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Annette is at #winwithoutpitching today with @Bristol_Media and @blairenns, will be an interesting afternoon, posted 7 days ago

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January 2011

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Studio Report: Quantum Multi-sites

Studio Report: Quantum Multi-sites

This is part of an occasional series of posts on what we're working on in the studio at the moment.

We're presently expanding the facilities in the next version of Quantum - our website management system - to support content that's spread over multiple sites. We've noticed an increasingly common requirement from clients for managing multiple websites through a single administration facility. Sometimes, from the users's viewpoint, these websites will be sections of a website - e.g. separately themed sections of the main site - and sometimes the websites will appear to be entirely separate - perhaps as one main site, and several "micro-sites".

We've always supported content management on many sites through a single Quantum administration interface - administrators then have the advantage of only a single username and password to manage, for example. What we've not supported until now is entries - whether they be blog articles or events in a calendar - being shown on any combination of these sites.

Now, if "Main Site", "Microsite A" and "Microsite B" all have a blog, administrators will be able to post one blog article, and ask for it to appear on any individual site, all sites, or any combination of the sites.

The best thing is that this support is baked across all administration sections - so it supports blog articles, events, news sections, polls - or anything else Quantum supports on your site.

If you're interested in this new feature - or if you'd like us to investigate adding a blog or another section to one of your existing micro-sites - please do get in touch with us, and we'd be pleased to talk to you further.

Neil Smith

Created on Monday January 17 2011 06:44 PM

Tags: quantum

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All Wrapped Up

2011 has started with a bang in the office with lots of new projects kicking off - amongst them a brand new web site for Sharpak, one of the UK's leading plastic packaging manufacturers.

Sharpak, who's clients include Sainsburys, Tesco and Asda, were recently acquired by French company Groupe Guillin and this is the first web site within the group to get an overhaul. We've created a fresher, cleaner design and an improved product enquiry system.

More news to come on our other work very soon - including three new web sites for our friends in Dublin, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland and new digital marketing campaigns for both Scottish and Southern Energy and Marks and Spencer.


Simon Newing

Created on Friday January 14 2011 05:40 PM

Tags: website new-web-site

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Google to drop Chrome's support for popular video format

Google to drop Chrome's support for popular video format

Google announced on Monday that their increasingly popular browser Chrome will be dropping native support for the H.264 video format.

As the latest versions of browsers are being released there is increasing support for native video playback, ie. users will no longer need proprietary plugins such as Flash or Silverlight to watch video on the web. This means each browser has to support certain video formats themselves. The battle at the moment is between the proprietary H.264 (heavily supported by Apple and now Microsoft) and open-source WebM / Ogg Theroa formats (supported by Mozilla and now Google).

From the Chromium blog:

Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.

At focus we think open-source is great, in fact we build our web sites on open-source technologies every day. However, we think this move by Google (who's motto is "Don't be evil" by the way) is bad for a number of reasons.

H.264 is an established format. Millions of mobile devices support hardware acceleration of H.264 video and there are millions of videos already on the web encoded in the format (including every video on the Google owned Youtube).

Users are still stuck using Flash. Any Chrome user trying to view an H.264 video will have to use Flash as a 'middleman', slowing the process of moving away from Flash to HTML5 / native browser support for video.

This isn't about enabling open innovation at all. This is about competiton with Apple in the mobile market and trying to make life as difficult as possible for them. Which is fine in itself, but not when it's being diguised as openness.

There are licensing question marks around the WebM format. Promoted as completely open-source, there are reports that the WebM format may have licensing issues of it's own.

In the end I think despite both H.264 & Flash being proprietary technologies, H.264 is the better more transparent one for the user. The licensing cost is paid by the Browser vendors (let's face it, Google, Apple, Microsoft can afford it) not the developer or end user.

Created on Thursday January 13 2011 11:45 AM

Tags: web webm google chrome video

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