Still using Internet Explorer? Read on...
October 10, 2011 by Yugen
For the past few months I've been working on a new version of the zmc.org website. It is not a radical departure - it looks pretty much the same just with more pages and more content. The site is currently up on the web in a test location to be given the once over for corrections and general tone and content by the Yokoji board of directors and a few other select individuals. I'm hoping to go live around November 1st, but I have a few more bits and pieces to finish up on it first. We are launching a new pledge scheme and a fundraising program, both of which will come to life with the revised site. There will also be a forum for members to use, which we'll put up on a trial basis to see if there is a demand for it.
I'm also in the process of trying to make the site as functional as possible in Internet Explorer 6 and 7. Believe it or not, there is still a worryingly large percentage of the population using these old browsers. I can see exactly how many people use which browser to view our site and Internet Explorer is the most popular, although most people are using version 8, followed closely by 7, then 9, then version 6. Internet Explorer is famously the bane of web designers as it has its own may of interpreting the code you write. It's not so bad once you know the particulars of its quirks, but it is frustrating developing a site in say Firefox, Chrome or Safari (which all render the code in pretty much the same, standards-compliant way) and then going over to Internet Explorer and seeing what looks like the aftermath of someone having taken a chainsaw to your design, leaving it in strange piles around the screen. Normally a tweak here and there will take care of it, but it does add to the work. Some designers have stopped developing for Internet Explorer 6, but the fact is that it is still the primary browser for a number of people, and not to make a site useable for all browsers basically excludes those who use an older PC and don't know how to, or choose not to, upgrade their software. For this reason I will persevere until the site is at least functional in all browsers, even if it is not as pretty in the older ones. Apparently a number of countries in Europe went as far as to implement government led initiatives to stop people using Internet Explorer 6 due to security issues, although the British government refused to upgrade themselves on account of it being 'too hard'! So I guess if that excuse works for a government...
The plan is to include a lot more video content on the new site. One of the new videos posted last week on YouTube and at zmc.org/video. For any of you who missed this mini-momentous occassion, here it is:
Jokai and Susan both did a great job and this will appear on our new zazen page, for folks who want a refresher on postures before coming up to the Center, or for people who are new to the practice.
In other less-technocentric-and-potentially-deathly-dull news, we started the October sesshin last night. Eishu is back to resume his role as itinerant head trainee and Taido Sensei from Seattle is coming for the last few days too. This means we have three teachers for the sesshin which is a real gift for the participants. We began the sesshin by going round the room and stating our intentions for the 7 days. Apparently this is something that used to happen at the start of sesshin at Yokoji, and Jokai as the head of the Meditation Hall, asked Roshi if we could revive it. It was interesting to hear why other people had come, and also to hear myself figure out why I had come! My intention is to make this real - a rather simple yet grand intention. I'll see how it goes.