What’s the default browser on your network?

3 08 2009

A post from Tony Hirst on why last weeks IWMW has led him to set up a survey looking at what’s the default browser on your university staff network?


Whilst at IWMW last week, I noticed that a web application I wanted to demo didn’t work on the IE6 default browser on the local Essex machines. Bearing in mind that many developers on programmes such as the JISC Rapid Innovation strand (#jiscri) are likely to make use of frameworks and libraries that exploit the power of current generation browsers (IE7, FF 2.*) and assume standards compliance, the assumption that support for IE6 will not be required is one that many developers may take, either explicitly or implicitly (e.g. as result of developers not using machines that run IE6).

That is, for rapid innovation and development to work, developers are likely to use contemporary tools. But there’s a problem – if JISC are funding the development of tools and apps for use in HE, they need to run on the installed base of web browsers – hence the poll. If a lot of HEIs are running IE6, and a lot of HE staff use IE6 as their browser, developers creating apps for use by staff are going to have to check that their apps run on IE6. For some, this is going to be non-trivial and time spent tryijng to support IE6 will make the projects non-viable.

Maybe JISC needs to start innovating on behalf on the HE community, and finding ways of putting pressure on HEIs so that they adopt browsers that can run apps developed rapidly for modern browsers? Maybe in some programme strands, JISC needs to tell the HE community that they are holding (rapid) innovation back by not adopting current browsers? IMHO, of course…

Why not have a go at the survey.

Tony Hirst, Open University


(Southampton) Developers of the World Unite

1 08 2009

On the final morning Mike Ellis offered us some thoughts on how developers can get together to share ideas and ‘get away from the treacle’. From BarCamps and Mashups, to Geek Dads and Pecha Kucha nights.

Have a go

We’re always asking you what you’re going to differently after you get home from IWMW. We don’t want you to just feel inspired and fired up, we want you to use what you’ve learnt to change the way you work.

In a very impressive example of speedy action Chris Gutteridge is having a go at organising a Southampton Developers Group. The short-term plan is for local developers to meet up for a drink, long-term he’d like to have a go at a hack day.

Chris says….

I’ve been waiting for years for somebody to set up a developers social group in Southampton. The session on the last day really rubbed in the fact that (a) it would be easy and (b) I should just sodding do it myself.

So I’ve set up a google group, a hashtag #sodev, put the word out on twitter.

I’ve spoken to a pub who can provide wifi etc. Biggest worry there is how to provide some power leads without trip hazards.

I’m now slightly worried that it could be too popular… In Southampton area we’ve got 2 universities, the SpecSavers developers, IBMers, Roke Manor Research, and the Ordinance Survey just off the top of my head.

I used google groups as a feel some developers may have a bit of hatred for being in facebook groups. I’ll see what community I get and what they want. I suspect that people will want to have a facebook group to get event invites (facebook’s actually useful bit).

If you are interested in joining up with Chris sign on to the Google group.


1 08 2009

Siteimprove, exhibitors at this year’s event, are offering those interested a free trial of SiteCheck.

For further details contact:

Naomi Pettitt
Account Manager
Siteimprove Ltd.
+44 (0)845 226 8050

5 Minute Interview: David Mackland

31 07 2009

davidWho are you?
David Mackland

Where do you work and what do you do?
I manage the Web Team and the University of Abertay which consists of 3 fte staff. The centralised web team deliver all web content for internal and external consumption.

What are your main areas of interest?

Web2.0, Analytics, Coldfusion, T4 Sitemanager, Google Maps, Oracle APEX and Portal.

Are you working on anything exciting at the moment?
Yes – currently implementing a Web Content Management System and rebranding exercise for the Corporate Website which is due for launch in August.

Have you been to IWMW before?
Yes, I attended my IWMW08 in Aberdeen and took part in the innovation competition with Google Maps Mashup.

What was the best bit this year?
Paul Boag’s presentation on Making your killer applications… killer! – Some very useful information to act upon.

What did you take away?
Some excellent contacts and to built relations with neighbouring institutions to share ideas and experiences.

Will you do anything differently as a result of IWMW?
Will try to implement SCRUM or something similar. Will look at making my killer apps more proficient in Killing.

Quick Interview: Richard Sandford

31 07 2009

Quick Interview: David Williams

31 07 2009

Quick Interview: Peter Barnes

31 07 2009