pop art

Jim web web at audiomisc.co.uk
Mon Aug 24 01:53:49 PDT 2015

In article <20150823162650.A937B26C64 at orac.inputplus.co.uk>, Ralph
Corderoy <ralph at inputplus.co.uk> wrote:
> Hi Jim,

> > I use my mainRISC OS box (ARMiniX / PandaBoard) for reading and
> > writing emails, etc. But the main browser for that is NetSurf. No
> > Flash, little or no JavaScript <sic>

> Ah, OK.  Former Acorn A310 and R140 user here.  :-)  

I've ordered an ARMX6 to replace my ARMiniX. :-)

> You might find URL-shortener sites like https://goo.gl and
> https://bitly.com useful, if they degrade nicely without Javascript.  Or
> they've APIs available so URLs could in theory be shortened by a RISC OS
> program, or use of curl or wget.

The situation for me was/is more complex than simply long URLs.

FWIW and IMHO The problem is that the BBC pages are generated by people
who have no clue about using simple basic HTML and take for granted what
browsers. etc, people will use. e.g. for ages their top pages gave me the
"mobile" version which was a mess on my screen. 

I can't tell if this was because the browser declaring an odd OS on an
ARM-based system was miseading them, or a simply lack of care that some
people might be using browsers that didn't handle the current bells and
whistles. Or some 'clever' method like sending a 'quick first pass page'
then using something like JavaScript to give a better page - which duly 
wasn't working with a browser that either doesn't incorporate JavaScript
or only has a 'lite' version of its methods.

Their aim, I assume, is to make the BBC site as jazzy and trendy looking as
possible and to use all the latest whizz-wheels to impress. Alas, that has
it's price.

So I've largely got out of the habit trying to read BBC pages using
RO/NetSurf. Instead I use Linux/FireFox which is usually fine. (Ignoring
the new issue of the annoying ancient Flash player buggering up the audio
sample rates. Apologies for the technical engineering term there. :-) )

Pardon the further digression but it gives me a chance to comment on
something related which others may have encountered...

A while ago I was collating info on the 'history' of the BBC iplayer. This
meant I went back and trawled though the old BBC 'web logs', etc, which the
developers, etc, posted to. For this I *did* use RO/NetSurf as it lets me
export the results in a form convenient for my purposes. I found many pages
which were hidden because links had broken, etc. Others where the page
'code' was also broken in ways that some browsers hide - I guess because
the generating software has been used often enought that the larger browser
teams were able to deal with it.

Similarly I found some time ago that there are at least *two* versions of
the iplayer's schedules day-page listings. One of which only goes back a
week, while the other covers the full month.

It all seems weird until you realise that the BBC pages are written by
different people/teams at different times, and they may not bother to talk
to each other or use the same tools/methods. And then some of the results
may become embedded in use.

All in all, a real problem for browser developers!

But then I've moaned about such matters since the days people started using
'frames' and natty 'black text on black backgrounds'. Cool eh? 8-]

Anyone who looks at my own webpages will realise how dumb and simple the
HTML is. I know it can look childish and make me look out-of-touch, but I
prefer that approach. OK, I *am* a fossil. I remember the days when one
of the big fundamentals of HTML was that the 'mark up' was to allow
the *browser* to decide how to render from 'logical' markup code. So each
user saw a layout that suited *them* as an individual. 

Not the 'modern' <sic>  the-layout-you-see-is-dictated-by someone-else
which people now often take for granted.

I recall the days when someone I know described the use of nested tables to
force layout as "gratuitous cruelty to browswers". ;-> Alas, things have
got worse from my apparently-luddite POV.

Rant over. Apologies to anyone irritated by the irrelevance or views. :-)


Electronics  http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scots_Guide/intro/electron.htm
Armstrong Audio  http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/Armstrong/armstrong.html
Audio Misc  http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/index.html

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