About This Site

Update: As of February 2018, this site is now explicitly mobile friendly, thanks to HTML viewport settings; CSS magic to make the toolbar and code scrollable; a handful of page redesigns; and the copious free time of the site proprietor. The CSS tricks also now work around the URL-hover caveat mentioned below. This page reflects this new story.

Content

This website hosts hundreds of pages spanning more than two decades. Its programming-related topics include books, free software, industry trends, and more. All of its content can be reached from its bottom-of-screen toolbar and Search page. Scroll or swipe the toolbar on smaller screens to access all its links (tap first to activate where required); its "Python Powered" image jumps to the home page.

Browsers

This site grew up with and marginally prefers to be viewed on desktop browsers. It has been verified to render well on all desktop browsers in common use today. A former but notable caveat regarding URL-hover popups in Edge and recent Firefoxes was removed by site redesign.

This site can also be read on and has been optimized specifically for mobile browsers. On smaller screens, however, it generally renders best in landscape mode, due to its wealth of text-oriented content. There's more on mobile below.

Tools

In terms of tech and design, this site uses:

Java Script is also used, but is optional, and run only for anonymous analytics if enabled (view this page's source to see how). Mobile-device support employs additional HTML and CSS techniques, per the next section.

Mobile

This site is readable on mobile browsers, and as of February 2018 has been tuned to support smaller screens specifically. Mobile viewport settings alone worsened as many aspects as they improved, but extra design changes (e.g., site-wide scrollable toolbars and code, and some media-query responsive styling) fixed usability issues.

That said, given the volume of content here—most of which is text-based and some of which dates back to the mid-1990s—landscape orientation is generally recommended for mobile devices. Naturally, performance and preference may vary per device, browser, and user, and some browsers have reading-mode converters and text-scaling settings that may further improve user experience.

One footnote: despite the redesign, some parts of this site are still not explicitly mobile-friendly, and may never be. For instance, code listing may require swipes to scroll; the class workbook is desktop legacy; and the unzipped HTML User Guides of free programs are still at the mercy of your mobile browser. As the latter of these accompany desktop-only programs, mobile conversions are unlikely.

It's also worth noting that smaller screens are convenient, but fundamentally limited; the goal here is to accommodate by enhanced style, not to pander by reduced substance. This site's traffic is currently 90% desktop browsers, and its main reason for being is to support readers of books and learners of code. If you're not interested in reading words, well, how did you ever get this far?...



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