New Cookie Module

Cookie schmookie right? It’s just so pat. Nothing could be more boring, that it, until it breaks. Until then we had been successfully using the cookie module hosted on the website.

We were seeing a very obscure problem. With Firefox, in conjunction with the jQuery bindings, while using websockets to transfer data. The FF implemention of WS was getting killed each time a new validation job was submitted.

Looking for a replacement, one that didn’t rely on jQuery, I came across the cookie module written and so-generously shared by Scott Hamper. The code is tight and modern enough. It supports setter injection for testing, AMD, and can be used in node.js.

I, (State Your Name)

I,  “State Your Name” lulz

This update is all about Usernames. It’s important how you represent your self and how you are perceived and the addition of this field is in that vein. The field has been added to our tables, and to your screens.

Avatars have been added to your profiles. That means you’ll be able to attach a picture of yourself to the “you” in this app. This will make it easier for friends to recognize you. It seems that only 1 in 10 users have a Gravatar associated with their email, so I don’t know if I’m going to opt for Gravatar yet.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but Gravatar is pretty much a WordPress construction?


Improving Flow

I changed some labels on the “single-recheck” page to be consistent with the front page of the app.  Also touched up a couple more labels on the front page. Aiming for a less clunky experience here.

And so to the next tweek of the day: 4 dedicated CSS rules to handle the 4 combinations of view formatting available in the “single-recheck” page. This should improve browser reflow according to what I have read (no time to test, I believe the pundits). If you don’t know what reflow is then don’t worry about it.

Opening Channels

Communication is key. Today, I’ve done things to standardize the way emails are sent and received from the app. These will cover user generated things (confirm email, change password) and app events (validation complete). Nothing earth shattering, just trying to prepare.

User Stuff

More changes today as we push our way into a better experience for users. Our goal is to let you take control of your time with the validator and other tools. We want you to be able to use them as you see fit and customize them to your liking. So we’re moving towards that, hang in there

  • Starting to hand user profiles to users
  • Hooks for languages other than English (for the spell checker)
  • More tools to analyze patterns in usage. Thanks for the keystrokes – they will be used to make something better



Https, testing, and friendlier signup form

  • Fixed bug that prepended ‘http://’ to starting urls that already specified the protocol/scheme https. Https is not yet enabled on the backend with the robot, but we are preparing
  • A-B testing the user signup form to try to see how people are using it
  • On user signup form, removed the default innerhtml from div “Password not entered”
  • Friendlier names and password strength indicator colors that make sense for password strength levels
  • Implemented tracking and stats for our development site

Find Broken Links

Yes and it’s about time. What website checker wouldn’t tell you this? No more excuses, we coded it and hopefully it’s a helpful feature.

We’ve known from the get-go that unreachable pages are a deal breaker as far as UX goes. Nevermind SEO or spelling or anything else. If the content isn’t there, there is no attaction. So we think, fix these errors first.

Check Website Spelling

Not only will this validator check your HTML for problems, now it checks your English too. Everyone has the chance to add words to their own dictionary, and registered users have the ability to save the dictionary and re-use it later.

Already this is a well-used feature alongside the html validation and link checking. We look forward to rolling the domain-specific words in the individual dictionaries into a shared dictionary based on word popularity. You will have the option to include the “domain dictionary” in any spell checks run against an industry-specific site or body of work


UX Tweaks

Just some minor tweaks to the usability of the basic app.

  • Better place-holding as the user navigates from the detail page back to the summary
  • Error fix count accumulation when run in summary mode

Upgraded UI

  • Script code to assist the layout of the app, improving flexibility for smaller screens
  • Moving to the new fragment identifier format for referencing page validations. Old query string params are gone.
  • Fixed a bug where the ‘pipe’ character in an input document was causing breakage.