HTML Pendrive Menu – Test

Initial research into the development of an accessible menu for a USB pendrive containing applications has shown that HTML may not be the correct choice of language to write such a program in, and the reasons that indicate this will be highlighted in this activity.

A test page has been written in HTML, which can be downloaded in a .zip format along with sample applications that you can test to see the results when  attempting to launch them as if they were on a pen drive.
Download the HTML menu files, and then unzip the received folder to begin this test.

The test page is intended to show the outcomes of attempting to link to applications using HTML. By clicking on a link shown in order to launch one of the applications, various results are obtained.

In Internet Explorer and WebbIE 3, the same dialog box appears that would indicate that you are downloading a file. However, the file would be on your own pendrive, and selecting “Open” simply copies a temporary copy of the file, and then opens it from this temporary location, as if it had just been downloaded from the Internet. By selecting “Save”, the user would end up saving an additional copy of the file, resulting in more problems. This is clearly an un-wanted obstacle for a user who quickly wants to launch an application. It may also cause confusion to users who may not realise that the application is still being accessed from the pendrive, and not the Internet.

In Firefox, clicking on the link results in nothing happening at all. There is no obvious way of accessing the linked file, and as Firefox would likely be provided as the browser on the pendrive itself, and would therefore probably launch the page, the option of creating the menu in this way seems flawed.

Finally, in order to allow the user to customize their menu, JavaScript was needed, and in this example it provides the functionallity to change the background colour and increase the text size. More features could be added in a similar way, but without a suitable method of launching applications for direct use, any extra options seem superfluous. Furthermore, these settings can not be preserved for future use i.e. the menu will always start with its default settings, which could become frustrating for the user.