The Playpen

The Playpen is a small, irregularly maintained, part of our site where we dump sample programming code; often, because we can’t think of anywhere better for it to go.

Some of things you will find here are examples or real working web site code which we have developed for paying customers, because they found these things useful.

Others may constitute little more than "stupid" tricks that our software developers conjured up to demonstrate their mastery of techniques which we wouldn’t actually choose to implement in a production context.

Perceptive visitors will have noticed that the rest of this site deliberately lacks the silly, but occasionally entertaining, graphical tricks favoured by "new media" folk. That’s because our design goals are purely commercial and our technical implementation is entirely governed by engineering principles. In short, our e-commerce sites are built to sell stuff, not to win advertising or PR industry awards.

Contrary to popular opinion, simple and effective sites are generally harder to produce than most that are just pretty or just pretty stupid. One of the subsidiary reasons for having this playpen was therefore, to provide a relatively unimportant space in which our staff could demonstrate harder-to-do aesthetic, decorative or gimmicky tricks without compromising the commercial functionality of the site as a whole.

Samples currently in the playpen include: