Goodies to Go (tm)
November 18, 2002-- Newsletter #207

By Vince Barnes

Goodies to Go (tm)
November 18, 2002--Newsletter #207

This newsletter is part of the network.

Featured this week:

* Goodies Thoughts  - Which Side Are You On?
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* Feedback Goodies  
* And Remember This...



Goodies Announcement

Just in case you missed it before, the new Beyond HTML Goodies book is now available!


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 - Which Side Are You On?

It's such an important aspect of winning the game. You have to know which side you're on! That poor chicken keeps crossing the road probably in attempt to answer the question! At HTML Goodies we don't want you to be stuck in that same quandary, so we are offering a brief explanation to help you pick sides, to know which side your on and to change to the other when you need to. What sides am I talking about? I'm so glad you asked. In the world of web pages the two sides we have to worry about are the "server side" and the "client side". Let's take a closer look.

It's worth taking a quick look at the evolution of computers to provide a background against which we can see the current state of things. In the early days of business computing the method was to collect information together, punch it into cards and feed it into the first of a series of programs that would run on the computer. This program would stage the data for the next program, and so on through the system of programs. This method is called batch processing.

With the advent of CRT terminals it became possible to input one transaction into a program at a time. IBM dubbed this type of computing "teleprocessing". While it got away from the need to gather data together, typically for a day's worth of business, and then wait for the nightly process to update files, it still left all the computing in a centralized "mainframe" computer system. This limited the geographical area that could reasonably be served by the computer. Transmission of data over distance was both slow and expensive. Then along came the Personal Computer and changed the rules completely.

In between the "heavy iron" mainframe computers and the PCs were mini computers that enabled the idea of distributed computing. This is where information is "pre-processed" in local areas providing preliminary and local results back quickly; then sent to central systems for consolidation and full processing. Consolidated results can then be distributed as needed. PCs got more powerful and started to close the gaps. With local area networking came the ability to have files reside on one computer that could be accessed by many PCs. The computer housing the file became known as the "server" computer, while the PC accessing the file was the "client". Add processing power to the server, such as a database management system, and we have what is known as client-server computing. As the capabilities at both the client end and at the server end increase, so the power and advantage of client-server computing increases. The servers become server farms, or networks of connected server farms; and eventually, internetworked servers and server farms and the internet.

Then there's the web. Perfectly described as a client-server application the World Wide Web comprises "pages", which are files residing on servers, accessed by client applications (browsers) on client computers.

Well that's a nice piece of history, but what's the point? Again, I'm so glad you asked! The importance of this to you as a web developer is to know what data you can manipulate and when. If you want to manipulate data that is in databases on the server, then you need to use server-side technology. The web pages themselves also reside on the server, and so are also manipulated by server side technology. Once the page has been displayed on the client machine you need client side technology to manipulate data associated with it. For example, if you have displayed a form on which your site visitor is entering data and you wish to validate that data, allowing the visitor to make corrections, before sending the data back to the server, then all that validation must be performed by client side technology.

In Active Server Pages (ASP - a server side technology) you may write some code using VBScript. This code will run on the server, not on the client. Similarly if you write PHP code, perhaps extracting data from a MySQL database, you are writing server side code. On the other hand, if you write some JavaScript, it is included with the HTML that is the web page and is sent down to the client computer for processing. The HTML code in the page and the JavaScript are both examples of client side technologies. The question sometimes come up asking why fields used in VBScript can not also be referenced in JavaScript. The answer is that they exist at a different time and in a different computer. To communicate betwee server side and client side technologies, data must be transmitted back and forth between the server and client computers.

Until recently there have been many more options for server side technology than client side -- as far as the web is concerned. Although JavaScript is great for many things, and in the hands of some creative programmers can accomplish some remarkable feats, it doesn't fill the developer's desire for ever more demanding applications. There's always ActiveX and of course all the other flavors of downloadable pluggable code, but these can create some security related difficulties.
Looking at this situation, and wanting a means to span the client-server chasm, inspired Microsoft to come up with a new framework. Building on existing technologies, adding mechanisms to assure security at the client end and providing a means to use a large number of programming languages, the Dot Net Architecture enables a new level of client-server web computing. Using DNA you can switch sides without having to switch languages.

If you would like to know more about DNA, you're in luck! We have begun a new tutorial series all about it. Go to our home page at and read on!

By the way, I just saw a chicken standing in the middle of the road looking first to one side, then to the other. She had a sly grin on her beak!

Thanks for Reading!
- Vince Barnes


Q & A Goodies

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


Q. I want to change the background color of a cell containing a link, but only when the mouse is on that link. Then it should go back to the original color.

A. I've had trouble changing background colors in table cells with links, so I stopped using table cells. You can change the display to "block" to make the links look like buttons.
<title>Table Cell Links</title>
<style type="text/css">
a { display: block;
width: 150px;
background-color: red;
color: white; }
a:hover { background-color: blue; }
<p><a href="link.htm">LINK TEST</a></p>
<p><a href="link.htm">LINK TEST</a></p>
<p><a href="link.htm">LINK TEST</a></p>
<p><a href="link.htm">LINK TEST</a></p>
<p><a href="link.htm">LINK TEST</a></p>
There are a lot of things you can do with the styles, but I hope this helps for starters!

Q. I want to add "add to favorites" code (see ) to my page but I am using frames and the code will only "add to favoritess" the URL for the frame from which it was clicked. How do I add to frames page URLL?

In place of "location.href" add your URL that you want and instead of "document.title" use "parent.document.title".

I am having a problem running to java scripts that both have body onloads. It will only read the first body onload and not both of them.
<body onload=runSlideShow() bgcolor=#000000>
<body onload="fade()" bgcolor="#000000">

A. To run two scripts with the onLoad event in the body tag you would
separate them with a semi colon like this:
<body onload="runSlideShow();fade()" bgcolor=#000000>
You must beware of both scripts using the same variable names. If they do you will have to change the names in one of the scripts so that there are no conflicts.

Q. Im making a music website and the index page has 3 frames. In the frame 2 page will be links like Pop, Rock, R&B etc. Is there a way so if i click on one of the links the pages inside frame 1 and frame 2 will both change at the same time?

A. This tutorial explains it.

[It's surprising how often this question is asked -- and answered! -Ed]

Do commands exist to manipulate the border and/or font of a text box? They look so ugly...

A. You can change the font by putting a font tag around the form or around the field. You could set it by CSS also. The border is likewise changed by CSS. This code works to make a red border with the text in arial:
<font size="1" color="#ff0000" face="arial">
<form action="http://yourcgiscript" method="post">
<input type=text size=10 name="code" value="link goes here" readonly style="border-color: #ff0000">

Q. I am very interested in learning how to incorporate Flash MX into my web site. Unfortunetly, from searching the web I have not come across a suitable tutorial, including Macromedia's website, at a very basic level. I was hoping that you could refer a good website similiar to that can break down Flash MX for a beginner.

A. Try this site:





News Goodies

CD Burning Firm Buys Napster
[November 15, 2002] Roxio shells out $5.3 million for Napster's intellectual properly and technology patent portfolio.

Click here to read the article

Xbox Live Comes Online
[November 15, 2002] Playing to make its Xbox game console a major force in the world of online gaming, Microsoft unleashes its dedicated Xbox Live game service.

Click here to read the article

Capellas Takes WorldCom Reins
[November 15, 2002] UPDATE: The former HP president and COO (and Compaq CEO) takes charge at the disgraced and bankrupt telco.

Click here to read the article

Apache Flaws Being Exploited
[November 14, 2002] Several security holes in the Apache source are being actively exploited on the Internet; IT managers should upgrade to version 1.3.27 or 2.0.43 or higher.

Click here to read the article

Opera 7 Beta Launched

[November 13, 2002] UPDATE: With a faster rendering engine and more features than before, the new Opera download is actually smaller than ever before.

Click here to read the article


Serious BIND Server Flaws Detected
[November 12, 2002] Exploitation of the vulnerabilities could lead to compromise and DoS attacks against vulnerable DNS servers.

Click here to read the article





Feedback Goodies

Did you ever wish your newsletter was an easy two way communications medium? Ploof! It now is!
If you would like to comment on the newsletter or expand/improve on something you have seen in here, you can now send your input to:

We already receive a lot of email every day. This address will help us sort out those relating specifically to this newsletter from all the rest. When you send email to this address it may wind up being included in this section of the newsletter, to be shared with your fellow readers.

We got a lot of very positive feedback email this week. Thanks. It's nice to know you'll write when we do things right and not just when you find an error <g> ! Special thanks to Lisa Ferguson for your very nice note - I hope it's not too cold in Scotland right now!

Joshua Calderon asked if we could resend him a couple of old newsletters. You can read old newsletters any time by going to our home page ( ) and clicking on the link to the newsletters in the center of the page. That takes you to the Newsletter Archive Index.


And Remember This . . .

On this day in...

1978: 913 Die in Mass Suicide
Followers of Jim Jones committed suicide on November 18th 1978 in Jonestown, Guyana. Jim Jones founded the People's Temple in the 1950s It was a moderate Christian group to whom he preached against racism. The group which included mostly African Americans at the time, move to California in 1965. In the 1970s his church was accused of fraud and of abusing children. In 1977 he moved the group, several hundred strong, to the jungles of Guyana in South America, where they established an "idyllic" agricultural commune named Jonestown. On November 17, 1978 US Congressman Leo Ryan (D. Cal.) arrived in Jonestown with a group of reporters and others to investigate allegations being made about the commune. When they were leaving, several members of the church tried to persuade the investigators to get them passage back to the US. Distressed by this Jones told his lieutenants to prevent the whole group from leaving. Ryan and four others were killed as they attempted to board their plane. Back at the commune, Jones told his followers to drink a lethal mix of cyanide and Kool-Aid -- a ritual they had previously practiced. Those who refused were forced to drink at gunpoint or shot as they tried to flee. Jones himself died from a self inflicted gunshot to the head. 913 followers died, including 276 children. Only about a dozen survived; they escaped by hiding in the jungle.

1929 Herman Hollerith Dies
Dr Herman Hollerith's name is best known for the punch card, a.k.a. the Hollerith card. In 1889 he patented his tabulating machine, which used punch cards to input numbers which it tallied. The machine was used to count the Eleventh Federal Census in 1890. Six years later he founded the Tabulating Machine Company which later changed its name to the International Business Machine Company, now known as IBM.

And born today were:
1906 Soichiro Honda was born in Hamatsu, Japan (He founded Honda Motors with $1,500); 1925 Actor Rock Hudson (Roy Harold Scherer); 1942 Film maker Martin Scorsese; 1944 Actor Danny DeVito

Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!


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