The Web Speech Synthesis API allows your web apps to convert page text or any other predefined or dynamic text to be rendered to speech. Although currently supported only in Chrome 33, the api enables you to add nice accessibility support to your web apps. However, I’m hard-pressed to find a suitable application for the use of it, besides maybe online games and browser slideshows with background commentary. A demo is given below.
Recently, Google introduced Schemas in Gmail messages to allow developers to deliver a more interactive email experience integrated with their web app. Schemas in emails can be used to represent various types of entities and actions. Email clients that understand schemas, such as Gmail, can render entities and actions defined in the messages with a consistent user interface. In the case of Gmail, this means that the emails can display quick action buttons that let users take actions directly from their inboxes, essentialy allowing them to tie their web app with Gmail for a more integrative experience.
Interface design is hard. Which is why most programmers turn a blind eye to it. During collaborative development I frequently encounter fellow programmers remark something to the following effect: ‘…do not worry, the users are not idiots, they will understand for what these buttons have been provided, no need to provide tool-tips or any help, lets get these code working and show it to the client.’
Interface design or rather usability design is usually left as an after thought; a colorful facade that you stick on to your backend code.
The following two videos provide a stark reminder, that for most of the time these are the people we develop software for.
Every time you use your browser to access a website a User-Agent header is sent to the respective server.
Detecting user agents on the server can be useful for many reasons.
1. Browsers Quirks – Despite the standardization in browsers, there will remain some quirks in various browsers that you will need to iron out on a regular basis.
2. Personalize Content – It may be required to deliver different type of content depending on the browser type (although it is usually not recommended); whether mobile or otherwise.
3. Illegal Access – Prevent bandwidth hogging bots and poorly programmed clients from downloading your content.
Rarely do I get excited about new software developments. The last I remember was when WolframAlpha was realeased. Now it is Opera Unite. I’ve forever been a Opera fan, and always loved the extra bit of functionality thoughtfully added to the product by the opera team. But Unite really takes the step forward.
A couple of days back I created a Firefox toolbar for my blog as an experiment in learning XUL. The toolbar is shown below. You can install the same from here.
Now you can create a toolbar for your own blog or site. The source for the toolbar can be downloaded from below after which you can edit the code to suit your site; to help you there is a nice reference for XUL elements here. The idea for the post was inspired by david.
Downloads : 1907 / File size : 0 B
A couple of days back I created a Firefox toolbar for my blog as an experiment in learning XUL. Once installed on my blog I wanted Firefox to recognize it as an addon and install it rather than displaying a ‘save/open’ dialog. For that I needed to add the following directive to the servers .htaccess file.