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

The Page Visibility API

Demo of the Page Visibility API: useful for checking if a web page is — or becomes — visible or hidden. Continue reading

Posted in HTML, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

AppleScript to view HTML in a browser with TextWrangler

TextWrangler is a great text editor for the Mac.

Here’s a handy AppleScript to enable HTML files to be opened in any browser, including Chrome. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Instant search for Shakespeare’s sonnets

I’ve written an application to search Shakespeare’s sonnets, which links to Quarto 1 facsimiles of each of the poems at the the University of Victora Internet Shakespeare Editions website. You can access it as a plain old web page in … Continue reading

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Framegrabber Chrome extension

I’ve built a free Chrome extension for bookmarking video timecodes and capturing framegrabs. It’s called Framegrabber and you can get it here. Framegrabs are still images of individual film frames. The Framegrabber extension makes it possible to take framegrabs from … Continue reading

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School reports: There’s An App For That!

School reports have always been a bit useless.

Recently, in English primary schools at least, they’ve got even worse: verbose and clogged with jargon.

The new-style reports are a pain for teachers to compile, and written in language that’s unlikely to be read or understood by many parents. Given the pressures on their time, teachers resort to sharing report statements online, or software that writes reports automatically. Report statements can even be bought on eBay.

A simpler approach would be better for everyone.
Continue reading

Posted in Education, OFSTED, Primary schools, QCDA, School | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Shakespeare’s sonnets in JSON format

JSON version of Shakespeare’s sonnets Continue reading

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For The Messengers

Jude Cowan (who works for ITN Source) has written an excellent book of poems in response to what she’s seen as a video archivist for Reuters: http://www.forthemessengers.co.uk/extracts.htm Continue reading

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HTML: The standard that failed?

A response to Neil McAllister’s article, questioning whether or not the HTML standard has failed. Continue reading

Posted in Google, HTML, html5, Ian Hickson, standards, WHATWG | Leave a comment

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 , | 7 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

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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

Posted in HTML, Uncategorized, WHATWG | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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