UK Movies launch

Wednesday 26 October, 2005 at 11.15pm

original url
Saturday 12 June, 2021 at 8.54am
(Fixing broken links)

This evening we launched the new European Movies design in the UK. This is the end result of several months of work from the European engineering and web development teams, developing and integrating a new database and API system.

You can compare the new site with the old designs still on the German, French, Spanish, Italian sites.

What's so exciting about this? Well, for me, it means finally being free of a project that seems to have dragged on for ever (not so much luch for the primary developer Jon, who is still on it until the other four countries have launched). Now I can spend some time doing more fun things, such as writing some perl code to pre-process CSS. Yes, I said that would be fun. Yes, I meant it.

That's probably only exciting for me. So, instead, let's talk about what's noteworthy about this site. Well, it's built using web standards, it's pretty good semantically. One or two presentational classnames, but it's mostly using contextual CSS selectors, rather than div and span mania. In our recent all-hands conference in Tenerife, I gave a presentation about web development, and two slides showed the before/after of the main navigation — from a complex table with spacer images, to a simple unordered list (I got a round of applause for that one, and it's not even my code!).

What else? Well, it nearly validates! For a while it did, but then we put the adverts in, and that generally causes validation errors. Plus there's one or two templating bugs we're fixing. Not really exciting news for most standards-based web developers, I'll admit. But I like to think of it as us fixing Yahoo! Europe, one web site at a time.

So if that's not too noteworthy, what is? Well, we're trying a new page scaling technique, based upon the technique we were given to use when developing the front page. Up your font size and the page gets wider, because it's sized using em units.

Also, and this is something you would never notice unless you examine the source closely or are writing a search engine, we're experimenting with microformats. Currently, the "critic's reviews" page of a movie (for example, the wonderful Joss Whedon's Serenity) is marked up with hReview. I'm not too happy with the way the microformat works out in this context, but it's a start, and I'll be looking to see if more things fit, or if we could suggest and/or help develop some new formats.

So, feel free to check it out. Look up some premiere photos. Get some movie news. Find out what's on in cinemas near you (well, if you're based in the UK, anyway). And as any good music compilation will say, much, much more.