Author Archives: Sam Dutton

About Sam Dutton

I am a Developer Advocate for Google Chrome. I grew up in rural South Australia, went to university in Sydney, and have lived since 1986 in London, England. Twitter: @SW12

Debugging apps and extensions for the Google Chrome Web Store

Chrome extension debugging can be confusing. This post has some suggestions to make extension debugging easier. Continue reading

Posted in Google Chrome, HTML | Tagged , | 6 Comments

The BBC, Glow and jQuery

The BBC’s JavaScript library Glow 2 ‘is no longer in active development. We are currently researching and developing a BBC JavaScript library that uses jQuery for its core DOM manipulation functionality.’ Continue reading

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Additional methods for JavaScript Array

Additions to the JavaScript Array prototype making it easier to work with numeric arrays. Continue reading

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Kenneth Tynan prophesies CGI

Kenneth Tynan, in his diary entry for 20 July 1972, prophesies a form of cinema remarkably like feature-length computer-generated animation. If only he’d lived to see Toy Story! Continue reading

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jQuery debugging tips

Some gotchas to avoid when coding with jQuery. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Brain control interfaces: the Emotiv EPOC headset

I used to think that sooner or later we’d get rid of clunky computer input devices and use ‘thought control’ instead. It seems crazy that we’re still wiggling mice and pecking away at keyboards. Now I’m not so sure. Today … Continue reading

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HTML 5 video — now with tracks

Ian Hickson has added the timed track spec to the draft HTML standard. This will provide a simple, standardised way to add timed auxiliary content to video — such as subtitles and descriptions — but also enables cues for arbitrary timed metadata. Continue reading

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iPad first impressions

The first thing I thought when I tried out the iPad — what if I dropped it? But is this the ‘kitchen’ device? Continue reading

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Why we need better IT teaching for girls

Virtually all tech company directors and executives are men. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Eliza lives!

IKEA’s lovely assistant Anna is a bit like the original Eliza computer program, only Swedish. Continue reading

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Wolfram Alpha: don’t ask the wrong questions

The Wolfram Alpha ‘knowledge engine’ has great potential, but as yet it’s a bit disappointing: US-centric and effective only in specific, limited domains. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Treat Yourself Right

The UK National Health Service resorts to strange 21st century clip art in its new Treat Yourself Right campaign. Continue reading

Posted in NHS, Uncategorized, Wandsworth | Tagged | Leave a comment

Bad language must be punished

It’s time to get tough on the jive-talking jargonistas and lecture-circuit logopaths who persist in ****ing up the Queen’s (or President’s) English. Continue reading

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Snowpersons of Balham

Posted in Balham, Snow, Snowman, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

20 ways to debug Qt signals and slots

Below are some suggestions for troubleshooting signals and slots in the Qt C++ library. 1. Check for compiler warnings about non-existent signals and/or slots. 2. Use break points or qDebug to check that signal and slot code is definitely reached: – the … Continue reading

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Worse than slow

Computers used to be slow*. Now they’re unresponsive.  Computer boffins have a word for it: latency. This is the delay between doing something (clicking the Submit button) and getting a response (‘Thanks for your order’). Latency can interrupt your flow … Continue reading

Posted in Google Chrome, Usability, Windows | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Chrome is quite good

The Google Chrome browser is a pretty good start at taking over the world. Continue reading

Posted in Google Chrome | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Great Interface Mysteries #1: unresizable dialog boxes

Many dialog boxes should be resizable, but often (especially in Windows) they’re not. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized, Usability, Visual Studio, Windows, Windows XP | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Why is Find & Replace so hard?

What is it about Find & Replace? Noone seems to get it right, and Visual Studio 2005 is one of the worst culprits. Continue reading

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Python is (not) better than C++

Python is a great programming language, but it’s being sold for the wrong reasons. In particular, it’s often compared favourably with C/C++. Continue reading

Posted in c++, Python | Tagged , | 12 Comments