The problem with economies of scale

Economies of scale quickly become economies of hassle

From Jessamyn, amplifying the exasperation people feel when daily activities are made more complex by poor application of technology. In the example given, the phone app reduces costs for the provider, but doesn’t improve the experience for the customer. People may not expect parking to be delightful, but that’s not an excuse for making it frustrating.

Plan B: Remote Scripting With IFRAMEs

I have plans to apply AJAX to our library catalog but I’m running into a problem where I can’t do XMLHttpRequest events to servers other than the one I loaded the main webpage from. Mozilla calls it the “same origin policy,” everyone else calls it a cross-domain script exclusion, or something like that.

Some Mozilla folks are working on a standard to address the problem, but it could be quite a while before browser support is common enough to build for it.

So Plan A was to use simple AJAX with XMLHTTPRequest. Plan B comes from this crazy suggestion at Apple’s developer site: Remote Scripting with IFRAME. It looks like different functions are subject to different restrictions, so the theory is that a JavaSctript loaded in a page in a hidden IFRAME can call functions from the parent page and do pretty much everything we’ve come to expect of XMLHTTPRequest. Here’s an example they offer.

Crazy as it is it works, and it gets around some cross-domain script exclusions for some browsers, but it still gets trapped by Mozilla.

Damn PNGs in Internet Explorer

I don’t know why IE has never displayed my transparent PNGs correctly, but I know now that I’m not the only one with this complaint. Bob Osola (name?) shares my frustration, and better, he sat down and coded a solution, shared the code, and posted a wonderfully informative guide to the problem.

Not sure if your browser can display transparent PNGs properly? Follow that link for examples.