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The topics discussed here grow out of the bread-and-butter issues that confront my consulting and software clients on a daily basis. We'll talk about prosaic stuff like Membership Management, Meetings and Events Management and Fundraising, broader ideas like security and software project management, and the social, cultural, and organizational issues that impact IT decision-making.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Just a few tools

Among the most irritating issues in web development are problems that seem to occur only on one version of one browser. If we're working on a site for organization's intranet, no problem - that guy needs to upgrade to the supported browser, even if he really does believe that the 1999 version of Bohemian is still the best browser around. But if you are building a site targeting a broad consumer audience, you may really need to test on some unusual or obsolete client. Where will you find it? Julia Vorotnikova pointed us to the Evolt Browser Archive, where you will find pretty much every browser that ever there was.

Another tool useful when debugging browser or user-specific problems can be found at the BrowserHawk site. Take a look at this page - it detects and reports on all the properties it can discern in the client you access it with. These folks are in the business of developing scripts you can use to read these values from within your pages.

Speaking of scripts, we found a nice little Visual Basic script made available by Telepro for reading an RSS feed and formatting it for display on your website. We're using it to develop some new features for the Members Only site. The script can be found at the Telepro site.

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