Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Boneheaded Web Designer of the day

I’m afraid I’ll have to rant about Black Bull Web Design and their web site, since it’s so inaccessable it’s almost amusing.
Now, last time I checked, to create a link to a page, you would use the following code:

<a href="newpage1.html" style="color:red">New Page 1</a>

I’ve spiced it up slightly with some CSS to give the red colour as used on the site. However, Black Bull beg to differ. There, they acheive the effect with the following code:

<td class="welcome" onmouseover="'red'" onmouseout="'006600'"><span id="newpage" onmouseover="'hand'" title="available options">New Page 1</span></td>
<script language="VBScript" type="text/vbscript">
Dim objNewWindow
sub newpage_onClick
Set objNewWindow = Window.Open("newpage1.html","myWindowOne", "width=560,height=300,toolbar=no, menubar=no, location=no,directories=no,resizable=no,scrollbars=yes,top=120,left=15" )
end sub

Now excuse my ignorance, but I really cannot see why all that is really necessary. Firstly, since it uses VBScript and not the more open JavaScript, any non-IE browser won’t have a clue what to do, including screen readers – all they see is plain text. I don’t quite understand the need to force the links to open in new windows either – if I wanted the link to open in a new window I’d open one. And I wouldn’t mind having my status bar and my toolbar as well, and being able to resize it would be nice.
Furthermore, the code bulks out the page terribly. You could shave at least a kilobyte out of it if you stuck to simple text links like everyone else, and on a site which generates a lot of bandwidth that could be a very useful saving.
Sometimes I dispair at so-called web designers.


  1. I can’t even contact the site developer telling him I can’t use his site.

  2. That’s why they’re designers … they design … they don’t code …
    Those that obey the standards AND design well are heroes and we should all worship them.

  3. Ewwww.
    The last time I saw code this atrocious it was created via FrontPage. Perhaps this is FrontPage code with the meta creator tag removed?

  4. From the link at the bottom of the page (the only one that works) it looks like he used a glorified version of Notepad that is geared up for HTML editing. Which means it is possible that he typed the code out himself.
    In which case, why on earth did he have to use that huge block of code for one measly link? I honestly cannot think of one reason why that would be necessary.

  5. looks to me like classic dreamweaver code. Our corporate page has been (re)designed using dreamweaver and as such its impossible for me to edit/tweak/fix as dreamweaver puts so much rubbish in there – not to mention creating a horrible website full of graphics.

  6. Why is it that so called “designers” can’t design good sites? I know one person who got a job on the basis of being able to design good sites – yep, good sites if you are after a band-fan site with lots of Flash-y moving animation type things in garish colours – but corporate, professional sites bah… She spent a whole week+ designing a site (in Dreamweaver+FrontPage IIRC) a client wasn’t happy with, me – the non-designer- managed to re-build the site from scratch using nice hand coded CSS and plain HTML with a little bit of Photoshop for the four graphics – within a day (actually an afternoon if I was working full time on it) and the client was more than happy…

  7. I think if you knew the answer to that question, Richy, you’d be able to discover the meaning of life too :).
    Seriously, many in the web design industry seem to think that you can apply graphic design conventions to a web page, and that rarely is the case.

  8. Sort of off topic, but how do you get that mouseover thing on the CSS where it explains what CSS is?

  9. Using the <acronym> tag. To get that, I’d type <acronym title=”Cascading Style Sheet”>CSS</acronym> .
    I then used Brad Choate’s MTMacro plugin for Movable Type to automate the process.