Dialup still matters ... OR ... how to ruin someone's day with a couple bits of code, and how to fix it

I recently relaunched the Mars Odyssey THEMIS web site, moving from a home-grown Perl not-really-a-CMS to Drupal. There were a number of technical challenges moving from a site and architecture that had grown organically over many years to a modern CMS with better usability from both the end users and site managers perspective. Talking about those challenges is for another post, but for now, a reminder how important small decisions can be to usability.

I received this email this morning:

Displaying multiple axes for a single series in Flex charts

I'm building a Flex application for work used to manage and manipulate infrared spectroscopy data.

Typically, this data is plotted like so, using Gnuplot or some similar plotting package.

Where one or more series are plotted where X values are wavelength/wavenumber and Y values are emissivities.

Multi-column lists with jQuery, an alternative method

So I needed a method to take a long, nested list and turning it into a compact, multiple acolumn list, in order to display it as sort of a site map for the home page for a site I'm working on.

Being a huge fan of jQuery, it was naturally my go-to library of choice.

Scanning the plugins site, I found a possible solution from a feller called Ingo Schommer called columnizeList.

High productivity

Have I mentioned that I loves me some Drupal?

Oh yes. I probably have. Anyway, in the last 48 hours of last week I managed to take two sites from photoshop mockup to fully functioning. Well, almost, anyway. There are of course some minor issues with Internet Exploder to deal with, and some pages to be tweaked.



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