Archive for the ‘Development Suggestions’ Category

HTML 5: rel=’prefetch’ Functionality

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Browsing efficiency is commonly discussed during the discovery phase of a web application project.  “How will your services increase my website’s performance and reduce lag?”.  Our answer is typically based around our high-performance servers, network equipment and streamlined code.  With HTML 5 there is an additional tool in our toolbox :-) .

We’ve all see and maybe even used the <link> tag within the head of an HTML file.  With the release of HTML 5 there are several new link relations, but we are only going to focus on the ‘prefetch’ relation in this post.  The ‘prefetch’ relation (i.e. <link rel=’prefetch’  href=’SOME URL’>, allows us to deploy a technique to pre-cache/pre-load a file before the user requests it. 

Search engines like Google have already implemented this code to increase your browsing performance.  You can see this code in action by using Firefox to search Google for ‘CNN’ – once the result pane is loaded, right-click to view the source and search for ‘prefetch’.

Technically…How Does This Work?
When you browse a website your browser will process the page and then it will sit idle waiting for your next request.  The ‘prefetch’ relation increases your browser’s performance by making use of this ‘idle’ time.  After the requested page has been loaded, your browser will then cache the ‘prefetch’ file (indicated by the ‘href’ attribute).  Once the file has been cached by your browser, navigating to the new page is extremely efficient, because your browser already has the page.

What else do I need to know?
Determining what pages to cache at what point during the user’s browsing experience is very important.  There are several factors to consider, which are found within your analytic software.  Remember, you can cache several pages, but if a user doesn’t see those pages there isn’t a benefit.

Gridview Basics

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

If you’re new to Gridviews this should be a helpful article.

You have a limited amount of space horizontally to display your gridview, but someone (boss, client, etc.) has indicated that their is additional information they need to see.  Instead of forcing all of the data into a small space and creating a multi-lined field, which is unappealing…add a button that will display the additional info somewhere else on the page, within a model dialog window or message box.

The Button control has the following properties; CommandName and CommandArgument.  They can be used in the following way:
<asp:Button id=”action” runat=”server” text=’text’ CommandName=”ShowInfo” CommandArgument=’<%#Eval(”ID”) %>’ />

The code behind file will have the following subroutine:
Protected Sub GRIDVIEW_NAME_RowCommand(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As CommandEventArgs) Handles GRIDVIEW_NAME.RowCommand
Response.Write(”TEST = ” & e.CommandName)
Response.Write(”TEST = ” & e.CommandArgument)
End Sub

The system will fire the  subroutine and will pass the CommandName and CommandArgument values as parameters.  You can have several buttons with several different CommandNames, which will allow you to expand the functionality.

Protected Sub gvProcessed_RowCommand(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As CommandEventArgs) Handles gvProcessed.RowCommand
Response.Write(”TEST = ” & e.CommandName)
End Sub

Mozilla On Mac – display: -moz-inline-box;

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

If you ever have the need to convert an unordered list to a single row, let’s say for navigation creation or something to that effect.  Within your CSS file, you’ll want to put the following code in:

display: inline-block;
display: -moz-inline-box;

display: inline-block;
display: -moz-inline-box;

If you keep the code above in this order, your IE, Chrome, Safari, Opera, etc. browsers will ignore the second line.  The result will be a horizontal list of <li> items within a <ul> tag.

Brattle Launches New In-House CRM system for Total MRO Protection

Monday, July 12th, 2010

After the recent launch of Total MRO’s new website featuring a design overhaul, catalog and sales process simplification, and a deeply integrated e-commerce solution we sat down with a managing partner to figure out how else we could help optimize operations and the sales process for them.

Discouraged by the pricing structures they were finding from the large online CRM providers, Total MRO decided it would make the most sense to develop a custom CRM to their current specifications and foreseeable future requirements. Doing away with the tiered pricing structure and recurring licensing fees, in favor of a system they could have actual ownership of with no tricks to lock them in.

Many added benefits may not be apparent now, but we see some interesting ways that they could further integrate this CRM system with their internal ERP system to further streamline their internal processes and communication.

For information about what Brattle can do for your business, contact us 24/7 from

Introducing Reference Processing

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Brattle is introducing a new service to our web clients, “Reference Processing”. The service works a little bit like artificial intelligence for your search results. Helping people quickly and seamlessly get directly to the information they are looking for. This service, used in conjunction with our analytics solutions will be able to dramatically reduce your bounce rate on certain searches, while not disturbing the users who are finding what they are really looking for.

Every time a user interacts with your website in any way, that activity, and all of its details are recorded. We are then able to analyze this data with you to decide what people are looking for, what people are finding, and how we can make those two things the same.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is half art and half science, and even if orchestrated perfectly may leave a gap between what people want and what they find. For example, if someone is searching for a specific product, they may be directed to a page higher in your site hierarchy than they need or want to see. Instead of navigating to the correct page on your site, they are likely to leave and return to their search results to find another provider.

It could require a substantial reorganizational effort within your site to get these results to organically direct you to the appropriate pages. And these changes may adversely affect how you rank for other queries.

Our Reference Processor can be configured to take these queries with high bounce rates and redirect the users to the pages most appropriate for them. Effectively, now when someone uses a search engine to find your site, the reference processer will double-check that they get where they are trying to go. Search engines algorithms and indexing services are incredible, but they are no match for your own personal knowledge of your site and your users’ trends and habits.

The system is available to the public on a per-site or per-page basis. And will not require any modifications to your existing site structure or logic. If you would like more information, or to speak with someone about how this can help your site please call (617-229-7210) or e-mail ( Brattle.

Free SWF MP3 Player

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Google’s taking over the world, we all know that.  They are producing some cool tools along the way, here is one we like.

The Code:

<object width=”400″ height=”28″ data=”” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash”>

<param name=”bgcolor” value=”#ffffff” />

<param name=”flashvars” value=”playerMode=embedded” />

<param name=”src” value=”” />

<param name=”wmode” value=”window” />

<param name=”quality” value=”best” />


The Implementation:

  • Step 1: copy the code above
  • Step 2: paste this into the HTML of your page
  • Step 3: Update the “MP3_FILE_URL” with a relative or absolute path to your MP3 file
  • Step 4: oh wait, there is no step 4
*NOTE: Some bloggers have mentioned that this code won’t work in IE if you have .MP3 in the file name, I haven’t found this to be correct.  This should work on all browsers, new and old.

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