Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

Amazong, really

OK, so it’s a slightly lame play on words, but I had one of those little electronic interactions yesterday that adds a bit of cheer. You know, something small happens that has involved (possibly) two human beings, albeit via some interface that separates them but it gives you confidence about what goes on behind the interface.

In this case I submitted a couple of small updates to the titles and artist name for a couple of CDs (by the Gurzenich Fagottquintett) on Amazon’s UK website. I got the acknowledgements back within a very short period (saying they agreed with my updates), and I figured that was probably a machine talking. But to my surprise, the entries were also updated and within half a day the indexing was working as expected. So now you can easily find the three latest CDs by this esteemed bassoon ensemble with one search!

Well done, Amazon.

Blankety Blank

Well, I’ve discovered a very interesting piece of html interaction. OK, perhaps not very interesting, but at least slightly interesting.

A few weeks ago I made a small change to my amateur orchestras website which I thought would tidy up a lot of the underlying web links. The site links to a lot of sites of orchestras around the country and for the links I’ve used the target=”_blank” mantra to make sure they load in a new page. Well now I discovered a tag that was new to me, the base tag. This allows you to set the default behaviour of ALL of the links on your page. So, hey presto, just one of these tags at the beginning of the page saves dozens of target specifications and maybe even some space on the site.

But of course it’s never quite that simple. Also embedded in the web pages are a bunch of OTHER links, which themselves contain some embedded javascript to de-obfuscate some hidden email addresses and open the default mail client. Guess what – the base tag prevents them from working. Instead of generating a nice mailto: link and opening that default email client, all that happens is a new blank page is opened. Nothing else.

So it’s back to the drawing board, and back to the target attributes for the time being.

I love software!