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Showing posts from November, 2015

VW behaving badly.

The EPA (The US government's Environmental Protection Agency) recently issued Notice of Violations regarding the emissions from Volkswagen cars. Volkswagen is actually a group of brands, therefore the Notice affects other cars such as Audi, Porsche and Skoda.

A lot of the focus has been on what was going on in Volkswagen, for example who knew what was being done? Did the VW testers know? Did they pass the details on etc.

What interests me is the wider issue of how this could have been possible for so long?  (Since 2009)  If so many cars were affected and for so long, why didn’t we hear about this sooner? Why isn’t there a team of people assigned to finding this stuff out... Oh wait, there is...

In the UK these emissions tests are governed by the Vehicle Certification Agency, answering to the Department of Transport.

One might expect the manufacturer to be less inclined to investigate the cars emissions, after-all testing costs money (less profit). I might also expect them to exp…

'No More ASCII' Firefox Add-on

Many of my clients have a multi-national (and multi-lingual) user base, and their software receives input from a range of devices, not just those configured to UK or US locales. The sites may also need to process and publish content that is 'non-ASCII'.

So when I'm quickly testing a website or web application, I need to investigate how they handle inputs from a multitude of locales, quickly.

That's why I created the No More ASCII, a Firefox Add-on, it has a set of stock text strings from a range of languages and scripts. These have been chosen for their widespread use around the world, as well as their ability to highlight deficiencies in many web-sites. For example these features of the scripts can cause problems for ASCII/poor-Unicode implementations:
Right To Left text  - HebrewDiacritics - SwedishNon-Roman - Mandarin, Hindi etc. The text strings may not make 'sense' as some are partial sentences or Monty Python quotes. They are aimed to have a selection of c…

Counting Strings Firefox Addon

A while back I created a simple web based tool that helped you create text strings of a specified length. The text strings are created to make it easy to tell their length even if they are truncated.

The tool was based on a similar tool by James Bach, called perlclip.

I've now updated my Counting Strings script to be a free Firefox add-on. So you can now have it with you where ever you test online. You don't even need to restart your browser.