I made some controversial choices that you might be interested in hearing about. It's not really something for show listeners in general, so I don't want to burden anyone with my ramblings. I want to touch on some of the design and development choices that I made for the Ideas By Elliot website.


This term will mean nothing to non-techies. So, I'll give the abbreviated version of this. All the audio delivered on the website is delivered without Flash. I wasn't sure how that would go over, but I have carefully analyzed the analytics of this relatively popular (for such a short time) web property. In a nutshell, this decision impacts a startlingly small number of users. The time to go "all-in" on HTML5 is now, friends. This allowed me to develop a custom Drupal module called "HTML5 SimplePlayer". Once it's approved, it will be available for everyone from the official Drupal.org website. It's free. It's open source.

So, no Flash. What does that mean to you? First: Flash is horrible for batteries. Since nearly everyone uses a laptop or smaller as their web browsing device, battery life is a huge deal. It also means the website is faster and more consistent across devices.

Mobile World!

The usage stats for this website paint an interesting picture. MOST users are mobile.

ALL mobile users can play HTML5 audio natively. WOOHOO!

Beyond that, as the chart below shows, fewer than 10% of the users are even questionable - the Internet Explorer slice and the "Other" slice. Even in those two slices, deeper analysis shows that at least half of those users can play with no problem as well. Further digging shows that even those users who are using these browsers could use a standards compliant browser. In fact, it's quite probably since these stats are so low that many of them were my testing.

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What does that mean to you? It means that you're going to get a great experience! You'll get to play the podcast right from your browser. It also means that you don't have to figure that out on your own, however. If you do happen to stumble into the website using an ancient browser, you'll get a notification with direct links to get something more up-to-date.

There's really very little reason to not be running a recent browser. Firefox and Chrome are completely free. Internet Explorer (and now Edge) and Safari come with your device. If you have an old computer? Run Firefox or Chrome.

If you can't run a recent version of those? That probably means your computer is 15 years old. (Even then, you can probably get Firefox or Chrome to open the website.)

More Later

I thought this post would be a little shorter. There's more to come.