September 16, 2002-- Newsletter #198

By Vince Barnes

Goodies to Go (tm)
September 16, 2002--Newsletter #198

This newsletter is part of the network.

Goodies Announcement

Just in case you missed it before, the new Beyond HTML Goodies book has just been released!


Go beyond the basics and learn how the pros add and use dynamic HTML features and advanced JavaScript techniques. Beyond HTML Goodies demonstrates dozens of new and different features readers can add to their existing Web pages using HTML and JavaScript. The book starts with simple text and image tips, such as adding a clock to a Web page or causing text to appear when the mouse moves over an image. It gradually builds to more complex tricks, including manipulating forms or working with cookies behind the scenes. Throughout the book, readers enjoy Joe's snappy style and "to the point" discussion of each "goody" in the book.



Goodies Thoughts - An Easy Photo Album

One of the most popular uses for personal websites is to create a family photo album. This can be a very time consuming process since there is often the need to build a multi-level index into the pictures themselves. Not only that, but the pictures you start with are often a variety of different shapes and sizes and don't lend themselves at all well to being included in web pages. There are several things you can to to take the pain out of the
process, however, and I'm going to show you my favorites right here.

Step one is to get the pictures into a computer. If you already have the pictures on paper from the place where you get your film developed, you have - let's count 'em - one choice! Scan them. Urghh! There goes a chunk of your time! The best thing to do is to sort the pictures by size and orientation (portrait vs landscape - i.e. tall and narrow vs short and wide). Now you can set up your scanning software for one size and shape, scan all of that category and then set up for the next size and shape, etc. I don't envy you that task - I did mine and I am so thankful I will not have to do it again!

If you don't already have your pictures on paper, but you have them on film, take the film, or send it, to a place where you can get the pictures on a CD along with the developed and printed variety. You will not regret this relatively small expense.

If you have not yet taken the pictures, this is where you have the widest range of choices. Of course, in my humble opinion, there is only one choice to make: which digital camera are you going to buy? Get a camera with a USB interface so that it's nice and fast and versatile. An alternative would be the floppy disk variety. I am not thrilled with the floppy disk choice, though, because they are still relatively slow and each one has such a limited storage capacity. I have a Kodak 4800 and I am thrilled with it. Kodak has now replaced this model with the 4900, which still has all the good features, plus a couple of new ones. I like the use of memory cards - they are fast and simple; they have dropped a lot in price and they have increased in capacity. For less than a hundred dollars I can buy a card that will hold more than 125 pictures, and which I can reuse to my heart's content. Compare that to the cost of film plus developing and printing!

Step two is to resize all the pictures to make them uniform. (Hold that thought!)

Step three is to build a page for each picture to display the picture - hold this thought too!

Step four is to create an index page for each set of picture pages. Yep! I want you to hold this one too, but since I know you're running out of hands, I'll let you in on the secret.

Steps two, three, four, etc. are all replaced with: pull out you copy of Adobe's Photoshop. (If you don't have a copy, but seriously want to build a comprehensive family album, you should give consideration to the investment. It is not a low cost program for the family budget -- my local office supply store has the full version for about $600, $150 for the upgrade -- but you should bear in mind how much you are currently spending of your film/develop/print library and compare that to the total cost for an online version.)  Photoshop, apart from being a wonderful program for manipulating your pictures and being really creative, has an amazing little wizard tucked away. Go to File/Automate/Web Photo Gallery. This pops up a wizard that reads all the pictures in a folder and creates a complete gallery in another folder, pictures (resized), web pages, index pages, navigation and all! The wizard includes a selection of styles for the pages, together with option choices for the banner across the top of the pages, the size and image quality of the pictures that will be on each page, the size and layout of thumbnail pictures on the index pages and custom color choices. Also worthy of note: if you open each picture in Photoshop, you will find under File/File Info a place to add a Caption. You can then use this as the caption for each picture on both the index page and the photo page. I recommend playing with the options a few times, looking at the results and finding out what will suit your personal preferences.

With each series of pictures arranged into an album in this manner, it becomes a relatively simple task to create a web site in which you can easily find and navigate the pictures in any particular series. Remember that once you have the album on a website, not only can you find your pictures easily when you want to, but so can your friends and family wherever they are and whenever they would like to see them. Additionally, you could burn a backup copy of your site onto a CD and put it in your safe deposit box to preserve it.

Remember also, digital images don't fade over time, unlike their paper counterparts.

Thanks for reading!

Q & A Goodies

Questions are taken from submissions to our Community Mentors. You can ask a Mentor a question by going to

Q. I have recently made an e-mail form with the help of the tutorial on the site, and my form is made up entirely of text boxes. However, I find that the text boxes are ugly.. I would like the borders of them to be a different colour, so they do not have that "greay shadow" look. I know it is possible to change the colour of them, as I have seen it done on another website, but how can I do it on mine?

A. The easiest way to do it is to set up a style for the "input" in you style sheet, since you are only using text boxes. The following will also apply to any radio buttons or checkboxes that may be in the form. If you add them later, you may want to set up a class. But for now, add this to your style sheet:

input { border: 1px solid black; }

You can use change the pixel size, or switch from solid to dashed. For colors, you can use the text names that are available, or the hexidecimal (#000000).

Q. How do I make a link from a popup window close the popup window and link back to a page of the main web site?

A. To refer back to the window that opened the popup you would use the term "opener". I would suggest that you create a function in your popup to load the page into the main window and then close the popup. The function could look like this:

function LoadPage(linkid)

You can then call this function and pass the page you want to load into the "opener" window as a value like this:

<a HREF="#" onClick="LoadPage('mypage.html')">Click Me</a>


<a HREF="javascript:LoadPage('mypage.html')">Click Me</a>

The second example might be better because IE5.0 has a problem when you use the "#" sign to void the link. You can also reference function in the "opener" window from the popup by prefacing the function name with the term "opener" like this:


As you can see you can reference just about anything in the main window as long as you preface it with "opener".

Q.  When there is no reason to scroll left/right, the scrollbar on the bottom disappears. But even if I don't need to scroll up/down, there is a scroll bar on the right side. How do I get rid of the scroll bar on the right side of the page, but only if there is no need for it?

A. The vertical scrollbar also disappears when the page is not longer than the window. If it is longer, then the scrollbar appears, so what must be happening is your page is too long to fit entirely within your window.



News Goodies


Shatner Back In Priceline TV Spots
[September 16, 2002] Shades of 'Star Trek' and '2001: A Space Odyssey' permeate the company's first television work in more than a year.

Click here to read the article



Intel Throws Down The Gauntlet
[September 16, 2002] UPDATE: The chipmaker unveils 11 wireless chips as well as plans for a new communications chip with twice the speed and 2.5 times the transistors of today's communications chips, all at a lower cost.

Click here to read the article



IBM & Red Hat To Partner On Linux Services
[September 16, 2002] The multi-year deal calls for Big Blue and Red Hat to partner on customer service support and services for software and servers running Linux.

Click here to read the article

And Remember This . . .

On this day in...

1620, Mayflower Sets Sail From England
With a hundred and two passengers on board, the Mayflower departed from Plymouth England on this date in 1620, bound for the New World. They arrived in Massachusetts on November 21st (though they were originally bound for Virginia - they were blown off course.) In December that year they founded the first permanent European settlement in "New England".


Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!


Archive Home Page.

Make a Comment

Loading Comments...

  • Web Development Newsletter Signup

    Invalid email
    You have successfuly registered to our newsletter.
Thanks for your registration, follow us on our social networks to keep up-to-date