February 01, 2006

Static Prototype v1 Completed

After a delay of several days due to illness, the first prototype of the portal interface has been completed. It will be distributed later today to "guinea pigs" for feedback, along with a few use cases for them to document their activities for me.

Known Issues

  • Trial of an expanding menu using pure CSS without JavaScript. Whilst this works fine in Firefox 1.5 and Opera 8.51, it shows with some parts being unselectable in Firefox 1.0.5 (DCS machines), and does not expand at all in Internet Explorer. This does not affect usability of the site, it just removes an enhanced feature – if the menu proves popular, it is likely to be rebuilt using JavaScript.
  • Internet Explorer adds a left-right scrollbar unnecessarily when the Inbox CSS element overflows.
  • Issue with border-widths in Internet Explorer – a 1px border is invisible, but a thin border is incredibly thick. Alternatives are being investigated.
  • Forced space-characters are displaying as squares in IE. This will be sorted properly, most likely with spacer images.


  • JavaScript is driving the "Learn" homepage, although this may move to server-side scripting at a later date.
  • Drop-down menu functionality on "Learn" and "Module Resources" pages merely show intended functionality.
  • "Diary", "Email", "Forums", "Degree" and "Help" have no content
  • Search function is disabled
  • Homepage links direct the user to the relevant page rather than the message/resource itsself
  • Content is not complete – many dummy/duplicate pages.
  • Sizing is mostly relative, although on resolutions lower than 1024×768 it seems rather claustrophobic.

- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. just so you know, css expanding menus work in IE7

    01 Feb 2006, 16:14

  2. Thanks for the heads-up on that – just downloaded IE7 Beta 2… very weird, looks to me like they've based it on Netscape 8.

    Anyways, besides the point! It does indeed work, although I think it would need a bit of tweaking. Would be nice to be able to have multiple versions of IE for testing, but I don't think its going to happen sadly.

    01 Feb 2006, 19:01

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