WordPress redirecting https to http

We recently transferred a static website using SSL (e.g. https://www.mywebsite.com) to wordpress. It was decided that we would no longer be serving the pages via https, but did not want to lose any traffic or ranking in google.

WordPress thankfully allows users to setup permalinks (permanent urls to pages / posts etc)  so the urls on the site can be search engine friendly. We typically use /%postname%/ structure which generates the following in an .htaccess file
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Review: PHP jQuery Cookbook

Packt Publishing recently (December 2010) published a very useful book called the “PHP jQuery Cookbook” by Vijay Joshi.

Over 60 simple but highly effective recipes to create interactive web applications…

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JQuery / PHP Upload and Crop – Feature Request Page

Hi all!

It has been a long while since we updated these upload and crop scripts and I think it’s time we get some features down and released in the next version. So please leave your feature requests in the comments below and we will do our best to include as many of them as possible in the next release(s).

These requests can be from ability to save to database to renaming images on upload etc. If we can get a good collection going perhaps we can release the plugin in a number of flavours (so to speak) that would cater to most solutions.

Look forward to seeing what you guys have in mind!

Create Powerful Mobile Apps with HTML, CSS and jQuery

jQTouch is a jQuery plugin for mobile web development on forward-thinking devices. You can create powerful mobile apps with just HTML, CSS, and jQuery. It supports native animations, automatic navigation, and themes for mobile WebKit browsers like iPhone, G1, and Pre.

jQTouch requires one basic theme to make page transitions work which is very small. One could use just the core CSS file to build a completely custom UI. Themes are additional CSS files which provide native-looking styles, mostly centered around the iPhone OS. Themes included are: Apple, jQT and Vanilla.

Apple admits iPhone apps not suitable for business

Commercial programs are solely for non-commercial use

Apple is reminding customers that applications sold through the iTunes store are strictly for non-commercial use: business use is forbidden, which makes one wonder what that section of the store is for.

Apple certainly gives the impression that the iPhone is suitable for businesses, and the Business section of the iTunes Application Store lists 78 pages of apps that we presume are aimed at business use. This makes it all the more surprising that Apple advised one customer that: “The iTunes Store sells only to customers as end-users for personal, noncommercial use.”

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Microsoft prove they’re listening

You might remember a couple of weeks back I received a fantastic letter from the Office team confirming they’d received the Fix Outlook mosaic and had even hung it on their wall. Today they took their message of “we’re listening” a step further by sending me photographic proof that they’re doing just that.

The first shot features William Kennedy, VP of Office and Jeanne Sheldon, VP of Word (nice shirt Jeanne) hanging out next to the mosaic’s new home in the Office team’s hallway.

William Kennedy and Jeanne Sheldon

This second photo was taken at the entrance to the Microsoft campus and includes a number of Word and Outlook team members who have worked on HTML rendering in Office over the years.

The rendering crew

I’ve got to give Microsoft an enormous amount of credit for this. They could have ignored our feedback completely, but instead proved they are genuinely listening to our feedback and are prepared to have a bit of fun doing it. Add to this the recent launch of MakeOfficeBetter.com by two Microsoft employees, and it becomes clear that these guys really do care about giving their customers the best experience possible.

While there is still no confirmation about what impact this will have on the rendering in Outlook, this is a big step for the Office team to take publicly. William and the rest of the Office team have assured me they will keep in touch as they plan their next release. You guys will be the first to hear if we have any news to share. In the mean time, let’s keep the feedback going by adding your vote for better HTML support.

Bravo Microsoft.

The Fix Outlook mosaic is on the wall at Microsoft!

A couple of weeks back, you might remember that we sent the Office team a final message that included a huge mosaic of everyone who took part in the fixoutlook.org campaign.

We were unsure if we would hear back from the Office team, but were pleasantly surprised today when a large package straight from Redmond arrived on our doorstep. William Kennedy, the Corporate VP of Office was kind enough to send a personal letter to us thanking us for our efforts. William even explained that the Fix Outlook mosaic was now on display in their hallway so the entire Office team can check it out.

William also mentioned that “improvements and changes in this area are something that the team is definitely considering for the future”. Only time will tell if Outlook will move towards better standards support, but this is certainly the strongest message on the subject we’ve had to date.

This is a brilliant result. Here’s the complete letter (emphasis ours).

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I can’t thank William enough for not only ensuring our message is seen by the entire team, but for taking the time to let us know how much they appreciated our feedback.

Sending a final message to Microsoft about Outlook 2010

It’s been just shy of 3 weeks since we launched fixoutlook.org, and it’s safe to say the project has been a phenomenal success. Almost 25,000 people have joined the chorus to send a unified message to Microsoft about their lack of web standards support in Outlook 2010. On top of this, there has been considerable coverage across the web from small blogs to major news sites. We’ve even had some fantastic, thoughtful responses from another member of the Office team (who officially filed a bug about the lack of standards) and a Microsoft MVP.

To bring this great project to a close, we wanted to make sure the Outlook team had a constant reminder of just how strongly we all feel about their lack of standards support. Trending topics on Twitter come and go, we wanted something a little more permanent we could send their way.

The fixoutlook.org Mosaic

In his reply to the fixoutlook campaign, Microsoft’s William Kennedy told us that there “is no consensus” about what standards apply to email and that he’d work with the industry if a consensus arises. Luckily for us, these standards already exist. They’re called web standards.

To make sure William got the point, we figured we’d send him a “consensus” from 25,000 of us, many of who (myself included) are Outlook customers. From this idea, the fixoutlook.org mosaic was born. In a single image, it includes almost all of the 25,000 people who joined us in asking Microsoft to fix standards support in Outlook 2010.

Here’s a preview of the mosaic. You can click it for the full sized version, which is a rather large 20MB and might take a while to download.

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We’ve used the different colored avatars from everyone who contributed to spell out a final message to Microsoft. We figured saying please this time couldn’t hurt our chances.

As I write this, the 2m x 1m mosaic is just boarding a plane on it’s way to Redmond, personally addressed to Mr Kennedy on behalf of everyone who contributed.

To give you an idea of scale, here’s a shot of us holding the mosaic.

A big final thanks to everyone who helped spread the word about the importance of the fixoutlook campaign. On a more personal note, it was a pleasure to be involved from start to finish, and hopefully it will contribute to making life easier for email designers and Outlook users alike.

Microsoft responds to our call for standards support

Firstly, I want to take this opportunity to express a sincere thanks to everyone for taking the time to spread the word about the fixoutlook.org campaign today. As we near 20,000 tweets, it’s been an overwhelmingly positive response.

It’s also been fantastic to see William Kennedy, Corporate Vice President of the Office team respond so quickly to the community on the Outlook team blog. There are some positives to take away from the post, as well as a number of issue I think need further clarification.

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Microsoft to ignore web standards in Outlook 2010 – enough is enough

As most of you know, our motivation for starting the Email Standards Project two years ago came from the release of Outlook 2007. Specifically, because of Microsoft’s decision to avoid using a browser to render HTML emails in place of a word processor. This immediately took standards-based email design off the table, forcing designers to abandon web standards for tables and font tags. You can read our original reaction and the subsequent call to arms that followed.

Since that time, we’ve had the pleasure of working with teams at Yahoo!, Apple, IBM, Google and even the Microsoft Entourage team. However, the elephant in the room was always Outlook. For a time things were looking good and we had the chance to chat with a number of passionate Microsoft employees who agreed with our position on standards and to try their best to improve future versions of Outlook. I’m sad to say, it looks like these efforts failed.

After testing the latest beta of Outlook 2010 and seeing the same poor standards support as 2007, a senior member of the Outlook team confirmed they plan on continuing to use Word to render HTML emails. Not only that, but early tests indicate that HTML support in the Word engine has not been improved in any way. Same bugs. Same quirks.

To demonstrate just how bad the Word rendering engine is in Outlook 2010, here’s exactly the same email rendered in Outlook 2000, and then Outlook 2010. Click the image for a full sized version.

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Microsoft explain their position

When Outlook 2007 was released there were lots of theories thrown around about what motivated the switch to the Word rendering engine. Many stipulated that it was a security related decision after the problems they’d been having with previous versions of Outlook. As it turns out, it was much simpler than that.

This was confirmed last week in a discussion with Outlook Product Manager Dev Balasubramanian. When asked why Outlook is using Word to compose HTML emails, this was his response:

“The reason for this lies in the benefit Outlook users gain by having Word as their e-mail authoring tool; rich tools like SmartArt, automatic styles and templates, and other benefits found in Word 2007 and 2010 enable Outlook users to write professional looking and visually stunning messages.”

“I am aware of where this decision on our part places Outlook from a standards perspective – at the same time, we ask that you consider the benefits Outlook users get from having Word tools in their e-mail authoring experience.”

When asked why Word is also used to render HTML emails, Dev explained:

“Having multiple HTML engines could reduce performance, as well as create an inconsistency in terms of what type of content the user is able to create vs. consume.”

Basically, Microsoft are using the Word rendering engine so emails composed in Outlook will look consistent when viewed by other Outlook users (also confirmed in this Microsoft white paper).

Email is not a walled garden

Microsoft’s decision to move away from the pre-2007 approach of using Internet Explorer to render emails clearly demonstrates they are not confident that emails composed using Word will render correctly in a web browser. Remember, for a second, that every other email client on the market today uses a web browser to render HTML email.

Surely Microsoft understand that if an Outlook 2010 user sends a Word formatted email to a friend using Apple Mail or Thunderbird and it’s unreadable, both sender and receiver suffer a poor experience. By aiming to please Outlook-to-Outlook senders, they are punishing Outlook customers who send to those using other email clients. Given the fact that Outlook 2007 only commands around 7% email client market share, it’s easy to see how short-sighted this is.

An obvious solution

To us, the solution couldn’t be more clear-cut. By updating the Word engine so it can compose and render standards based HTML, all of these problems are solved. Microsoft can have its pie and eat it too.

Outlook customers can receive email from outside sources without formatting problems. They can also rest assured that any emails they send to friends and colleagues not using Outlook will display as intended.

As the market upgrades from Outlook 2007 to 2010, HTML email design can move out of the pre-standards era of the 90’s bringing all the benefits that come with it.

Microsoft want your feedback on this decision

Outlook 2010 is still in beta and a year away from public release. Either we make it clear this is a bad decision now, or the disconnect between Outlook users and the rest of the email world will continue to grow. Email designers will be stuck building emails using the same clunky combination of tables for layout, inline CSS and font tags for many years to come.

Thankfully, Microsoft want to hear your feedback about this. From the Outlook Product Manager Dev Balasubramanian:

“The Office team, and Microsoft in general, is always open to and interested in customer feedback so we can prioritize the various needs of our diverse user base in product planning and development.”

“This conversation alone has reignited the topic within the Outlook and Word teams and in and of itself will contribute to future design considerations… We want to hear feedback on this position, and I’m sure you and your readers will provide it.”

It’s time for us to send the strongest message yet to Microsoft, and we need your help to get started. To make this happen, we’ve built fixoutlook.org.

Click to visit fixoutlook.org

All you have to do is tweet your thoughts about this issue, and make sure you include the fixoutlook.org URL somewhere in the tweet. We’ll be pulling together every tweet that includes this link on the fixoutlook.org site to send a unified message to Microsoft. The more tweets, the more impact, so please start spreading the word today and encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same.

To get started, head to fixoutlook.org for all the details.