URBANE Project launched

The URBANE project is a study of urban coastal defences. The website provides information about the project and those involved. The partners page has a Google map linked to an unordered list that acts as dual functionality to view more details on the partners.

The overlay effect that I wrote for the partners list is utilised again in the image galleries.

The site is built on HTML5 with some subtle use of CSS3.

Blue Sound launched

The Blue Sound project aims to encourage people in the Plymouth area to use the ‘blue space’ around them.

The website aims to involve local youth groups to participate in work groups with myself and the Blue Sound project officer to enable us to provide the users with a site that they can truly feel is theirs.

The site uses HTML5 and CSS3, including CSS drop shadows, rounded corners and transitions.

Destroying CodeIgniter Sessions when closing the browser

I’m really enjoying using CodeIgniter, it’s an excellent framework and has a side benefit of helping to structure your files neatly.

I’ve been working on my first login form using it, and whilst there are lots of tutorials going through this common process I encountered a “problem” with the CodeIgniter sessions persisting when the user closed their browser.

A bit of searching around and I came up with a few recommendations.

The first is to set the $config[‘sess_expiration’] to 0

This however has the effect of creating a cookie which actually lasts 2 years due to code in the system/libraries/Session.php file

The next was to set the $config[‘sess_expiration’] to -1

This just didn’t work for me full stop. When I logged in it saved the session variable then when I went to the next page it had disappeared.

The solution I have used came from this page.


It’s pretty quick to implement the code and you can have control over the expiration time as well as choosing whether your cookie should be persistent.

And now it’s implemented I intend to copy the Session.php file into every project I create that requires sessions. I can handle having to paste in one line of code to the config file.

Google Maps

A lot of the sites we do in work involve using a Google map, some are simple and just allow the user to choose a spot which populates input fields for latitude and longitude. Others contain large data sets and information about the point, which is normally displayed in one of the Google map bubbles.

Using our standard library code for implementing a map and allowing the user to pick a latitude / longitude point IE6 was only displaying a grey background with the Google copyright.

My first line of attack was to go through the Javascript, but even displaying a basic map on the page was giving the same results.

So I started from a blank page and managed to get a basic map up and working. Then stepping through my real page I discovered that something in the style sheet was causing the error. I know that IE can throw a wobbly if you don’t declare the width and height of the map div, in particular the width. But both these values were declared in pixels.

I eventually got to the bottom of it and it was a png fix I have been using for IE6. I know it’s not practical to make sites look exactly the same across browsers but when you have a large portion of IE6 users it’s hard to tell them that they will receive a version of the site that doesn’t match up to what they were expecting.

Dr Nova Mieszkowska pages launched

Dr Nova Mieszkowska is a Fellow at the Marine Biological Association who specialises in Climate Change and Marine Biodiversity.

Her pages were created to reflect her studies based on a colour palette that was derived from Dr Mieszkowska’s own photography.

The site includes a jQuery lightbox plugin for images on information pages as well as the Galleria plugin for the gallery pages.

Ed Smith Photography launched

Ed Smith is a talented photographer based in Falmouth, Cornwall.

The Ed Smith Photography website enables Ed to showcase his work and the user can to learn a bit more about him.

Working with designer Random Badger the site has been kept clean and simple with the focus on Ed’s excellent work.

In addition to the main site there is a blog, built on WordPress, where Ed can update users on his latest projects.