Goodies to Go (tm)
January 19, 2004-- Newsletter #268

By Vince Barnes

Goodies to Go (tm)
January 19, 2004--Newsletter #268

This newsletter is part of the network.

Featured this week:

* Goodies Thoughts - An Object Lesson
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* Goodies Peer Reviews
* Feedback Goodies  
* Windows Tech Goodies  
* And Remember This...



Goodies Announcement

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 - An Object Lesson

One plus one equals two. Seems simple enough. It is, and it conveys a certain amount of useful information. Actually, it conveys some fundamentally essential information, but that's not really my point! Here's another way of looking at it:
Two is a number. It is a whole number. It is one digit long. It can be derived by the addition of one and one.
There's still the same information there, but presented a little differently, and with the addition some extras. There's nothing in the extras that you didn't already know, but that's because you knew it, not because it was presented in the original statement.

In the old days (excuse me a moment while I grab my corncob pipe and pull the wicker rocker out onto the front porch), computer programming was all much like the first statement. A series of instructions began at the start of a problem solution and continued in linear fashion to the end of the solution. There was some jumping from point to point and there were some looped routines that would be performed a few times, but the basic model was linear.

Then along came the concept of "Object Oriented Programming" ("OOP"). The example above is a very crude illustration of the concept of Objects in OOP. Instead of two merely being seen as the result of the addition of one and one, it is seen as an object with its own properties and value. Those of you who are familiar with OOP are probably saying to themselves that Vince is nuts if he thinks he can describe OOP with such a simple illustration, but describing OOP is not my aim here. I thought a quick explanation of the idea of an "Object" would be in order because I have seen the term used a lot recently, especially in discussion of JavaScript, without any description of what is meant by it, and with the assumption that the reader, who may be fairly new to web development and to programming, already knows what it is. Last week's newsletter was just such an example.

An object is, in a sense, a container that can hold both data and program code. In addition to a value (like 2 is the value of the "result" object described above) an object can have properties (like data-type and length) and "methods". A "Method" is actually a piece of program code contained within the object that does something for you with the data that is contained within the object. In last week's newsletter (see I talked about the "go" method of the "history" object. This method is some code that takes a value you pass to it as a parameter (I used a value of -2 in one example) and uses it as an index into data entries in the history object (the data entries constitute a list of addresses, or URLs, of web pages that have been visited) and takes the browser to the requested page.

This little bit of JavaScript is a will show you the various properties associated with an object, in this case, "location":

<script language="javascript">
for (prop in location) {
document.write("location." + prop + " = " + location[prop] + "<br>");

Put this into an html file, save it, and open it in your browser (don't forget to edit out the periods - see the note in Q&A, below, about code in this newsletter)

There are sometimes several properties and methods associated with objects and the documentation for the object should describe them and their uses. Often, there are more methods available that aren't mentioned in the particular reference material you may be using. Discovering these methods is always a fun and interesting thing to do. They are also quite often very useful! Take a look at the new material about Dates and Times on the HTML Goodies website, for example.

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

I have some stand alone HTML program that reside in multiple laptop computers located in my client's fleet of vehicles. I am attempting to find a program or script that will act as a hit counter so I can analyze the traffic and identify the pages or sections visited or more importantly, those that are not.

A. You might find that cookies would provide the feedback you are looking for. Take a look at this HTML Goodies page:

Q. I would like to be able to create clickable buttons at the top of my page to link to different places further down the page.

A. Add this link code to your button image:
<a href="#link1"><img src="yourbuttonname.gif"></a>
Then where you want it to link to, add this anchor code:
<a name="link1"></a>
When you click the button it will jump down on the same page to the anchor.

Q. I have a folder, and inside that folder is a webpage and images used on the webpage. There is another folder inside that folder, and inside this folder is another webpage. I want to use the images from the previous folder. Is it possible to link them in locally? Or do I have to use an absolute link?

A. You can link to documents in other directories by specifying the relative path from the current document to the linked document. For example, a link to a file "my_file.html" located in the subdirectory "files" would be:
<A HREF="files/my_file.html">My File</A>
If you wanted to reference an image in another folder you can use relative paths also. For instance your page resides in a folder named "pages" and you want to reference the image that is in another folder named "images". Both folders reside on the site in the same level. The reference would look like this:

<img src="../images/my_image.jpg">
This tells the browser to look up into another folder named "images" [The two dots mean "my parent folder" - Ed].
If the page were in a folder named "folder2" and this folder was in the folder named "pages" the reference could look like this:
<img src="../../images/my_image.jpg">
This tells the browser to look two folders up for another folder named "iamges".
These are called relative links because you are specifying the path to the linked file relative to the location of the current file. You can also use the absolute pathname (the complete URL) of the file, but relative links are more efficient in accessing a server. By using relative links you make your site more portable. You can do all of your work building your website on your local computer and when you upload the entire site to the server, all of the links will work. If you use absolute links then you run into the problem of having the files still linked to your local computer.

Q. How do I move stuff where I want it on my website? I put the html in the scripts area but when I go to my site everything is in the top left corner.

A. By default, text and images will be placed at the top and to the left. There are tags for positioning, and stylesheets give more control. Sometimes tables are used for precise layout. I suspect tables would be the most useful thing for you right now, so have a look at the tables tutorials.

Q. How do I make animated GIFs?.

A. Basically, you make each frame as a separate image, and your graphics application combines them into one file. Imageready can do this. Shareware sites may have Microsoft GIF Animator, which I've used and works adequately. There will be other applications for animating GIFs. Probably shareware sites like Nonags and Tucows are your best bet. If you're willing to learn Flash or Livemotion, they make animations which are smoother and smaller.

Q. Can you use Visual Basic for making banners?

A. Visual Basic is not the program you should be using for creating banners. Take a look at PhotoShop ( or Paint Shop Pro(

Q. What function returns the square root of a number?

A. That would be Math.sqrt(arg) where arg is your numeric variable. There is a whole list of Math Object methods in Joe's book starting at the bottom of P159.






News Goodies

Infravio, HP Expand Web Services Platforms
[January 19, 2004] Companies say cross-platform application integration is easier now that Infravio has ported its web services management tool to HP's NonStop Platform.

Click here to read the article



Dell Delving Deeper Into Networking
[January 19, 2004] New switches are aimed at small, medium, and larger businesses.

Click here to read the article



New Java Widgets For Eclipse
[January 19, 2004] A new plug-in gives Java tool programmers at the IBM-led consortium a user interface for Web application development, but leaves NetBeans out.

Click here to read the article



Mozilla Swims With 'SeaMonkey' Browser
[January 16, 2004] The 1.6 release improves performance as the disparity between open source and proprietary platforms continues to grow.

Click here to read the article


Cyberspace, The Next Battlefield
[January 16, 2004] Is World Cyber War I somewhere on the horizon? A new report shows the increased popularity of converged networks like VoIP makes it more likely.

Click here to read the article



AOL Sales Staff Meeting Tapes Reveal Internal Turmoil
[January 16, 2004] Audiotapes of recently departed ad sales head's meetings shed light on division's problems.

Click here to read the article



Big Memory, Itty-Bitty Chips
[January 16, 2004] Intel's experiments with nanotechnology grow, as it collaborates with Nanosy on future chips.

Click here to read the article



AOL Mulls Options in Playboy Case
[January 16, 2004] The ISP has three choices after an appeals court rules that an ad-related trademark case against its Netscape subsidiary can proceed.

Click here to read the article



Report: Users Giving up on their Desktops
[January 16, 2004] Say good-bye to your desktop. By 2006, only 45 percent of corporate users are expected to consider their desktop to be their primary information device, according to a new report.

Click here to read the article



E-Rate Probe Focuses on Chicago
[January 16, 2004] A Congressional panel wants to know more about possible equipment stockpiling by Chicago public schools.

Click here to read the article






Goodies Peer Reviews


Every week a site is selected 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

For those who are missing Peer reviews: we are once again revising the Peer review program in the hopes of creating a workable solution. The current plan is to move the new Peer Review pages into place in the new year. All those who have been selected for reviews in the past will be featured in the new pages. The new method will make it much easier for your peers to provide feedback and much easier for us to handle the publication side of things. "Watch this space!" It's coming soon!!

Thanks for pointing out the error in the first question in last week's Q&A. For those who wanted to get the actual answer, it's repeated as the first question in this issue; this time with the corresponding answer!

Thanks again for all your feedback!



Windows Tech Goodie of the Week:


Code in Style with ASP.NET Themes

Thiru Thangarathinam shows how easy it is to customize a .NET Web
application's visual appearance at the site, page, or control level using
ASP.NET 2.0 Themes.

*** And ***

Converting Our "Tell A Friend" Sample to a User Control

In this article I outline the basic steps that are required to convert an
ASP.NET Web Form to an ASP.NET User Control. I then apply them to our Tell
a Friend ASP.NET sample code and wouldn't you know it... I end up with a
Tell a Friend ASP.NET User Control.



And Remember This . . .

On this day in...

1915 First Air-raid on Britain

On this day in 1915 two German zeppelin airships dropped bombs on Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn on the east coast of England. The zeppelin was a steel framed airship invented by Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin in 1900. Three were used in that first air raid, but one didn't reach its target because of mechanical problems. The zeppelin was a huge ship and required hydrogen gas, rather than helium, to lift its great weight. The flammability of hydrogen turned out to be a bit of a problem, later on!

Today was also the day that: in 1840 the Charles Wilkes expedition discovered Antarctica; 1915 George Claude patented the Neon Tube; 1955 the game "Scrabble" made its debut; 1957 the USSR performed an atmospheric nuclear test; 1966 Indira Ghandi was elected India's 3rd Prime Minister; 1970 a Dutch Bishop said he was in favor of married priests; 1971 the Beatles "Helter Skelter" was played at the Charles Manson trial;

Born today were: in 570 Islamic prophet Mohammed; 1736 steam engine inventor James Watt; 1807 General-in-Chief of the Confederacy Robert Edward Lee; 1809 author Edgar Allen Poe; 1813 engine inventor Sir Henry Bessemer; 1877 actor Charles Coburn; 1907 actress Lilian Harvey; 1917 singer John Raitt (father to Bonnie); 1920 5th UN Secretary General Javier Pirez de Cuillar (Peru); 1923 actress Jean Stapleton; 1935 actress Tippi Hedron; 1942 English actor Michael Crawford; 1943 singer Janis Joplin; 1946 singer Dolly Rebecca Parton; 1949 singer Robert Palmer; 1953 actor Desi Arnaz Jr.; 1966 Swedish tennis player Stefan Edberg; 1967 actress Christine Tucci; 1971 actor Shawn Wayans;

Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!


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