Dochula Pass, Bhutan

I’m sitting here watching a video of Timbl talking on a BBC news page and I suddenly realised how good this was.

The page design helps give the impression – there are no clunky boxes around the video itself – but there’s also no need to view in a different area, or switch to another tool, or even wait for a download to get started – it’s just there as part of the page, but a part that moves and produces sound. Kind of like the moving paper in Harry Potter’s world.

It’s great how technology marches on sometimes.

[Update: Since I wrote the above the video has acquired grey panels around the edges for controls, which I think is a shame. It’s still pretty good technology though. ]

>> See what it can do !

>> Use it !

Picture of the page in action.

Those of you who have used UniView over the last couple of days will have seen that it now supports Unicode 5.1. All Unicode 5.1 character information is available, however you will only be able to see the new characters if you have fonts that cover them. The decodeunicode graphics for the new characters are not yet available.

Last night I also fixed a long-running bug that had meant that additional information available in my character database was not accessible in Internet Explorer (due to AJAX issues). (See the related post if you are interested in the code).

There are no other changes at this time (though those two are pretty significant).

Please report any bugs to me, and don’t forget to refresh any UniView files in your cache before using the new version.

Some code I put together to import some XML retrieved via AJAX into a document (stored here so I can find it again in the future).

IE won’t let you import a cloned nodeset into a document, so I wrote this for my UniView utility. The code starts with a node in the AJAX data and creates a copy of all elements and attributes in the current document.

function copyNodes (ajaxnode, copiednode) {
	for (var node=ajaxnode.firstChild; node != null; node = node.nextSibling) {
		if (node.nodeType == 3){ //text
			copiednode.appendChild(document.createTextNode(node.data));
			}
		if (node.nodeType == 1){ //element
			var subnode = document.createElement(node.nodeName);
			var attlist = node.attributes;
			if (attlist != null) {  
				for (var i=0; i<attlist.length; i++){
					subnode.setAttribute(attlist[i].name, attlist[i].value);
					}
				}
			copiednode.appendChild(subnode);
			copyNodes(node, subnode);
			}
		}
	}

It doesn’t expect processing instructions, comments etc. Just elements and attributes. (Though of course that can be added, if needed.)

Picture of typical links section.

W3C Internationalization articles have links in the top right corner to translated versions of the page. When a new translation is provided, these links need updating on each translated version of the article in question. This has been a pain to do.

I just published details of a new approach to managing these changes which means that I no longer have to touch the files themselves, and can produce the changes with a single, very small edit.

I’m not claiming that this is the ideal solution (though so far it seems pretty helpful, and way better than the previous approach) – just documenting it for those who are interested.