Archive for March, 2007

One time something works in XHTML but not in HTML

Posted on the March 30th, 2007 under HTML, CSS by

Despite the totally unforgiving nature of XHTML, there’s one time something works in XHTML but not in HTML.

Images in a drop down.

BTW, this will never work in IE. They don’t support XHTML

Standard Bank’s New Internet Banking Site

Posted on the March 9th, 2007 under Usability by

A story I haven’t had the opportunity to publish yet. Standard Bank raved about their new Internet Banking Site, but guess what:


In the 21st Century, this is just plain ridiculous, and makes me wonder WTF the developers in Standard Bank were up to:

  1. A site not working in Firefox points to the usage of browser-specific or proprietary tags, and the avoidance of a standards based design approach. The site was clearly designed for only IE users.
  2. How can you not to test in Firefox? Do they not know a revolution called Spread Firefox Exists. Firefox has challenged Internet Explorer in ways others could only dream off. Some will even argue that if it was not for Firefox, IE7 would not have been born. For many, Firefox is the standard, and tweaks added for IE. As many have put it, IE is to Firefox, what Netscape 4 was to IE 5.#
  3. These developers are probably living in the dark ages of the Internet. For me, designing for IE is a nightmare. All the other browsers, besides IE, are progressive in adopting standards.
  4. What does it say about security. Given the problems IE has had over the years, one piece of advice given was: Don’t use IE!Is Standard Bank not aware of this? Do they not give a damn about security? Why FORCE users to use a less secure browser?

In Firefox

In Internet Explorer:

Cortado Ogg Video Applet – The missing documentation

Posted on the March 4th, 2007 under Uncategorized by

Trying to better integrate Ogg Vorbis Video in Chisimba’s file manager, I found this applet called Cortado from Flumotion. But the documentation is non-existent, and worst of all, the experience is shocking based on the structure of their website.

Before giving you the solution, I’m going to note this experience given my inclination for usability, and as a personal lesson on how NOT to do thing.

On their website, they say: You can download the source, or the pre-compiled Java applets. I don’t know how to compile, so I choose pre-compiled.

But look what this gives you:
cortado-mmjs-0.0.1.jar 30-Nov-2004 13:50 34K
cortado-mmjs-0.1.0.jar 24-Dec-2004 18:15 43K
cortado-mmjs-0.1.2.jar 22-Apr-2005 16:08 46K
cortado-mmjs-debug- 14-Sep-2006 16:55 104K
cortado-mmjs-debug-0.2.0.jar 19-May-2006 15:38 103K
cortado-mmjs-debug-0.2.1.jar 14-Sep-2006 16:55 104K
cortado-mmjs-debug-0.2.2.jar 26-Oct-2006 17:28 113K
cortado-mmjs-stripped-0.2.0.jar 19-May-2006 15:38 103K
cortado-mmjs-stripped-0.2.1.jar 14-Sep-2006 16:55 104K
cortado-mmjs-stripped-0.2.2.jar 26-Oct-2006 18:10 88K
cortado-ot-0.1.0.jar 28-Dec-2004 12:59 93K
cortado-ot-0.1.2.jar 22-Apr-2005 20:01 97K
cortado-ov-debug- 14-Sep-2006 16:55 198K
cortado-ov-debug-0.2.0.jar 19-May-2006 15:38 197K
cortado-ov-debug-0.2.1.jar 14-Sep-2006 16:55 198K
cortado-ov-debug-0.2.2.jar 26-Oct-2006 17:28 208K
cortado-ov-stripped-0.2.0.jar 19-May-2006 15:38 197K
cortado-ov-stripped-0.2.1.jar 14-Sep-2006 16:55 198K
cortado-ov-stripped-0.2.2.jar 26-Oct-2006 18:10 151K
cortado-ovt-0.0.1.jar 30-Nov-2004 13:50 163K
cortado-ovt-0.1.0.jar 24-Dec-2004 18:15 172K
cortado-ovt-0.1.2.jar 22-Apr-2005 16:08 175K
cortado-ovt-debug- 14-Sep-2006 16:56 254K
cortado-ovt-debug-0.2.0.jar 19-May-2006 15:38 253K
cortado-ovt-debug-0.2.1.jar 14-Sep-2006 16:56 254K
cortado-ovt-debug-0.2.2.jar 26-Oct-2006 17:28 264K
cortado-ovt-stripped-0.2.0.jar 19-May-2006 15:38 253K
cortado-ovt-stripped-0.2.1.jar 14-Sep-2006 16:56 254K
cortado-ovt-stripped-0.2.2.jar 26-Oct-2006 18:10 193K

Now WTF. Do I download ALL of these, or am I supposed to choose one. Which one?

So my next step is to search the Internet for examples, and see what others are using. I came across this site, which came me another dillema:

< archive=”cortado.jar” code=”com.fluendo.player.Cortado.class”>

Here again, it only refers to cortado.jar, doesn’t tell me which one to download. BTW, this site does not allow you to copy and paste (JavaScript), just to give me more grief and delay progress.

It is also at this point that I realise that apart from this site, there is NO other documentation on how to USE the APPLET – – TOTALLY DISGUSTING!!

So the next step is to get hold of the applet code (remember the site wouldn’t allow me to copy), and download one of the applets (cortado-ot-0.1.2.jar) – which still didn’t work – which led me to search for a new applet – which led me to JOrbis – which also still didn’t work

Finding Answers:

Just see how ‘brilliant’ Open Source Developers can be:

The website says: Cortado currently include Java decoders for Ogg Theora, Ogg Vorbis, Mulaw audio, MJPEG and our own Smoke codec.

Once I re-read this and start to think about it, I realised that there are different applets for different decoders/formats. Why didn’t they tell me that in the first place AND tell me which applet to use. The cortado-ot-0.1.2.jar was for Ogg Theora which is audio (learnt something new).

The one we should be using is: cortado-ovt-0.1.2.jar. Cool, first step solved.

Now comes an even more atrocious part. Where is an example of the applet code and parameters, the one on top clearly didn’t work. And don’t expect the code to be in the demos, because the applet is in an iframe. Another classic example of Open Source Brilliance.

Back on the page that didn’t allow me to copy from it, it says: Documentation taken from current Read Me file contained within the Cortado source code. This isn’t brilliant. It is F*CKING F*CKING F*CKING BRILLIANT. To learn how to use it, you should download the entire source code as well, which you won’t use or know how to use, but you just need one file in the archive!

The Solution:

To use the Cortado applet to present Ogg Vorbis Video files:

  1. Go to the pre-compiled applets page at, and download the latest cortado-ovt-###.jar applet. The latest one for me was cortado-ovt-0.1.2.jar.Avoid the debug or stripped version. I don’t know that this means, and don’t have the time to find out.
  2. To embed the applet in your page, add the following code:< code=”com.fluendo.player.Cortado.class” archive=”cortado-ovt-0.1.2.jar” width=”352″ height=”288″>
    < name=”url” value=”http://localhost/tests/ogg/tuesday_1150_gaming.ogg”>
    < name=”local” value=”false”> < name=”keepAspect” value=”true”>
    < name=”video” value=”true”>
    < name=”audio” value=”true”>
    < name=”bufferSize” value=”200″>
    < /applet>

    Note: There are spaces between the <>

The entire Readme.txt file on how to use the applet can be found here: