Goodies To Go! Newsletter #331

By Vince Barnes

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Goodies to Go (tm)
April 4, 2005 -- Newsletter # 331


This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.
http://www.internet.com 

Please visit http://www.htmlgoodies.com
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Featured this week:

* Goodies Thoughts - Design First
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* Feedback Goodies
* Windows Tech Goodie of the Week
* And Remember This...


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Design First

It's curious how things happen in clusters. This past week I've had three separate calls for assistance, all of which were the result of the same basic flaw. That flaw was the rush into development before taking the time to properly design something. So I though I'd take a moment to point out some fundamental design tips, and to let you contemplate whether or not you are ever guilty of this.

Consider this extract from the goodies site:

A good website starts life in the design stage. There are several aspects of the site that are formed at this stage, including among other things, layout, color, sound, content, functionality and maintainability. No reasonable person would start to build a house without designing it first, no reasonable website builders should begin construction without a design either. While I admit there may be a better chance of succeeding with the un-designed website than with the un-designed house, you are selling yourself short if you skip the design stage. A friend of mine says (about programming computer systems) "you can't debug a system; you can only debug a system design. Sure you can fix the syntax things, but it's in design where the bugs are eliminated -- or introduced!" Wise words! The same holds true for a website, though by "bug" we might mean something a little different.

.........

I used the analogy of a house design a moment ago; there are some good parallels to be drawn between these two types of design. The design of a house involves not only the appearance of the finished house, but also the material of which it is made, the manor in which the material is used, the time and expense required to put it together, the ease of access and the usability of its rooms and the building's durability and maintainability. A website design involves the look and feel of the site, the languages and server resources it will use, the programming and data structures involved, the time and programming abilities needed, end-user ease of use and site maintenance. Design a house, design a website. Same thing -- almost <G>!!

(end of extract)

Don't recognize it? It's taken from a section that was originally intended to be read by those who have not yet got into coding pages, and was meant to help them understand the process we (should) go through to develop a site. The section is called the Non-Technical Introduction and you can find it here: http://www.htmlgoodies.com/introduction/intro

If you've ever found yourself struggling with a bowl of spaghetti that started life as a simple piece of code then there a plenty of tips in there for you! There are probably tips in there that all of us could use at times. I read pieces of it myself from time to time - and I wrote it! It helps to keep me fresh.

Stay on the right track!



Thanks for Reading!




- Vince Barnes





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Q & A Goodies
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Questions are taken from submissions to our Community
Mentors. You can ask a Mentor a question by going to
http://www.htmlgoodies.com/mentors 



Q. I would like to use flash movie in the website, but if users do not have flash plug-in installed in the browser, it should play gif annimation without asking users to install plugin. In other word flash movie should play if plugin installed, if not then something else (alternative image).

A. Here is one way to detect the Flash pluig-in according to Flashkit.com:
http://www.flashkit.com/tutorials/Utilities/Detectin-Arran_Sc-151/index.php





Q. Could you please tell me how to link one page to a specific point on another page? Also, how do I link the top of one page to the bottom of the same page?

A. If you want to link to a spot on a particular page you can use the NAME ANCHOR. For instance if you had a long page and wanted to give the user an easy way to get back to the top after reading the article you would place this in the HTML near the top after the <BODY> tag:
<a name="top">
At the end of the article you would place this code:
<a href="#top">TOP</a>
That creates a link to the top of the page. If you want a link to a certain area on another page it is done in a similar way. On the page you want to link to you place the NAME ANCHOR in the spot on the page you want to jump to:
<a href="jump">Jump Here</a>
On the page you are coming from, the link would look like this:
<a href="#jump">Click here to Jump</a>
Here is the tutorial from the HTMLGoodies site:
http://www.htmlgoodies.com/tutors/pagejump.html





Q. How I could go about creating large check boxes?

A. The standard checkboxes used in HTML are just that, standard. I know of no way to change their size.




Q. I am trying to open a new window using Javascript and I have suceeded in doing so. But I have encountered a problem: the window opens with half on the screen and half the window off. Basically if a user wants to see the other half of the new window, they must drag it into a new position. Do you have any sugestions on how to get the window to open on a specified place on the x-axis and the y-axis of the user monitor?

A. One method is to use the top and left properties. Here is an example:
function OpenWin()
{ PopMen=window.open ("poplink.html","popwin",config="width=175,height=225,location=no,status=no,directories=no,toolbar=no,scrollbars=no,menubar=no,resizable=no,top=0,left=0");
}




Q. I was using the tutorial in my HTML goodies book on JavaScript. I used the code in the book, but i altered it for my own use. I cant get it to work, and I dont know why. It seems like a perfectly sound code to me, but when I try and run it, I get an Object Expected error for the <onLoad> command. (code was attached)

A. In your script, you have "funtion dateinbar()", just change it to "function dateinbar()" and the problem should go away.
[This is such a common type of error - no matter what your level of experience, have someone else look at your code. Often a fresh pair of eyes sees something so obvious that we ourselves keep missing it!]




Q. I am looking for a simple way to open an alert box by clicking on a graphic on the page.

A. Here is one way to open an alert box by clicking on a graphic:
<A HREF="javascript:alert('Hello!')"><IMG SRC="0.gif" BORDER="0"></A>






News Goodies
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IDC: A Boom in VoIP
[April 4, 2005] New stats project residential VoIP growth to explode over the next five years.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/stats/article.php/3495076


OSI Tackles License 'Explosion'
[April 4, 2005] UPDATED: The OSI will hold a meeting Wednesday to address the mass of open source licenses.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3494961


JavaScript Flaw Hits Mozilla Users
[April 4, 2005] The Mozilla Suite and Firefox users are at risk.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/security/article.php/3495116


Handheld Security Too Expensive For Enterprise?
[April 4, 2005] Companies need to assess their antivirus, VPN, device security and management software, the Burton Group found.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/ent-news/article.php/3495131


Verizon Tracks Autos
[April 4, 2005] The carrier debuts a new service to help companies manage their vehicles.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/wireless/article.php/3495101


Amazon Buys On Demand Player BookSurge
[April 4, 2005] Company moves further into print-on-demand market.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article.php/3494946


Privacilla: RFID For Goods, Not People
[April 4, 2005] Conservative group says U.S. plans for RFID passports are precipitous and not justified.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/infra/article.php/3495066


Yahoo FareChase Gets You a Room
[April 4, 2005] The FareChase beta expands into hotel search.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article.php/3494981


Quiet Progress Marks Microsoft, Sun Anniversary
[April 1, 2005] One year ago, their landmark agreement made headlines. Today, the former foes are inching towards interoperability.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/ent-news/article.php/3494731


Do You SP2?
[April 4, 2005] UPDATED: Less than one quarter of Windows XP users are running the crucial Service Pack 2, a study finds.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3494891







Feedback Goodies
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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:

mailto:nlfeedback@htmlgoodies.com

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 http://www.htmlgoodies.com/mentors 



Thanks for all your feedback!






Windows Tech Goodie of the Week
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Searching Your Website with Microsoft Index Services

This article examines using Microsoft Index Services for your site's search functionality. We'll build a simple, fast, and extensible search tool using .NET and Microsoft Indexing Services along with the Adobe IFilter plug-in, which allows MS Indexing Services to index PDF documents and display them in your search results.

http://aspnet.4guysfromrolla.com/articles/033005-1.aspx


*** AND ***


Server.Execute Sample Code


If you've been using ASP for any length of time, you've almost certainly used Response.Redirect to move a user from one page to another. While Response.Redirect gets the job done, it unfortunately requires a round trip to the client browser. While there are some situations where this is necessary, more often then not you can accomplish the task more efficiently using Server.Execute.

http://www.asp101.com/samples/server_execute.asp












And Remember This ...
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On this day in...

1581 Francis Drake completed his circumnavigation of the globe and was knighted; 1818 the US congress decided that the US flag would be thirteen red and white stripes with twenty stars on a blue background in the corner; 1850 the City of Los Angeles was incorporated; 1905 370,000 died in an earthquake in Kangra, India; 1933 73 died when the US dirigible Akron crashed off the coast of New Jersey; 1939 Faisal II ascended the throne of Iraq; 1949 the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) treaty was signed in Washington DC; 1958 the first march against nuclear weapons was staged at Aldermaston, England; 1994 Mosaic Communications (later Netscape Communications) was founded;



Born today were: in 1821 cylinder lock inventor Linus Yale; 1881 Encyclopedia man Charles Funk (Funk & Wagnalls); 1892 actress Esther Howard; 1915 guitarist Muddy Waters; 1924 actor Peter Vaughn; 1924 actress Eva Marie Saint; 1925 actress Elizabeth Wilson; 1928 poetess/actress Maya Angelou (Marguerite Johnson); 1932 actor Anthony Perkins; 1946 actor Craig T. Nelson; 1948 actor Luke Halpin; 1948 musician Pick Withers (Dire Straits); 1950 actress Christine Lahti; 1964 actor Robbie Rist; 1965 actor Robert Downey Jr; 1976 actress Alicia Silverstone;

 



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