Goodies to Go (tm)
June 2, 2003-- Newsletter #235

By Vince Barnes

Goodies to Go (tm)
June 2, 2003--Newsletter #235

This newsletter is part of the network.

Featured this week:

* Goodies Thoughts - A Thousand Mile Journey
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* Goodies Peer Reviews
* 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 - A Thousand Mile Journey

There's an old Chinese (I believe) proverb that says (roughly translated) that a thousand mile journey begins with one step. It seems so obvious, but it's so hard to remember when you're about to embark on such an expedition and you are considering the magnitude of the whole task. Of course the lesson is that you will never get anywhere unless you take that first step, and once it's taken, you're on your way.

How many times has a web developer decided to create a website, started to ponder all the wonderful things that they will include on the site, and then spent so much time trying to figure out how it will all fit together, and which technology to use for which part of the site, that in the end, they give up without taking that first site? More often than you might expect, judging by the email I receive! So today, I thought I'd talk just a moment about the process of getting started on a new web adventure.

You, my reader, I am sure, have already started at least one web project, so this advice is not necessarily intended for you directly. Instead, it's intended for those friends of yours. You know the ones! The ones that tell you that they are starting a website but talk about it in such a way as to hint to you that they know you do websites, and it's so hard to get started, and they haven't got any budget but you're a really good friend!

The Non-Technical Introduction (see ) provides some useful background information and advice, and walks you through the necessary logistical steps; but when it gets down to doing the design -- right down to the actual "doing" of it, how do you take that first step? Answer: take it! An example might provide a little insight into what I mean. Suppose you are to design a website about your house. Grab a piece of paper and a pencil and (here goes:) write "My House." Excellent! You've started! Now let your imagination go: hmmm... a picture of my house might be nice, so, draw a box and write "picture of my house" in it. Now add some more information: write "My house is a fairly ordinary house, in the middle of a row of other, fairly ordinary houses." Now illustrate that point: draw another box and write "picture of row of houses" in it. Continue: "But my house is very special to me." And so on -- you get the idea. Once started, momentum will quickly allow the creation to come into being. Once the ideas are down on paper, you can rearrange them, add to them, improve the aesthetics, divide ideas into groupings (new pages or sections) and so on. Momentum builds rapidly!

Just a little aside: avoid putting "under construction" or other such corny lines on your site. There are two type of website: dead ones and those that are still being worked on. Every worthwhile website is "under construction"!

Now, when that friend comes to you again, full of hintings, point them to HTML Goodies' Non-Technical Introduction and tell them that the secret to starting a web site, even one the size and scope of or, is entirely contained within one simple instruction. Start!

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. The site I'm having problems with is:  The site has 0 borders all around and is a single table split into four cells, one for the eagle logo, one for the title, one for nav, and one for body. If you resize your browser to the skinniest it can get, the content in the two right cells moves over and overlaps the left cells. This is because I have table set at 100%, I believe. If I set the table to a fixed pixel amount it wouldn't display well on other screen resolutions (ex 800x600). Is there any way I can allow the content in the two right cells to move when browser is resized, but NOT to move into/overlap the left cells? A website that has what I'm talking about is, notice how when you resize your browser to make it skinnier it DOESN'T overlap into the navbar, whereas on my site it does overlap.

A. It looks like you have used absolute table sizes. Try using percentages. This may give you the effect you are looking for. I tried viewing your site in the three major resolutions and it looks fine. I don't think you will have to worry about someone viewing your site like you're talking about. None of the major browsers are set to view in a tall narrow (skinny) resolution. This would probably never affect the site. Take a look at this tutorial:


Q. I have created a form on my computer building site that allows you to configure which components of a computer you want to purchase. How do I have an updating total at the bottom of the page that shows my customer how much the current total is? Also once I have this total how would I add a $70 shipping cost to it automatically? And finally I would like to submit the customer's choices to me. At the moment I have an HTML form that opens up your e-mail and attaches the form to the e-mail (so when people send me an order it comes attached to an e-mail). Is there a way to just have them type in their e-mail address and hit submit and have it transmit to my e-mail without having to make them open their e-mail up and send an e-mail? I have used HTML quite a bit and am unsure as to how to do this stuff, so I am assuming that it is JavaScript. I know very little JS

A. You are going to need a bit more than JavaScript. JavaScript is a client side scripting language. You are going to need some processing on the server. That is going to take some PERL, PHP or ASP. Basically what you need is a shopping cart. There are many shopping carts but you need to know what your server supports. If you are using Microsoft FrontPage and have FrontPage Server Extensions installed on your server you can use that to send the form. It will not do any figuring of the shipping for you though. -- this is site has many links that may help you find what you are looking for.
[You might also want to check out the Goodies Thoughts in these Goodies To Go newsletter issues:
- Ed.]


Q. Re. the HTML Goodies tutorial on making JavaScript keystroke recorders; I want to make it so the keystrokes lead the client to another page, but I can't find anything on any way to do that in JavaScript without opening another window; I just want a keystroke link, and I can't find it ANYWHERE!

A. Using key strokes to go to another page can be difficult and confusing to the average person.


Q. I just finishing a webpage using background images in my table cells. I set my background color to black and my background image is texture of color. So here is my problem... the people who asked me to do their website want to be able to print it for themselves and for students who visit the website. I just discovered that the File/Print command in Explorer stays black where it's supposed to have a background image. It is really ugly when you print it. In all the 5 years since I'm doing webpage its the first time that someone has asked me to have a better rendering for printing. I haven't found anything on that subject so far, so if you have any ideas of how to fix this I will be very grateful.

A. I believe you do not have control over what the user is printing in this case. To print a background color or image the user has to have their browser set to print them. By default the browser will be set up to not print the background color or images because they impair readability or consume large amounts of toner or ink.
In Microsoft Internet Explorer:
Select Tools and the select Internet Options.
Click the Advanced tab.
Scroll down to the section labeled Printing and mark the box labeled Print background colors and images.
Try Reprinting the page.
I am not sure how it is done in Netscape.


How would I make my own computer game with JavaScript?

A. Here is a link to some JavaScript games:






News Goodies

Microsoft: Mission to 'Jupiter' Rolls Ahead
[June 2, 2003] The software giant gives a name to the first phase of its 'Jupiter' e-business Web services suite and releases the first beta.

Click here to read the article


E-mail Virus Getting 'SoBig'
[June 2, 2003] Anti-virus firms are reporting 30,000 interceptions in 84 countries.

Click here to read the article


HP Hooks Into Andreesen's Opsware
[June 2, 2003] Hewlett-Packard turns to data center automation software to upgrade gaps in its data center suite.

Click here to read the article




On-Demand Arrives at Electrolux
[June 2, 2003] Big Blue signs on another major client for outsourcing services, and 'by the drink' computing too.

Click here to read the article



Tarantella Buys New Moon
[June 2, 2003] Two server-based computing runners-up join forces to take on the industry leader, Citrix Systems

Click here to read the article



Borland, Microsoft Move Closer on Databases
[June 2, 2003] The two competitors put differences aside to push a new environment on the .NET Framework.

Click here to read the article



NetIQ Rolls Out WebTrends Search Tool
[June 2, 2003] The leading analytics company will now offer clients a tool to measure the effectiveness of their search marketing.

Click here to read the article



Software On-Demand, Pricing by the Byte?
[May 30, 2003] FEATURE: Not everyone in the tech world is convinced that software providers will have an easy time offering applications 'by the drink' or that companies are ready to buy technology 'on demand.'

Click here to read the article



Tech, Media Giants Launch New Relationship
[May 30, 2003] ANALYSIS: In a settlement that officially declares their browser wars over, Microsoft and AOL Time Warner launch a new era of collaboration whose implications are only starting to reverberate.

Click here to read the article Nabs New Customer in Japan
[May 29, 2003] The desktop Linux advocate boasts a new partnership aimed at putting Linux on the desktop in Japan, and also assures customers that it has nothing to fear from SCO.

Click here to read the article







Goodies Peer Reviews


Every week a site selected each week for review. Each week, reviews of the previous week's selected site are chosen for publication on the HTML Goodies website.


The current week's selected site is published in Goodies To Go and in the Peer Reviews section of the website.  Current contact email addresses for submitting your site and for submitting reviews are published in Goodies To Go.

If you would like to have your site reviewed, sign up for the Goodies To Go newsletter in the Navigation Bar on the left side of this page. 

For full details about this program, see




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. Please don't send your questions to this address. They should be sent to our mentors: see


Last week, I just got the newsletter finished -- all assembled and ready to go -- when my machine froze! Since the subject matter concerned using "a little careful thought", Murphy's law prevailed, of course, as I had not yet clicked "save". Having a deadline to meet, I immediately panicked. What else is there to do? As rapidly as possible, I reconstructed the newsletter, retyping those pieces that at time existed only in my head. In my haste, I forgot that I had spell checked Goodies Thoughts after including it in the newsletter, not before as usual. Consequently you got to see my spelling errors, and wrote to let me know! Thank you, and oops, sorry! It's actually one of those little curiosities of the English language that allows dependance or dependence interchangeably, but only allows independence. I am in the habit of using dependance and so commonly carry it into its negative form. Spell checkers know better, but I often miss it. Thanks again to all of you who wrote in -- I am truly glad to know that you read every word!

By the way, you might be interested to know why my machine froze. "Windows Update" had recommended a new video driver for my card and I had downloaded and installed it. I had nothing but trouble until I used the "roll back driver" feature to replace it with the older version. Once the old one was back in place, the problems stopped altogether. I suggest that you make sure you keep a copy of a driver in a known location before you replace it with new one. I would have pulled all my hair out by now if I didn't have the old one back in place!




And Remember This . . .

On this day in...

1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
In London's Westminster Abbey on this day fifty years ago, Elizabeth Windsor was officially crowned Queen. Millions of spectators watched the procession as the 27 year old Elizabeth and her husband, 30 year old Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, former Prince of Denmark and of Greece. They didn't care that it was raining (of course!) Did you know she was a truck driver? During the Second World War, she was a Second Lieutenant in the Women's Services and trained as a truck driver and repairer. Congratulations on your Golden Jubilee, Ma'am!

Born today were: in 1840, writer Thomas Hardy; 1930, astronaut Pete Conrad; 1933, movie director Barry Levinson (Rain Man [Academy Award 1988] Disclosure, Jimmy Hollywood, Good Morning VietNam, The Natural, Toys, Diner, Bugsy, Avalon); 1941, actor Stacy Keach; 1941, musician Charlie Watts (drummer, Roling Stones); 1944 musician, composer Marvin Hamlisch; 1948, actor Jerry Mathers; 1955, actor, comedian Dana Carvey ;




Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!


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