth from your couch, part 2

Imagine yourself sitting down on your couch in front of your television, as usual. A drink in one hand, the TV remote in the other. Don’t worry, the chips are within reach. Within the press of a button, or two. You spin up a three dimensional globe and with the directional buttons on your remote you ‘cruise’ around the earth. Occasionally zooming in to street-level (provided a plane taking off from O’Hare isn’t blocking your view.) and back up again.

Maybe check out the beach of your next vacation spot? Or the surf? Maybe find out where ‘Moldavia’ is located, if it really exists…? Show your holiday photos from Florida superimposed on a map, to your inlaws? Brag about how you developed altitude sickness going up ‘this’ mountain? Or take a look at some impact craters? Or…

Virtual Earth on a Media Center PC (Sean McLeod)

Well, Sean McLeod pulled it off, sort off. If you own a Media Center PC and are willing to do so some ‘hackery’ stuff. You could be viewing the earth in its full satelite glory from your couch for real. (Judging from the pic above.)

Now, I don’t own a Media Center PC, Front Row capable Mac, TV-Set Top box nor any other TV-enabled device. (Yes a laptop could be attached to a tv, but where’s the remote…) But if you think about it. Wouldn’t that be ‘swell’…
Maybe Google should consider porting Google Earth to XBox or Playstation?

IMHO, we won’t be seeing the last of this!
Internet on a TV sucked, big time, because TV’s aren’t meant to be read off. They’re meant to be viewing pictures at a rate of 25 or 30 frames a second. Thus, viewing satelite images of your neighbourhood, on your TV, with you in control of the view… Excellent!

Thanks to James @ Spatially Adjusted. (Part 1 is over here)