While the world seems obsessed with Pokémon Go – I have created Fakémon!

Many people at the time of writing seem obsessed with the AR game Pokémon Go – where you have to walk around the real world to find monsters to catch.

My facebook and Twitter feed this week has been full of people telling me what creatures they’d caught, and I thought it’d be fun to invent my own silly Pokémon names, and post responses saying things like “Oh but have you caught a Spruedongle yet? I have!” and see if people wonder where I’m finding these super rare Pokemon that don’t exist in any guide.

Then I thought of creating a game using Textadventures.co.uk, which I’ve dabbled with before, to make something resembling the actual game – where the player ambles about and collects creatures. I know it’s pointless, but if you think about it, so is the real thing.

So Fakémon was born! Gotta collect them all, for no reason.

Click here to play it!

I think many people voted Brexit for all the wrong reasons, blaming immigrants who aren’t at fault

I’m still upset that our nation has voted to leave the EU, and risked financial crisis for no actual benefit.

When I woke to the news I immediately felt sick with worry, worry about the uncertainty to come. The value of the pound had immediately plummeted and I realised that I still needed to buy Euros for our upcoming holiday to Venice. That’ll be more expensive now than a couple of days ago. Continue reading I think many people voted Brexit for all the wrong reasons, blaming immigrants who aren’t at fault

The best reviews of my BotSumo game

My game BotSumo that I made for Android has been on the Android Play store since January, and has been downloaded now over 12,000 times. Most of those people downloading were from the US, which was to be expected, but weirdly it found secondary audiences in Russia and Brazil, despite not being translated into their native languages.

Graph of total installs by country over time Continue reading The best reviews of my BotSumo game

Devices in Browserstack are as factory defaults, without latest updates

I use Browserstack a lot for testing website in devices, and It’s especially useful as I don’t have a lot of popular devices that I need to test on. iPhone 5, iPhone 6, iPad, iPad air etc.

I noticed a problem a few times now, and it’s mostly the way these iOS devices handle vendor prefixes – or more specifically that they *require* vendor prefixes for things like transform: rotate();

Sometimes, a page might look totally different on Browserstack (which shows the design messing up disastrously) to on iPhones and iPads that I’ve tested on.

It seemed a bit odd to me that the most favoured devices in the world still required vendor prefixes, when Chrome mostly doesn’t need them. I assumed they must have been updated recently surely, and that Browserstack is only showing me the devices at their factory settings. So I asked them to find out.

Are your iOS devices as they are out of the box, or include latest updates? - ‏@browserstack @davidonionball Yes, we provide iOS devices with the OS and browser versions shipped along with it.

So there’s proof. Devices on Browserstack are at their factory settings, which means any updates to the browser (and there might have been loads by now, surely?) won’t show.

This is good and bad, I can see why you’d want to see what your website looks like on a brand new out-of-the-box iPhone, but also, with the amount of browser updates there’s been, that might display totally different to the majority of iPhones.

But, just something to bear in mind.

Update – Browserstack got back to me saying they do provide the latest version of Safari on iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, which is what I’d expect.

browserstack - You are correct. However, we do provide Safari v9 on iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.

Although still it looks like you can’t test on an older phone that’s upgraded to Safari 9 (assuming that does happen of course?!).

Transitioning the colour of an SVG image

So when trying to make the BTB website load as quickly as possible (which requires an unhealthy obsession with tweaking small things to get a better score on Google page speed insights) I removed Fontawesome, which was previously baked into our CSS file. I like Fontawesome, it makes adding icons easy, but has problems, and in this case the problem was unnecessary addition of loads of styles we didn’t need, and valuable kilobytes of data I wanted to shave off. Continue reading Transitioning the colour of an SVG image

Schema.org name vs headline

I’ve been tasked with adding schema.org markup to a website, which is something I’ve known about for quite a while, I even added some to OngoingWorlds, although still don’t really know what the benefit is apart from the obvious company name, address, opening hours, telephone number etc which I assume is what gets used when showing a company at the top of a SERP, or on Google maps. Useful for some things, like restaurants you’re googling, but not others.

Another example of data I assume comes from this sort of data is cinema times, and probably e-commerce website data showing on the Google “shopping” tab.

But that’s about all the examples I can think of, even though there’s looooads of different types of metadata you can add, including fictional characters in stories, accessibility hazards, audience, quests in games, and loads of others – problem is, if these aren’t presented in interesting or useful ways like the restaurant result example, then what’s the point?

There seems to be some duplication too. I was marking up the blog articles template (blog on schema.org) with things like author, publishedDate etc, (which are useful), but there’s also a headline and name.

Description of headline:

Headline of the article.

Description of name:

Text – The name of the item.

I wouldn’t be so bothered, but Google’s structured data testing tool is marking the lack of name as an error in red. Not sure how serious that is, but it’s RED!

Google structured data testing tool result showing errors

I’ve had a look at other examples, and The Guardian uses itemprop=”headline” on it’s main article title, ignoring name completely (hey they also use BEM, thats cool!). The Independent uses headline too, so I’m going to do what they do and ignore name.

Although, there’s a discussion on W3C to deprecate headline completely, in favour of name, which is more standard. So I don’t know what to believe!