Monday, June 30, 2008

Form Symbols

I am re-working Apache Cocoon Forms framework at the moment, mainly upgrading it to use the new features of Dojo 1.1 but also taking the opportunity for a bit of a cleanup.

One thing I am looking at, is the three symbols that can sit beside form fields :
1. the field-error marker (currently uses an exclamation mark, don't like it, not visually strong enough)
2. the field is required marker (currently uses an asterisk, OK, I suppose .....)
3. the field help marker. (currently uses an icon, one of mine I think, a bit ugly)

I am trying to decide between two different approaches, and you may be able to help me decide .......

The typical approach (the one used extensively by Dojo) would be to have graphical icons as the background of a tag, turned on and off as appropriate by toggling the 'display' css property.

This is all and well, but TBH I am not such a great icon maker, not all of the ones I need are included with Dojo, I do not want to rip off someone's copyright by mistake and infect Cocoon with it.

I also reckon that these kinds of symbols are culturally-specific, hence should be controlled by the locale of the client.

So my alternative approach is to use characters from Unicode.
The characters I have chosen display fine in MacOSX, but I realise they might not do so under Windows or Linux.

So, you could help in two ways :
1. Do these characters display properly on your platform?
2. In the context of a latin language, do they convey the right meaning?

1. field error (name: High Voltage Sign)
2. field is required (name: Black Star)
3. field help (name: Circled Latin Small Letter I)

Please let me know what you think in the comments.
Many thanks for your feedback.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

More Fraud

I have been ripped off again.

Apparently my debit card has been skimmed and the info used to attempt purchases across America and Nigeria. The bank noticed the activity immediately and stopped my card (last time, it was up to me to notice).

Unfortunately they stopped the card without telling me ....... I started having problems with payments failing, visited my branch to see what was going on with this (and several other problems) spent a frustrating half-hour waiting in a queue, got no resolution from them ...... called the bank's main office and began to hear that they could not deal with any of my issues because my account had been security flagged.

I finally got through to somebody useful in the security department and got everything quickly sorted out.

When this happened last time, I assumed my card details had been stolen online and had changed some of my purchasing behaviour accordingly, but what was interesting this time was that they told me that whoever stole my card info, had had access to the physical card itself, i.e. a modified ATM, an employee of a local shop or restaurant etc.

Not at all what I expected.