George V. Reilly

Third-Party Cookies

Over the last few weeks, I built a PHP ap­pli­ca­tion that overlays Approve 71 banners on profile pictures. The actual ap­pli­ca­tion is hosted in an iframe and lives on a server in a different domain,, than the main server at ap­proveref­er­en­

This works fine in most browsers. Then we started getting reports that it wasn't working in IE8 on Win7 RC1. The iframe content was blank.

Poking around, I found the problem with the Fiddler proxy. The landing page on was supposed to stick some in­for­ma­tion into the PHP session, then redirect to a second page at the same site. The second page was in an endless loop, redi­rect­ing continue.

Review: Defensive Design for the Web

Title: Defensive Design for the Web
Author: 37 Signals
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: New Riders
Copyright: 2004
Pages: 246
Keywords: pro­gram­ming, web
Reading period: 23 December, 2007 - 9 January, 2008

This book contains 40 usability guidelines for websites, ranging from Eliminate the Reset button and disable the Submit button after it's clicked to Give an error message that's noticeable at a glance to Be upfront about item un­avail­abi­ity. The topics include error messages, clear in­struc­tions, friendly forms, overcoming missing pages, helpful help, obstacles to conversion, and search.

When I state them that baldly, they sound obvious. But they're not. The 37 Signals guys have amply il­lus­trat­ed each guideline with examples of sites that violated the guideline, and continue.