Te Ara technology

This site was originally launched in february 2005. It was redeveloped by HeadFirst assisted by developers from Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage, and relaunched in 2009. It uses the Drupal open-source content management platform. The website is hosted by Modica.

Te Ara was redesigned in 2011 to improve usability and performance, and to modernise the look and feel of the site. The redesign uses HTML5 and CSS3, which is only supported by recent browsers. Some graphical elements will only display in recent browser versions. Older browsers either ignore the new features or revert to a fall-back option.

Te Ara’s technical partners in developing the original website (launched in 2005) were a consortium led by Shift Ltd, with Optimation Ltd.

The 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand was digitised by the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre(now the New Zealand Electronic Text Collection) at Victoria University of Wellington.

Supported browsers

The site has been designed for these operating systems and browsers:

Windows: Internet Explorer 8 and above; Firefox 3.5 and above; Safari 5 and above; Chrome 13 and above.

Mac OS X: Firefox 3.5 and above; Safari 5 and above; Chrome 13 and above.

Tested browsers

On the following browsers the site will not appear ‘broken’, and you will be able to view content:

Windows: Internet Explorer 7; Firefox 3; Opera 11.

Mac OS X: Safari 4 and below; Firefox 3; Opera 11.

Certain design features of Te Ara may not be supported, depending on the level of the browser’s CSS (cascading style sheet) or javascript support.

Unsupported browsers

On the following browsers the site will not necessarily appear ‘broken’, but we have not actively tested them:

Windows: Internet Explorer 5, 5.5, 6; Netscape 4–6; Opera 10 and below.

Mac OSX: All OS 9 browsers; Netscape 6 and 7; Opera 10 and below; Camino (all versions); Chimera (all versions); OmniWeb (all versions); iCab (all versions).

Mobile: Android, Blackberry, Chrome, Firefox for mobile, Internet Explorer mobile, Opera mini, Opera mobile, Safari.

Other platforms: Konqueror, Linux.

Text and speech browsers

No formal testing has been done on browsers designed for the visually impaired or command line-based text browsers such as Lynx.

The Te Ara media player

We currently have two media players on Te Ara.  The first, called ‘Flowplayer’, is dedicated to all of our .mp3 and .mp4 sound and video files.  This player is Flash-based but uses a plug-in to make it compatible with mobile devices.

Our swf sound and video files play through a different custom-built media player, which is also based in Flash.

We aim to replace the first player with an HTML5 alternative as soon as support for audio content in .mp3 format is available.

Interactive content on Te Ara

Interactive diagrams on Te Ara are no longer built using Flash; instead we create them using a combination of HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript. This change has been made so that all of our new interactives are accessible from a wide range of devices including handheld and mobile devices. Over time we hope to replace all the Flash diagrams on Te Ara with this more accessible alternative.

Cookies

Browser cookies are used by this website to provide Manatū Taonga with information about site usage and improve the service offered to site visitors. Cookies are small files that are sent by a website and stored on your computer’s hard drive. The data is collected and aggregated prior to use by Manatū Taonga by Google Analytics. For details of Google Analytics’ privacy policy see Google’s privacy statement.

Cookies from this site are not used to gather or allow the gathering of any personally identifiable information and are not used to track individual user activity around this site.

You may manually disable cookies at any time – check your browser’s Help. This will not affect your ability to view the site.

Macrons

Te Ara uses macrons (short lines over a vowel – e.g. Taupō) to indicate longer vowels in Māori words, as recommended by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission). The macrons are encoded as Unicode characters (UTF-8 encoding).

If your browser does not display macrons correctly on this site, please check the following:

  • Your browser’s character encoding settings. In Internet Explorer, open the View menu, point to Encoding, then select Auto-Select or Unicode (UTF-8). In Firefox, open the View menu, point to Character Encoding, then select Auto-Detect or Unicode (UTF-8).
  • Your computer’s Regional and Language settings. In Windows XP you will find these in Start > Settings > Control Panel > Regional and Language Options. Both Regional Options and Languages should be set to ‘English (New Zealand)’. Some operating systems (e.g. some versions of Windows 98) and earlier versions of some browsers may display macrons inconsistently. In these cases we recommend you upgrade your operating system or your browser.

For further information about Unicode display problems, we suggest you visit Display Problems, Unicode.