Textise WP7 app – ‘Testing in progress’

I’ve gone and done it now, haven’t I? I’ve submitted my app to the Windows Marketplace where it’s being tested. Or possibly not, this being a Sunday, although I suppose it’s possible that the little Microsoft testing elves are cruelly made to work 7 day weeks. Here’s hoping!

I had such fun, reading through the lists of prerequisites and dos and don’ts and not likelies*. Had to make three logo images, all in different sizes (not that hard, I’ll grant you) plus screenshot PNGs showing the WP7 emulator screen (but not phone chrome) at 100% (created using the W7 snipping tool), plus write full description and featured app text (as if that might happen!), etc., etc. Must ensure that app title in the manifest is the same as in the submission, must close my eyes and count to 3 before hitting submit…

But now it’s all done and the waiting begins. I’ll let you know.

One thing I’ve added to the app was a “skip to content” feature. This (optional) option scans the incoming web page for a link to an internal bookmark that reads “skip to content” or “jump to primary content” or something like that. The app then grabs the target of the link (something like “#maincontent”) and navigates there automatically. This method only works on sites that have taken the trouble to include “skip” links but it works brilliantly for the BBC site, Independent and Guardian (although not the Guardian front page due to an error at their end – and never sorted out by The Red Prince** when he was Mr Tester Man!).

I’ve also added the “skip” feature to the main web site. I don’t know if you’re going to like it and, at the moment, it’s not optional (unlike the WP7 version). I think it’s much better but please let me know if it really messes with your Textise experience.

In the meantime, I’ve also been having the most enormous fun with HTML encoding. To start with, the new app was displaying all sorts of weird characters so I had to do some explicit conversions of quotation marks and the like to their HTML equivalents. Then, Textise user @drizo72 got in touch to ask me why this Greek web site wouldn’t convert properly. The answer is, I don’t know at the moment. One thing I do know is that I’ve made it slightly worse by putting a new rule in to change weird characters into pound signs (so amazon.co.uk looked better): now the whole page looks like an economist’s breakdown. It’s a bit of a weird site anyway (far too many redirects and nonsense for my liking) but it does concern me that Textise isn’t coping at all well with non-Latin code sets. More forum trawling for me, then…

(Postscript: Guess what, the snipping tool made correctly-sized images but left a bit of my Windows toolbar on the bottom. I only realised this when I added the screenshots to this post! I’ve fixed them now but, of course, the messed-up versions have already gone off to Microsoft. *sigh*)

* No, I don’t know if you spell it like that but it’s not a proper word anyway so there.

**He knows who he is.


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