Posts tagged ‘web design’


Chrome’s dramas continue as it hits version 8

08.12.2010

It looks like Chrome has updated by itself, and as with all improvements to software, more bugs have been introduced.
   You can blame our programming skills, but here is how the home page of Lucire now looks (and it had looked like this on Chromium a couple of months ago, too):

Lucire home page on Chrome

Below is how it looks today on Firefox, but it looked roughly like this on old Chrome, as it does on Opera, IE8, and Maxthon, using HTML techniques that we had used since there was HTML:

Lucire home page on Firefox

   Here’s another regular Chrome bug, where it just misses text altogether (though the text usually returns on a reload):

Lucire home page on Chrome

The same bit on Firefox:

Lucire home page on Firefox

This is one annoying browser if it can’t even display basic HTML text.
   As expected, none of my reported bugs (incomplete font menus, inability for Chrome to switch character sets when encountering different languages on a page) have been fixed—but, then, that’s the Google way.
   Meanwhile, Firefox 3·6·12 has returned to its extremely crashworthy ways (four times per day), despite the tech help from two friends. One friend, Andrew, suggests I should call these Flash crashes, rather than Firefox crashes, because it could be Flash at fault. Certainly there are enough times when the plug-in container crashes just prior to the whole browser failing. On the Mozilla forums, there is another user who has a clean install of Firefox with no plug-ins, and he reports constant crashing, too.
   Browsing through the about:crashes in my Firefox reveals an error headed by:

nsGlobalWindow::cycleCollection::UnmarkPurple(nsISupports*)

in the majority of the last 10 cases. Here’s Mozilla’s page on that error which, if I read correctly, they haven’t a clue how to fix.
   I wish I could roll back to the stable 3·6­·10, and, as mentioned, 3·0 was one of the most stable releases Mozilla had till it got into the double-digit sub-subversions (it must have been around 3·0·12).
   Programs crashed as often 15–20 years ago, but usually that was due to memory or disk space issues. Code just seemed tighter, programmers were able to do more amazing things given the constraints, and the software more efficient. Now they crash on the oddest things and, it seems, every browser is anachronistic in some way. All I ask is for a browser that: (a) does not crash when you blink your eyes; (b) displays the complete font menu; (c) does not change font because you have used quotation marks or a ligature or other characters within the set font’s character set; (d) kerns and allows font-face; (e) changes font when it realizes that the selected one lacks glyphs for a foreign character set; (f) interprets HTML properly.
   Right now, here’s how they stack up:

  a b c d e f
Firefox 3·6·12   * * * * *
Chrome 8       *    
Opera 10·63 * *     * *
Internet Explorer 8     *   * *
Maxthon 2 *   *   * *

   Chrome is by far and away the quickest on the block, but when it messes up on everything else, it’s just not going to cut the mustard. It might crash less often than Firefox but it still crashes, and it does other things poorly. Someone wake me when Chrome comes out of alpha, because that’s where it belongs; or when Mozilla acknowledges the feedback that 375 people (and counting) are having with Firefox constantly dying on us.
   If Opera can sort out its font issues, then it has a real chance of being the best browser out of the lot.

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Posted in design, internet, technology, USA | 7 Comments »


Happy birthday, Lucire

21.10.2010

Lucire home page, October 20, 1997
Above The first issue of Lucire in 1997. Below right Lucire’s first iPad cover.

[Cross-posted at Lucire] An hour ago, we turned 13. Normally this wouldn’t have merited much of a mention, since 13’s not the sort of number people tend to celebrate. But I happened to be up, after a long day catching up on emails post-election, while head designer Tanya Sooksombatisatian sorted through our New York Fashion Week images.
   Earlier this evening, fashion editor Sopheak Seng and I attended a fashion show for La’ Shika Bridal, held at the Museum Hotel in Wellington, and had good chats to the bridal designers and jewellery designer Victoria Taylor, sister of Rebecca.
   I sat at a similar desk in 1997 when we started Lucire and uploaded the new home page, replacing a placeholder, at precisely midnight NZDT on October 21. (I even timed it.) That translated to October 20 at 6 a.m. in New York. At the time, the US market was the primary one online, so I tended to notice what the time was over on their east coast.
   It was a 386 running Netscape 1-point-something that displayed Lucire’s first edition here. The monitor had a resolution of 1,024 by 768 pixels. We developed it on Windows 3·1, but tested it on various Power Macs. I coded the home page by hand and did the first graphics.
   We’ve gone through a lot—a print edition from 2004, a short-lived venture in Romania in 2005–6, and we now face 2011 with print in four countries and an iPad app that will go live any day. A cellphone edition has been around for a little while, though it never took off. I was in it for the long haul, but I really didn’t think specifics. We had a general direction, and we seized the opportunities as they came.
   There have been many times when I have publicly thanked the people who got us here, and many of those who I named in December 2008, when I celebrated 21 years in business, were responsible for getting Lucire to where it is. Since then, Andrew Matusik, Victoria Jones, Sopheak Seng, Rola Saab, Jon Moe, Seka Ojdrović-Phillips, Samantha Hannah, Joseph Ungoco, Leyla Messian, Ashleigh Berry and Sylvia Giles must be added to the list. The many Massey University graduates who have tirelessly helped—Roanna Bell, Uma Lele and Brigitte Unger come to mind—as well as Gemma Conn from Waikato Institute of Technology.
   I won’t say the journey has been easy: in fact, it’s been very tough. But I’m very glad that Lucire has been a medium through which many people have been brought together to do something we all love. We have been a change agent in the past, and that’s something I’m conscious we need to continue, through being on the forefront of new media. And we’ve introduced our fair share of labels, many of which have become big names. We’ve provided many people with coverage when others ignored them—discovering then that all they needed was that leg up to get to the next stage.
Lucire Ipad edition cover, photographed by Andrew Matusik   I still remember the fact that we were one of the first to interview Zac Posen and Kathryn Wilson as she graduated from university, and covered Rebecca Taylor at Gen Art. Lucire published the first series of sustainable style editorials in an international fashion magazine with Summer Rayne Oakes in the earlier part of the century.
   To all our readers, thank you for being with us on this journey. I am mindful that we are merely stewards of the Lucire brand, and that it belongs to us not in law, but in spirit. We’re going to keep engaging and we plan to be with you for many more anniversaries to come.

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Posted in business, design, internet, media, New Zealand, publishing, technology, USA, Wellington | 2 Comments »


Beyond Branding Blog removed from Blogger today

23.02.2010

As of tonight, the Beyond Branding Blog, where I first cut my teeth blogging, is no more.
   The posts are still there, but no further comments can be entered on to the site. The nearly four years of posts remain as an archive of some of our branding thought of that period.
   The blog had a huge number of fans in its day, but as each one of us went to our own blogs, there seemed little need to keep it going. Chris Macrae and I were the last two holding the fort in late 2005. Since January 2006, no new posts have been entered on to the site. No new comments have come in a year.
   Google’s announcement that it would end FTP support for blogs in May spurred me into action, and I advised the Medinge Group’s membership this morning that I would take it off the Blogger service.
   I altered the opening message to reflect the latest change.
   I was very proud of the blog, because it was the first one I was involved in. It was also the first I customized to match the look and feel of the rest of the Beyond Branding site, which I designed in 2003. While the design is one from the early 2000s, it has not dated as much as I had expected.
   Beyond Branding’s core message of transparency and integrity remains valid, so while the blog is no longer updated, I think the book remains relevant to the 2010s.

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Posted in branding, business, design, marketing | No Comments »