June 10, 2002-- Newsletter #184

By Joe Burns



Goodies to Go (tm)
June 10, 2002--Newsletter #184

This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.
http://www.internet.com
 


 
Goodies Announcements

Well, this is not so much an announcement as it is a correction. I had a real bone-headed moment in the last issue regarding the quiz question. While MAXLENGTH is a great and useful attribute, it is not an attribute that applies to TEXTAREA. Duh. It only applies to simple text boxes with the INPUT tag.

 

A better example would have been limiting the number of digits on a telephone number or postal code. At any rate, make good use of MAXLENGTH in your forms where appropriate.

 

Thanks to those of you who wrote to let me know I was a blockhead!

 

Goodies Thoughts - Paying to Use Pop-under Ads?

The publication of this news was so amazing to me that I just had to air my thoughts on the subject.

 

Here's the deal. ExitExchange has recently filed for a patent on those Pop-under ads that you see all over the web. Who knows, maybe some of you have even implemented a few pop-under ads in your time.

 

For those of you that may not know what a pop-under ad is, they are advertisement windows that are launched when a visitor to your site leaves a page and/or ends a session. I'm sure you have seen examples of the process with ads from orbitz.com and that annoying little X10 camera. The idea is that they are much less obtrusive since you only have to see them when you are finished with a page or session.

 

ExitExchange applied for the patent back in February of this year. If it is approved it would give them the right to collect royalties for anyone launching a new window underneath another window. ExitExchange claims that the idea was "invented" by them back in May of 2000.

 

As ludicrous as this claim sounds, the most amazing part is that the odds are with ExitExchange. The truth of the matter is that most patent claims are only reviewed for a matter of hours before they are approved or denied. If no one challenges a patent claim after the application has been published, odds are it will be approved. Believe it or not, ExitExchange is also patenting the idea as it pertains to cell phones, PDA's, television, radio, etc.

 

That's not the interesting part, though.  Once a patent claim has been approved, the patent holder is entitled to fair compensation for the use of its patented idea or product dating back to the day of application. In other words, if ExitExchange's patent is approved next year, companies like DoubleClick, FastClick and NYTimes.com that use pop-under ads regularly will owe a hefty sum in royalties to ExitExchange going back to February 14 of 2002.

 

The only way around the patent would be to prove that you or your company had implemented a pop-under ad prior to May of 2000. While this sounds simple enough, it would require dated publicly published documentation in a journal, newsletter or the like. Easier said than done.

 

I, for one, think this is a patently absurd idea. (Sorry about the pun.) It is amazing to me that someone could actually obtain a patent for such a simple common-sense idea. If this patent is approved then what's to stop someone else from patenting the 468x60 banner ad or the pop-out menus that we mentioned just a few issues ago?

 

If you are wondering if this something that could effect you or your websites, it's possible. You can rest assured that ExitExchange will be focusing its efforts on getting revenue from the bigger fish like DoubleClick and NYTimes.com. However, even the smallest website would be legally obligated to pay royalties. If you own a site that uses pop-under ads then you may want to keep and eye on this. If you develop a site or sites that use pop-under ads then you will probably want to write the owners of the site(s) to make them aware of the issue in order to avoid any legal issues for yourself.

 

Thanks for reading!

 


Quiz Goodies

Here's an IE only question for you. How do you create a scrolling Marquee?

 

Read answer below.



Q & A Goodies

Questions are taken from submissions to our Community Mentors. You can ask a Mentor a question by going to http://www.htmlgoodies.com/mentors/.

 

 

Q. I have a question concerning buttons.

I would like to create a link or button in order to go back to the previous page, no matter what page that is. Is there code for this? I know I could link directly to individual pages, but I didn't know whether there was special code instead of doing this.

 

A. You can do it using JavaScript. Works just like the back button on the browser. Here's the code:

 

  <script language="Javascript">
    <!--
      function button(location) {
      top.location = location
      }
    //-->
  </script>


  <form>
    <input type="button"

      onclick="button('javascript:history.back(1)')"

      value="Back">
  </form>

 

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community. The answer was provided by Marty Bozeman, one of our HTML Mentors.

 

 

Q. I'm currently building a site and am having difficulties. The majority of my site is built on a table template, but I need to use a frame with a couple of the pages as there is no alternative.

My problem is that with the frame pages I would like to return to a table page, but the frame will only populate that part of the page and not reload the entire screen with the table page.

Any suggestions on how I can make this work?

 

A.  You need to add target="_top" to the link which takes you back to the table page. This reloads the entire window with the new page.

 

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community. The answer was provided by Alex Newport, one of our HTML Mentors.
 

 

Q.  I've been presented with a problem from one of our clients (divisions). We have been developing a new site for one of our divisions, they like what they've seen so far, but just prior to launch date, they've asked us to redesign for a 1024x768 screen resolution. We've designed their new site (and all of our newer sites) for a 800x600 resolution, and as a webmaster I don't feel that designing any larger is necessary or in the best interest of all users. I need to present facts to back up my position. This is not a "battle" that I want to lose. I know that there has to be stats out there to support that the majority of users have a 800x600 setting, and also that designing a site to be any larger is going to also slow download speeds. They are having a problem with the white space that is left over at larger screen resolutions and they claim that all of their potential clients will have their screens set at 1024x768.

Can you please point me to the appropriate case studies and any other areas you think may help me build my case?

 

A. As a designer, I can definitely sympathize - I also have clients that think they know everything about the internet. In my business in particular I found that many of them listen to people who have no idea what they are talking about people such as friends, relatives, and the ever popular wannabe web designer techies etc.

In any case, here are a few articles/reports that might help you prove your case.

http://www.upsdell.com/BrowserNews/stat_trends.htm
http://www.dreamink.com/design5.shtml
http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

 

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community. The answer was provided by Aida Guzman, one of our Web Design Mentors.



News Goodies

The source code for the Netscape 7.0 browser is now available. Now you can see how it all works.

Click here to read the article

 

Yahoo's messenger software is still having a tough time squashing all of its security bugs.

Click here to read the article

 

Sprint picks up the pace on some of its DSL business services. Will it be fast enough?

Click here to read the article

 
 
Quiz Answer

A scrolling marquee is actually very simple to implement for Internet Explorer. However, keep in mind it only applies to Internet Explorer and will not work in Netscape.

 

Interestingly enough, the tag you need is called MARQUEE. Here's how it works:

 

  <MARQUEE LOOP="10" BEHAVIOR="alternate"

    STYLE="COLOR: #FFFF99; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;

    FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-WEIGHT: bold"

    BGCOLOR="#800000"

    This is my marquee ...

  </MARQUEE>

 

Here's an explanation of the attributes that we used:

  • LOOP - allows you to set the number of times your marquee will repeat. Leaving off this attribute will cause the marquee to repeat indefinitely.

  • BEHAVIOR - allow you to determine how the marquee will function. Your choices are sliding, scrolling and alternate which alternates between scrolling and sliding.

  • STYLE - allows you to set your font styles. Here we set the color, size, family and weight.

  • BGCOLOR - allows you to set the background color for the marquee itself.

In addition to the attributes we used above, there are a few other useful attributes that you may want to consider:

  • DIRECTION - allows you to determine the direction of the marquee's scroll, right or left.

  • HEIGHT - allows you to specify the height of the marquee.

Here is an example of a working marquee, that is if you are viewing this in Internet Explorer:

 

This is my marquee ...

 

 

And Remember This . . .

This day marks two very important dates in history for Italy. In 1940, Benito Mussolini led his country into war on the side of Germany by sending troops to assist in the invasion of France. Ironically, this date is also the day that Mussolini was overthrown in 1946 and Italy officially became a republic.

 


Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!

 

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