Category Archives: Web Design

This is the area for more techie postings on my grapplings with CSS, Flash and HTML.

Website update complete

I have finally finished and uploaded an update to my website.

I’ve tried to give the site a fresh and modern look, and I’ve switched to a single page design with content loaded in dynamically. This should give a nice smooth experience when navigating the content, but by using anchor tags in the URL each page can still be bookmarked.

It has been an interesting design challenge, and I’m going to keep tweaking the design, especially to improve the look on small screens and window sizes.

Website update coming soon

For the last few weeks I’ve working on a new design for my main website (

I’ve been experimenting with a single page format and using jQuery to get some nice animations, with dynamically loaded content.

It’s mainly a portfolio site and a hub to link my blog, twitter and other sites together. So check back in a couple of days to see the update…

Doctor Who Dynamic Rankings – Update coming soon!

I was looking through Google’s news group archives the other week and I discovered that the Doctor Who Dynamic Rankings page that I run will be ten years old in September. With the new series due to be broadcast any day now I thought it was high time for an update.

The site was originally created by my brother, and I have since taken over the running of it. It is a survey of on-line fandom’s likes and dislikes of the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who. It had, at one point, an automatic script to update the rankings as people voted, but due to a bug this stopped working, since then the votes have been collated by hand.

So once again, with the help of my brother on some of the more technical PHP aspects, I am reintroducing the automatic updates.

I am currently in the process of implementing an IP and cookie system to stop people voting more than once. Although I envisage resetting the results every year to see how peoples’ views of stories change over time, whilst still keeping a grand total vote of all time.

The whole site will also get a full CSS standards compliant makeover as well as a new look.

I will keep you posted with my progress…

Google\’s toolbar sparks concern

BBC NEWS | Technology | Google’s toolbar sparks concern
When this new Google toolbar finds key words in a site it directs people to pre-selected commercial websites, such as a book’s ISBN number which would turn into a link to Amazon. It is only available in America but will no doubt arrive in Europe soon.

This is big news for all web designers, and has some very important ramifications. Personally I think it is a very dodgy territory for Google to go down. What gives Google the right to change a copy write website, especially by adding links to commercial sites?

I’m sure most people are computer literate enough to be able to go to Amazon or their preferred online retailer and type in an ISBN if they really want to. The designer of the site should be able to decide which commercial sites, if any, they link to. Many sites, including University sites, have strict policies about adverts or commercial links on their websites. You could argue that the changes are on the viewer’s computer and not on the server, and so are down to the user. This does not take into account the fact that this change will happen to every user of the toolbar, and so it is in effect dissemination an altered form of potentially copy write materials.

Take for instance an online book retailer, other than Amazon, their website will no doubt be full of ISBN numbers. With this toolbar active all those numbers could potentially turn into links to Amazon. Not what they want I’m sure. They will be stuck having to have expensive rewrites of their site, or just have to put up with losing people to Amazon.

How does Google decide which companies to promote? The Internet has always been about democratising information. I can shop at Amazon just as easily as I can shop at Abebooks. The number of links, to any particular shop, you encountered on your travels through the internet was determined by thousands of individual web sites picking their preferred shop. Now it will be determined by one company; a company already in charge of 92 percent of the pages that people view .

Who controls your toolbar controls your Internet.