Category Archives: Internet

All blogposts on blog.futtta.be about Internet (browsers, web development and mobile web).

QuirksMode: “The problem with Angular”

I’ve previously already expressed my doubts about the how well-suited AngularJS is for mobile web development (in Dutch, though, as I was discussing the merits of the mobile news-site of the Flemish broadcaster VRT).

QuirksMode’s PPK dove in a lot deeper in his “The problem with Angular“, stating amongst other things;

Angular is aimed at corporate IT departments rather than front-enders, many of whom are turned off by its peculiar coding style, its emulation of an HTML templating system that belongs on the server instead of in the browser, and its serious and fundamental performance issues. I’d say Angular is mostly being used by people from a Java background because its coding style is aimed at them. Unfortunately they aren’t trained to recognize Angular’s performance problems.

The performance problems PPK mentions are not the initial download of angular.js in the browser (which is one of the reasons why I dislike it), but the fact that angular.js does a huge amount of DOM-manipulations, which are costly, especially on mobile. This quote says it all;

Although templating is the correct solution, doing it in the browser is fundamentally wrong. The cost of application maintenance should not be offloaded onto all their users’s browsers — especially not the mobile ones. This job belongs on the server.

But do read PPK’s article for more insights on Angular and the road it is heading down with AngularJS 2.0!

Quick tip; disabling WordPress author pages

I helped build a WordPress-site for a not-for-profit and they asked me to disable the author pages. Although I’m sure there are multiple plugin-based solutions, I ended up simply adding an author.php to my (child) theme with this in it;

<?php
header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently");
header("Location: /");
?>

As author.php is used for all author pages (if available, else archive.php is used), every attempt to reach an author page will result in a permanent redirect being sent, effectively disabling the author archive. Keeping it simple stupid!

More goodness in wordpress.org plugin repo updates

Seems like the wordpress.org plugin pages, after recent improvements to the ratings-logic, now got an even more important update. They now use “active installations” as most important metric (as has been done on drupal.org module pages for years), with total number of downloads having been relegated to the stats page.

That stats page got a face-lift as well, featuring a graph of the active versions:

autoptimize wp.org plugin page

In case you’re wondering what the source of that “active installations” data is, I was too and reached out to plugin-master Otto (Samuel Wood, who replied;

[The source data comes from] plugin update checks. Every WP install asks for update checks every 12 hours or so. We store a count of that info.

wordpress.org plugin repo: ratings changed

autoptimize ratings on feb 26th 2015Yesterday the average rating of all plugins on the wordpress.org repository changed; ratings that were not linked to a review, were removed. That means that ratings dating from before approximately November 2012, when reviews were introduced, are not being taken into account any more.

This had a positive impact on the average rating of my own plugins, but especially so for Autoptimize. That plugin was largely unsupported before I took over in January 2013 and got some low ratings as a consequence (the average was 4.2 at the time, if I’m not mistaking). With those old numbers now out of the way, the average went from 4.6 to 4.8 overnight. Yay!

[Update: a couple of days later there were even more changes on the WordPress Plugin pages.]

User Agent Madness

Just found this one in my http logfile;

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/40.0.2214.111 Safari/537.36 OPR/27.0.1689.69

So one User Agent string mentioning 4 browsers (Mozilla, Safari, Chrome and finally Opera 27, which is the actual browser) and 3 rendering engines (Applewebkit, KHTML and Gecko)? There is a lot of web-history in those 127 characters.

Wanted: testers for WP YouTube Lyte (the one with the new YT API)

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, YouTube is shutting down their old v2 API, forcing WP YouTube Lyte to swith to v3. The main change; users will have to get an API key from Google and provide that in the Lyte settings page.

Initial development & testing has been done (this blog switched already) and I now need some brave souls to test this. You can download the “beta” from https://downloads.wordpress.org/plugin/wp-youtube-lyte.zip and report back here or on the wordpress.org support forum about how that did or did not work for you.

Looking forward to having to fix some nasty bugs until everything will finally be in it’s right place once again ;-)

Osunlade ft Erro Everything In Its Right Place

Watch this video on YouTube or on Easy Youtube.

What does a webtech addict do when in a Tesla?

Tesla Model S infotainment panelWell, checking out the browser, off course!

I had the opportunity to ride along with a friend in his brand new Tesla yesterday. Great ride, but you know that already, so I checked out the browser and data connectivity obviously. I visited my own little “ip check” page and saw this in the logfile:

188.207.103.140 – – [05/Feb/2015:12:17:24 +0100] “GET /check_ip.php HTTP/1.1″ 200 132 “-” “Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux) AppleWebKit/534.34 (KHTML, like Gecko) QtCarBrowser Safari/534.34″

Breaking it down:

  • The free mobile data connectivity is provided by KPN (Base) in Belgium (and Holland, probably).
  • As per the useragent the car display runs on Linux (that little OS that could is really everywhere these days)
  • The browser is QtCarBrowser, which would obviously be built with QT and WebKit. Based on the WebKit version, one can deduct that the version of QT uses is 4.8. As such, QTCarBrowser seems very similar to QTWeb and might indeed be based on it. HTML5test.com rates QTWeb with 204/555, but Tesla’s QTCarBrowser result might still be different off couse.
  • The WebKit-version, 534.34, is pretty old and as such dates from mid 2011 (QT 4.8 was released in December 2011). This is close to the version that was used in Safari 5.1 (534.48.3).

I sure hope there are not too many vulnerabilities in those old version of of QT and WebKit, but one does not drive a Tesla to browse the internet, does one? ;-)