The first step to find out what users think

Empowering everyone to evaluate usability can improve the digital workplace. Here is how you take the first step with Bad software makes a bad digital workplace Organizations that have been around for a few years typically have a large number of legacy systems. Ages ago, when they were created, it is likely that no one cared about their usability or design. Users were used to obeying software and taking a course in order to be able to file a report....

June 7, 2015 · Peter Krantz

Quotes from the Nato Software Engineering Conference in 1968

Sometimes we forget that other people have faced the same problems we face today in software development. These quotes are from the proceedings of the Nato Software Engineering conference in 1968. On the management of software projects: Programming management will continue to deserve its current poor reputation for cost and schedule effectiveness until such time as a more complete understanding of the program design process is achieved. We build systems like the Wright brothers built airplanes — build the whole thing, push it off the cliff, let it crash, and start over again....

December 10, 2011 · Peter Krantz

Beta testing the UR TWEETS SUCK Tee

My son has the dubious pleasure of being the primary beta tester of T-shirt messages. This time it is the first draft of the model that will be called “Twat”. Turned out pretty OK… Also see the Ballmer Tee.

August 26, 2010 · Peter Krantz

The broken state of EU legal information on the web

In my pet project I find a lot of weird stuff when scraping documents from the official website The most recent specimen - Final adoption of amending budget No 4 of the European Union for the financial year 2008 - has the publish date 80/80/2200. That’s almost two hundred years into the future with an invalid day/month combo on top. This leads me to believe that the system is in such a broken state that even simple date validation isn’t implemented....

September 5, 2008 · Peter Krantz

Quick site performance improvement

I have been playing with YSlow, Yahoo’s tool for web site profiling, for a while. If you haven’t tried YSlow (which is a Firefox addon to Firebug) I recommend you try it right away. Install the Firebug extension first and then add YSlow. It is amazing how much you can improve the percieved site speed by some minor changes to your htaccess file. This site runs Wordpress and I was tempted to install the WP-Super-Cache plugin but was put off by some of the incompatibility issues that were reported with the latest version of Wordpress and PHP safe mode....

July 17, 2008 · Peter Krantz

Does your webserver give HEAD?

In the process of constructing a crawler that finds and checks PDF documents on a website I discovered a lot of sites that don’t return information for HEAD requests. A HEAD request should return the same set of HTTP headers as a normal GET request only without the actual payload. The typical response seem to be status 500 (internal server error) on a lot of IIS sites. So, now is a good time to check your own sites to see what you get back from a:...

April 17, 2008 · Peter Krantz

New release of the Ruby Accessibility Analysis Kit and online interface

The current version has some minor bug fixes that will speed up testing. The online test interface has been updated to support direct input of markup. This is for those of you unable to install Raakt locally. This means that there is no reason to skip basic accessibility testing of whatever you are developing! To find out more on how you can integrate Raakt in your testing framework check out the Raakt wiki which now has a lot more information....

April 1, 2007 · Peter Krantz

A new version of the Ruby Accessibility Analysis Kit

This is to announce that RAAKT (The Ruby Accessibility Analysis Kit) has been updated. This release includes more accessibility tests and an initial mapping of tests to the Unified Web Evaluation Methodology (UWEM). Also, thanks to Derek Perrault RAAKT now uses Hpricot to parse the HTML document. This solves the problem where the previous parser (RubyfulSoup) declared a class “Tag” that was likely to clash with your local classes in Rails....

March 3, 2007 · Peter Krantz

Parsing ASP.NET sites with WWW::Mechanize and Hpricot

Users of Hpricot (which WWW::Mechanize is using as the default html parser) may have discovered that the buffer size for attribute values is set to 16384 bytes default. Typically this isn’t a problem, I mean who would put 16Kb of data into an HTML attribute? Well, ASP.NET uses a hidden input field to store view state in order to save a few clock cycles on the server side (and spare developers the hazzle of coding view state)....

February 18, 2007 · Peter Krantz

Using Selenium for functional testing in Ruby on Rails

Update: There is now a nice demo of how selenium on rails works. Jonas Bengtsson has created an initial version of a Selenium plugin for RoR. I have been using Selenium for a while now and this certainly looks promising. There are some minor details in this release that need to be fixed such as coloring of completed test actions and test cases (mine are not highlighted). A nice addition would be if RadRails supported code completion of selenium actions....

February 6, 2006 · Peter Krantz