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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I wish the Guardian would generally get a clue with their site. It's like the whole thing got cryonically preserved in 1997.

    I'm sure they have pounds and pounds of snarly HTML templates they're digging their way up out of and it's all very complicated and all; but I have the persistent feeling that in just a weekend I could fix a good half of it, throw out the proprietary code, turn on the RSS, and cut their HTML bandwidth at least in half.

    • Two words - Vignette Storyserver.
      • aaaaaaaa not the Vignette aaaaaaa

        (But even that could be coerced into producing less bloated HTML.)

        • A company the size of Guardian should benefit from producing pages that are compact and optimised, they must have sufficient trafic to make it worth their while. Someone their should read the "Orange Hat" book [zeldman.com].

          However, can it be persuaded to produce valid HTML? I think not [w3.org]. Vignette are yet another W3C member that couldn't produce decent HTML/xhtml to save their lives. The Guardian's Vignette produced RSS feed for a long while wasn't even valid XML, let alone valid RSS...

          --
          -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
          • Someone there should read the "Orange Hat" book.
            I know that there are people at the Guardian who are intimately acquainted with the contents of the Orange Hat book.
            • But, do they have any influence?

              --
              -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
              • Oh, absolutely they do.

                Obviously I can't speak for the GU project managers, but I suspect it comes down to the old problem of persuading the business to allow them to spend time on changes to the site that have no visible benefit.
                • by ajt (2546) on 2004.05.29 5:23 (#31176) Homepage Journal

                  Making the pages more compact may save them money from bandwidth charges. A small site will see no benefit from this, but the Guardian may be large enough to benefit. Whay pay to transmit data that isn't needed?

                  The current site isn't very usable or accessible. It's also painfully slow, which doesn't help usability or bring back customers. On the accessability front it's probably in breach of the UK Disabillity Discrimination Act, so a legal threat for a organisation that likes to maintain the moral high ground, may prod the PHBs into action.

                  I know most users wouldn't notice the upgrade, but some would, and they have the weight of the law on their side. If you have to fix the accesability issues it's a good time to fix the xhtml/css at the same time. If you have good clean xhtml/css then good usability and accessability is actually easier and cheaper to achieve.

                  I recently wrote to my local Parish Council to complain about the web site. Though there are MANY things wrong with the site, I concentrated on the accessability issues because of the legal issues, even though I knew that the html/css needed fixing first. They actually bothered to reply, and while they have not commiteed to anything yet, the tone of the letter suggests that they are not happy with the current site either. We shall see if the revised version is any better.

                  --
                  -- "It's not magic, it's work..."