On My Radar This Week- Cufon, Event Tracking, Steve Souders’ New Book

The following is a handy list of the things I’m currently thinking about and/or working with as well as a few things that are coming up around the bend. I’ll do this kind of thing from time to time. Mental housekeeping.

One with it.


I’m using this alternative to sifr for font embedding in a current project. So far the reviews are mixed. Slightly positive, but still mixed.

The two biggest issues so far are the fact that I keep running into baffling race conditions where it will occasionally just blow away the text to be replaced without actually replacing it and the fact that the word spacing is absolutely borked with the font we’re trying to use. I’m still not quite sure if it’s going to fly for production.

That said, it’s much better than sifr. I hate sifr. There are very few web technologies that actually make me angry. Sifr is one of them. I banned it from our office once I had enough power to do so. Which is why I, and the designers I work with, had high hopes for Cufon.

Hopefully I can figure out the last few bumps and get it ready for prime time.

Google Analytics Event Tracking

Now that event tracking is now available on all Google Analytics accounts, I’m going to be knee deep in it for the foreseeable future. Up until now, a lot of conversations I’ve had with our measurement analyst ended with- “if only we had event tracking on this account.” No more :)

It’s also officially time to redo the code I wrote to track outgoing links in GA. I’m going to write a tiny library for it, as well as outlining how the code might work in a couple of major libraries (Dojo, Prototype, and jQuery).

As a sneak peek, here’s the skeleton, rewritten to use the new method:

//window.onload we run this
//get a collection of the A tags on a page
var anchors=document.getElementsByTagName("a");
//get the length and set it to a variable
var test=anchors.length;
//loop through them all;
for (i=0;i<test;i++) {
//and attach an outbound link tracking event
//as a note using <em>x.onclick</em> overwrites any other events attached to the anchor
//so look to library or the cross browser version I'll be posting soon
//for a healthier version to use in a real environment
} //the trackOutBoundLinks function looks like this: function trackOutBoundLinks(){
//get the link
var theLink=this.href;
//see if it points to the host site
if (theLink.indexOf(location.hostname) ==-1 ){
//if not call the new _trackEvent method;
//set the category
var category = "Outgoing Links";
var action = "Click";
//and we call it with the category, the action and theLink as the optional "label"
pageTracker._trackEvent( category, action, theLink )
return false;

And that’s the skeleton. As I mentioned, the above doesn’t play nice with existing events, so rewrite it to play nice or wait a couple of days until I’ve got a tried and true version for you to use just by dropping it into a page.

WordPress 2.8

WordPress 2.8 is out. Nothing about the release itself is actually all that interesting to me. It’s just that I’m now going to spend the week wondering, “should I or shoudn’t I” about upgrading my various sites. What I usually do is work backwards in order of importance. Since this site is brand new (and therefore likely to be a little messed up anyway) I started the upgrades here. So far so good.

Fingers crossed that the next five upgrades go as smoothly as this one did.

Steve Souders’ New Book

Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers comes out this week. I’ll pick it up this week. I’ve got some bandwidth, so I’ll probably read it this week as well. Which will kill me next week as I’ll generate about 500 to-do list items :)

His first book was phenomenal and this one promises to be even better since, in addition to Souders’ own wisdom, it includes the following guest authors:

Seriously. Take Notes.

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