Category Archives: Research

Research relating to course work

Form Validation

So…onward from my attempts to validate form input  (Week7 PHP Guestbook exercise). Although I got the script working (and have since disabled it!) using this resource, I was not satisfied with the script (pregmatch/or die), for the reasons aptly described here. In a nutshell, bouncing somebody out of a page (both the ‘or die’ and ‘exit’ commands do this) when they have made a mistake with a form will at the very least annoy them and most likely lose you a user. I thought the better way was for an alert or error message to be displayed (without losing all the form data) and have found a some code here and here that I will be trying out, hopefully in the next few days (remembering to add a comment in the code crediting the source). The previous code I tried was PHP (ie server side) but the scripts I am going to experiment with are Javascript, so this will fulfil the client side validation before I cross over to the dark–I mean server–side.


PS Have been viewing source code on web pages a fair bit lately, just to deconstruct how a web page has been, well, constructed. Sometimes it’s fairly readable, sometimes not.  It does give me some code examples to follow up, mostly on the CSS side, but also allows me to try and figure out how the JavaScript has been put together (special interest in form pages!). Hopefully it will help when constructing my final project–given that I only came equipped with minimal HTML coding skill and even less CSS 🙂

I’ve also been trying to put things into practice on my own site as I go, as much as I can (ie within the time I have) as it really helps!


JavaScript Form Validation : quick and easy!. 2012. JavaScript Form Validation : quick and easy!. viewed 25 April 2012, <>

PHP Freaks – PHP Help or die() must die viewed 24 April 2012, <>.

Validating E-mail and URL viewed 24 April 2012, <>.

JavaScript Form Validation. 2012. JavaScript Form Validation. viewed 25 April 2012, <>

Web Project Deliverables

Some useful resources here for the documentation side of our project. Might help!!


Web Information Architecture Deliverables and Diagrams : FatPurple. 2012. Web Information Architecture Deliverables and Diagrams : FatPurple. viewed 22 April 2012, <>

Harvard Referencing Electronically

I’ve found RefWorks so far to be the most efficient. You can get a free account via the UTS Library, just click on the ‘electronic resource’ link and sign up! Your references are kept on an electronic database online and you can choose to output in Harvard UTS style. I downloaded the RefGrabIt plugin, so if I’m looking at a site that I want to reference, I can click on the RefGrabIt link at the bottom of the window and add it directly to my list of references in my account. It’s not overly complicated, but there are a couple of online tutorials and the library does run some workshops if you’d rather not go the ‘teach yourself’ approach These links from a search on ‘RefWorks’ should help. Conveniently, you can choose HTML output and paste it right into your web page (though you might need to modify the code a little to comply with XHTML 1.0 Strict).

I did find, however, that trying to add the UTS Harvard style (listed under ‘U’) to my preferred styles list didn’t work in Firefox, so I had to do that in another browser. I can’t remember whether it was Safari or Chrome but once I’d added it to my list of preferred styles, it could be accessed in any browser.

Hope this helps!


Pointed Brackets and Favicons

Harvard referencing UTS style, and those little pointy brackets, also known as greater than/less than, need special treatment. If you are trying to get those brackets around your urls, you will need to use a code to display the brackets, as they are ‘reserved’ HTML characters. I found them under ‘entities’. Find the codes for those and other symbols here. Actually, at first I thought I’d copy them from the source of the UTS Harvard Referencing page, but didn’t realise the ; needed to follow the code. It displayed just fine, but the Validator wasn’t having any of it, so I went looking further. No matter, learned two ways to put them in…and the code validated.

Today I also created a favicon for my site–not sure if I will keep it or change it. I do like it but I admit I created it in PowerPoint (gasp!) and used an online favicon generator because Photoshop isn’t loaded on the machine on which I’m working, and neither is any reasonable graphics program. You probably already know you can save a PowerPoint presentation as an image by doing a Save as, Image, then choosing an image type. It worked just fine. Only thing is I didn’t get transparency–not that I tried too hard–so I will probably drop it into Photoshop later. I used this favicon generator which gave a nicer (ie not a boxy pixelated image) result than some of the others I tried, and it supports transparency. Once you’ve created your favicon, you just need to put it into your root directory, and copy the code that is provided into the <head>section of your HTML file.  The machine I am working on right now has Safari and Chrome, and initially it wasn’t displaying the favicon in Safari, but I reset Safari (having found the solution online) and it appeared.

If you are happy to have your favicon displayed in a gallery, then try this site. A look at the gallery might give some inspiration! This page gives information about favicons and I think it’s worth reading. I also think the code provided here might validate more readily …

This favicon generator allows you to create animations. Maybe I’ll try that another time 🙂



Favicon Generator. 2012. Favicon Generator. viewed 25 March 2012,  <>

Favicon Generator. 2012. Favicon Generator. viewed 25 March 2012,  <>

favicon.ico Generator. 2012. favicon.ico Generator. viewed 25 March 2012, <>

Harvard UTS Referencing Guide | UTS Library. 2012. Harvard UTS Referencing Guide | UTS Library, viewed 25 March 2012, <>

HTML Entities. 2012. HTML Entities. viewed 25 March 2012, <>

The W3C Markup Validation Service. 2012. The W3C Markup Validation Service, viewed 25 March 2012, <>

The F word–my favourite!

All four letters of it (well, three really). Free, of course! A bit excited: I think I can include this in my web site; however, if anybody has any experience of any similar software I’d love to hear about it. This is an interactive booking system suitable for small business and I think it will slot in really well to my proposed website/app for a personal trainer. It can be embedded in an existing site, hooray! Did I mention it was free? My first experience with such a system was when booking a venue via Woollahra Council last year but I think the free software could do the trick for my purposes better than the one that deploys the Woollahra bookings system. I would love to program something like that myself if I have time (and let’s be honest, the smarts!) but if not, I can at least include this to provide the proposed functionality in my prototype. Wonder if I can change colours?

I did a bit of looking up and apparently it can be done in PHP but at this stage the code appeared incomprehensible to me and I’m not sure I could develop the skills in such a short space of time to do it. But it’s not completely off the list of potential happenings!



Event management software. Venue management software. Software for venue and event management. Events. Venues.. 2012. Event management software. Venue management software. Software for venue and event management. Events. Venues.. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 23 March 2012].

Home – SetMore: Online Appointment Booking. 2012. Home – SetMore: Online Appointment Booking. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 23 March 2012].

Online Booking System: Woollahra Municipal Council. 2010. Woollahra Municipal Council Online Booking System. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 23 March 2012]

Tips from W3Schools HTML Tutorial

I’ve got a bit of basic HTML knowledge, but never have the opportunity to do much coding or solve problems, so I thought I’d go through the W3C Schools Basic HTML tutorial (didn’t get any further than that yet, but CSS is next). I found some interesting things that I haven’t had much to do with, so I thought I’d list them for future reference.  These might be simple knowledge for the more experienced web people, so bear with me… Would be interested in people’s comments re what things they use a lot or other tips–or even some things that they prefer not to use and why.

One cool thing about these tutorial pages is there is a ‘try it’ feature so you can have a go at editing their code and see the results. The screen is split so you can see code as well as preview:

Bi-directional override

For scripts (languages) that are written right-to-left, the <bdo> (bi-directional override, not big day out!) tag is used. Hebrew and Arabic are two examples. According to, all major browsers support this tag.

<bdo dir=”rtl”>Here is some right-to-left text!</bdo>


The <q> tag can be used for short quotations. It inserts double quotes. I can’t figure out what the difference is between using <q> tags or simply typing the double quotes, unless it’s something that is read by software for the visually impaired. Anybody know? Have a look:

Image Height and Width Attributes

“Tip: It is a good practice to specify both the height and width attributes for an image. If these attributes are set, the space required for the image is reserved when the page is loaded. However, without these attributes, the browser does not know the size of the image. The effect will be that the page layout will change during loading (while the images load).” That tip was a direct quote from

Image Map

Creating an image map:

Different Types of Lists

(under the heading ‘Further Examples’)

In particular:

Definition Lists

Nested Lists

Optgroups in forms –  labels for items in a list using the <optgroup> tag

Colour Names

Names of colours, along with hexadecimal codes—if you prefer to use words instead of codes (there are 147 supported by all browsers). This is a nifty little page—you can preview the colour as a background with examples of coloured text on the background.

Hope this might have helped others!


SWOT Analysis

Thought I’d do a little research into SWOT analysis to help me write my learning proposal. These free templates have quite a bit in them that might not be useful, but they might give you a few ideas: (more structured towards business opportunities but a few things are likely to be relevant) (broader, simpler and more general)

Not sure of the credentials of the author here (I couldn’t find one!) but I thought this statement was useful: ‘In the SWOT Analysis Template matrix, Strengths and Weaknesses involve identifying the firm’s internal capabilities and / or disadvantages against its competitors, while Opportunities and Threats involve identifying external factors such as government policies, forces from competition …’  (SWOT Analysis


SWOT Analysis (n.d.). SWOT Analysis Template and Case Studies in its real life application of the SWOT Analysis template. viewed March 11, 2012, <SWOT Analysis Template:>