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Comment Re: Sensors wrong (Score 1) 460

How can you be so sure? This scenario could have been coded for. Software could have handled it better.

In this TED talk it's demonstrated how the software controlling a quadcopters could figure out an innovative new way to fly even with two of its propellers removed.

I'm not sure a human operator could have done that.

Comment Possible fix - multi-browser engine app? (Score 1) 614

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That outdated internal application could be configured to use the IE6 engine - other newer applications and external websites could use newer IE engines or another engine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

Comment Re:Parsing user agent strings = bad. (Score 1) 252

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).

Comment Parsing user agent strings = bad. (Score 4, Interesting) 252

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.

Submission + - Apple ban "Sweatshop themed" game from app store (

danhuby 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."

Comment Re:A better question (Score 1) 320

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.

Comment Re:No plug-ins on mobile (Score 1) 320

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.

Comment Why? (Score 1) 320

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.

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