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All posts tagged Javascript

Today We Heard About Spartan…

ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley sparked off the internet and techie blogospheres rumor mill and speculations ran wild based on her report that Microsoft is building a new lightweight browser to run alongside Internet Explorer on Windows 10.

This is Spartan - 300 quote

With thanks to the movie, The 300 for the eminently quotable phrase. Screenclip via Youtube

Spartan is not going to be Internet Explorer the unconfirmed rumors start from there and include lighter, faster, more flexible and the inevitable comparisons to Chrome and Firefox in that Spartan will have extensions or plugins.

Sites like Gizmodo, Techcrunch, The Verge and others are in a feeding frenzy of speculation and many manage to either misunderstand Foley, indulge in the usual troll-like, anti-Redmond wishing-will-make-it-so or are just link baiting. To be fair to both Techcrunch and The Verge they manage to remain mostly calm and accurate.

My prize goes to Gizmodo for their “Report: Microsoft could ditch IE for a new browser named Spartan” as if tagging Report: at the start of any title legitimizes the magical thinking involved here. Remind me to add this to my “Unicorns live in my basement” post to give it extra cred.

What Can We Learn From The ZDNet Post?

After reading Foley’s post these are the four most noticeable points about Spartan: –

  • It will not be IE12.
  • This may not be another Halo homage (like Cortana) but may actually refer to the design, UI or UX of the browser.

Halo: Spartan Assault

Image courtesy of the Microsoft Store and Halo: Spartan Assault Game

The Warptest POV

Okay so we have an unnamed source and the likelihood that Spartan is not going to be ready for the next Developer Preview for Windows 10.

We can all take a deep breath in our respective brown paper bags, IE is going nowhere for now. Developers are not going to be left in the cold after building web apps or Add-ons for IE. That’s right, IE has add-ons which are basically a different name for Plugins or Extensions on other browsers.

A second browser in Windows 10?!?? Newsflash hotshots, there is a second lightweight browser in Windows 8 and 8.1. Search from the Charms menu or open IE in the Metro New Windows UI and presto, lightweight IE browser. Oh and BTW, both are faster than you might expect.

Mary Jo Foley does ask the very valid question of if we will see Spartan ported to Android or iOS. A year ago many of us would have scoffed at the idea but the last year has shown Microsoft investing major resources in developing for both mobile platforms. Taking that one step further, my question is will Microsoft make Spartan open source like .Net?

My advice to the Microsoft Marketing Team:

Pay whatever you need to recreate the “This is Sparta” scene and then segue into Leonidas surfing the web with Spartan.

One thing is for sure, I will be testing Spartan if and when it is released. How about you?

Microsoft Is Pounding Out New Stuff And Bing Is No Exception

Just before the weekend Bing released a beta of their new Knowledge Widget, an add-on for websites and blogs that when added will display indexed, relevant keywords and display results in a sidebar.

Big bing logo

The widget is Javascript, configurable and once the webmaster chooses the style and layout, the code can be added to the post / site.

The user can click on an underlined keyword or click on the sidebar to see images related to those keywords. Hitting the keyword opens the Knowledge Widget and displays Bing results of relevance to the keyword(s).

At the same time Bing has released App Linking to ensure that discovery of your site and content includes ranking for your app. This feature can be implemented to deep link from content within your website to targets within the app.

How To Add It?

Bing posted a full how-to article including configurable Javascript to copy and add to your content.

Follow the link on the page to select the settings you want on the page, modify the Javascript accordingly and the page also includes deeper explanation of manual configuration options like CSS.

Bing Knowledge Widget Javascript Default




…Here is the default javascript.

I recommend reading through and customizing this to suit your own page layout.

Bing Knowledge Widget Config

The Warptest POV

As I mentioned in an earlier article, the new format of Bing’s results leverages discovery of valuable, relevant content… not just a list of blue links.

Here is a series of screen-grabs from my previous post after I added the widget:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Bing Knowledge Widget is a lightweight add-on for your blog that has the added value of keeping your visitors onsite but at the same time allowing them to discover external content that relates to your post(s). Bing have made sure that it’s easy to configure and setup on your website. The UI is compliant with Bing and the features are easy to use. So far results I’ve looked at are relevant and I’ve seen no false positives.

In a nutshell, I’m giving Bing a big Warptest thumbs-up for their new Knowledge Widget and even though it is in beta I recommend testing it out.

So, let me know when you have added the Knowledge Widget to your blog or website and I’ll check it out.