Goodies To Go! Newsletter #330

By Vince Barnes

Goodies to Go (tm)
March 28, 2005 -- Newsletter # 330
This newsletter is part of the network.



Featured this week:
*   Goodies Thoughts - Navigation Tips & Tricks
*   Q & A Goodies
*   News Goodies
*   Feedback Goodies
*   Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 
*   And Remember This...


Navigation Tips & Tricks
Many thanks to all of you who use as your web development information resource and who send in your questions to the Mentors. (See  There have been a lot of questions recently related to web site navigation, and especially how to simplify the navigation maintenance effort.  Our mentors have devised a variety of elegant solutions and have shared those solutions with those who sent in the questions.  A couple of them have also appeared in Q&A Goodies in earlier issues of this newsletter. (See .)  Since this has been such a hot topic recently, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss it a little further here.
First there is the question of where to put the navigation links.  Basically there are four options: top, left, bottom and right.  You could theoretically place them in the middle and modify the surrounding area, but to do so would mean you are dealing with a much more esoteric site than this topic is intended to deal with!  Personally, I favor the left.  It seems to me to be the most natural place for a contents list.  That being said, the top is a great place for a group of headings.  The choice between these two would have to depend on what makes sense for your content.  It may be that a group of headings across the top takes you to different sections of the site, while each section has a content list on the left to take you to the various pages in that section.  I am not a big fan of contents on the bottom or on the right, except for links to related information that may be in other sites.  The bottom and the right also have to contend more with screen resolution problems.  It is no fun the develop a site with lots of interesting sections if nobody can find out they are there because the contents have disappeared off the right or dropped off the bottom!
There are several possible methods to use for easy to maintain contents.  One method which does not fit this category is to create a table on each page that contains the contents list.  Each time you change a link, you would have to change every page on which that link appears.  It's doubtful you'll do that more than once or twice without making any errors!
Next method: if you're using FrontPage or a similar program, they typically have a means of automatically generating navigation features.  In FrontPage you can us "Shared Borders" (for more information, use the indicated term as a search term in FrontPage's Help system -- for more about FrontPage, see into which you put navigation elements using the "Navigation" view.  This method works, but depends on the particular program to support it and takes you a little further away from the actual code, thereby reducing your level of control a little.
Another method is to create pages (files) that are "include"d into your various site pages.  This is called Server Side Includes (SSI).  We have an article (see that includes a very nice section with examples on how to do this.  The trouble with this method is that it depends on the server permitting SSI.  While most do these days, there are still some that don't.  You might want to check with your service provider before writing a ton of code using SSI (unless of course, you just want the practice!)
In my humble opinion, the best method is to use frames.  "Uggh!" I hear from the peanut gallery!  In the old days (and the Internet is getting older!) frames were shunned because they looked ugly and a lot of browsers didn't support them.  Almost every modern browser now supports frames and those frames can have zero width borders so you dont even have to know they're there.  Judicious use of contents, sizes etc. should also prevent the need for scroll bars appearing in the middle of your page.  "How?"  Easy!  There's a neat tutorial right here:   Go ahead and get right in!  With a frame on the left for contents, one on the right for the body of the site and possibly one across the top for titles and even group headings (see for advice on how to change both the contents and the main body frames with one click of a subject header) you should be all set.
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. My website is for a drama company and I'm trying to write a cast list, ie:
Snow white.................Freda Bloggs
Stepmother.................Fred Bloggs
The only way I can find to make it look neat is the <PRE> flag but this changes the font. I don't want to use <LI> as I don't want a bullet point.
A. You can use a table with a border set at zero so it is not visible.
Like this example:
<table width="100%" border="0">
<tr><td>Snow white</td>
<td>Freda Bloggs</td></tr>
<td>Fred Bloggs</td></tr>
Q. How can I place an image on my web page?  I tried <IMG SRC="joe.gif">.  This doesn't work.  A red cross appears.
A. The red "x" where the images is supposed to be, can mean one of a few things. The path to you image is possibly incorrect. I checked your html code and noticed most of your graphics are located in a folder called images. If that is where you placed the image the path to it would be something like <img src="images/joe.gif"> The path depends on exactly where the graphic is located in relation to where (what directory or folder) your web page calling it is located. It can get a little confusing as first. If just updating a page look at the html code of a graphic thats displays properly and make a note of the img src= code file path to it.
Also keep in mind, file name and the img src code name must match exactly. Letter case must be the same for both and extension names, like .jpg or .jpeg must match.
To copy the files you can use a FTP program for uploading and downloading files and graphics from your site.
(Note that NT/Win2K hosting servers are not case sensitive - Ed.)

Q. Is there a way of adding Powerpoint presentations into a website without the viewer having to download the file?
A. The user must have PowerPoint installed on their computer to be able to view the presentation. There may be a PowerPoint viewer available but it still needs to installed on the user's computer. In PowerPoint 97 and up you can save the presentation as HTML and it will create all of the buttons and navigation for you as HTML. The downside is that it creates an enormous amount of files. I am not sure if this will help but Microsoft offers the Microsoft. Producer for PowerPoint 2002 Resource CD. This is an "add-in for Microsoft PowerPoint. version 2002 that makes it easy to create media-rich presentations for the Web." The cost is only about $6. Here is the link:

Q. I need a list of special characters in HTML. Like the "a" with the two dots on top of it, and the copyright symbol... can you help me?
A. I don't offhand know of a site with a list of the codes. However, if you use Windows, you have an application called Character Map which is probably in the accessories folder. It has the character codes. The HTML code is &#[code];, like the code for the "a" with an umlaut (two dots) is "&#228;".
Q.  What is the html tag to prevent people from "lifting" my artwork from my site?
A. There is no such tag. There is no technical means to prevent copying that can't be gotten around. Nontechnically, there are a couple things you can do. You can put a copyright notice in big letters across the picture so it can't be removed without ruining the picture. You can post just small versions and and require viewers to contact you for permission to see the larger image. You can have pages and images which aren't linked to, so no one can find them without you giving them the link.
Q. Can you please help me, I am after a script that will close the page it is on after a set amount of time; eg 0.1 seconds.

News Goodies
Microsoft Dubs European Windows
[March 28, 2005] Microsoft will adopt the EU's name choice for its Media Player-free operating system.
Read the article:

Alliance Formed to Finger Hackers
[March 28, 2005] The Fingerprint Sharing Alliance attempts to decrease the number of Internet attacks.
Read the article:

Microsoft Said to Have New Security Plans
[March 28, 2005] Heeding critics of its Passport system and recent developments with companies like ChoicePoint, Longhorn will reportedly feature a new security measure to store and use personal data.
Read the article:

Bells Freed From 'Naked' DSL
[March 28, 2005] The FCC decision pre-empts efforts by states to force regional carriers to offer 'naked' DSL.
Read the article:

Is eBay Past Its Peak?
[March 25, 2005] The online marketplace struggles to balance customer satisfaction and the bottom line.
Read the article:

Phishing Attacks Jump 26%
[March 25, 2005] Phishers and pharmers up attacks, perhaps in response to decreased results. 
Read the article:

AMD Hopes Blades Will Slice Into Intel
[March 25, 2005] HP, Sun and IBM look to be critical partners once the dual-core Opteron chips ship.
Read the article:

ICANN Approves .eu Domain Space
[March 25, 2005] The European Union gets a name space of its own after ICANN's board of directors approval.
Read the article:

Phishers Target Yahoo Messenger
[March 25, 2005] A new attack has been launched against Yahoo Messenger users, and it could be a sign of things to come.
Read the article:

Apache Rolls Cocoon 2.1.7
[March 24, 2005] The new version includes JDK 5.0 compatibility, as well as new form features.
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 helps 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
Thanks for all your feedback!

Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 
Building an End User Defined Data Model - Part 1
In the first article in this series, Peter Scheffler introduces the concept of a rules-based database engine that allows clients to make changes to their database structure without breaking the applications that access the database.

*** AND ***

Update: Two Classes to Improve File System Access in .NET
Based on user feedback, Christopher sent in an updated version of the code that accompanies his article on improving file system access in .NET.
*** AND ***

Improving Developer Productivity with Visual Studio .NET Macros
In this article we'll look at how to create macros to eliminate repetitive typing for a task common to custom ASP.NET control developers - creating property statements that use the ViewState StateBag as a backing store.
And Remember This ...
On this day in...
1738 Parliament in England declared war on Spain; 1794 La Louvre art gallery in Paris opened to the public; 1922 the first microfilm device was introduced; 1854 Britain and France declared war on Russia; 1917 Turkish authorities expelled the Jews from Tel-Aviv and Jaffa; 1930 Constantinople and Angora changed their names to Istanbul and Ankara; 1939 the Spanish Civil War ended as Madrid fell to Francisco Franco; 1970 1,086 people were killed by a 7.3 earthquake in Gediz, Turkey; 1979 there was a major accident at Three Mile Island nuclear reactor in Middletown, Pennsylvania - no deaths, however;
Born today were: in 1902 English actress Dame Flora Robson; 1914 actor Frank Lovejoy; 1921 English actor Dirk Bogarde; 1924 Iriah actor Freddie Bartholomew; 1942 English musician Lewis B Hopkin (Brian Jones, Rolling Stones); 1944 actor Ken Howard; 1948 British musician John Evan (Jethro Tull); 1955 country singer Reba McEntire; 1963 Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr.;

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