Goodies To Go! Newsletter #346

By Vince Barnes

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Goodies to Go (tm)
July 19, 2005 -- Newsletter # 346
 
This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.
http://www.internet.com
 

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Featured this week:
 
*   Goodies Thoughts - Good And Flashy
*   Q & A Goodies
*   News Goodies
*   Feedback Goodies
*   Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 
*   And Remember This...
 
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Good And Flashy
 
You know how it goes... they learn how to do this, they learn how to do that, and as a result feel obliged in some way to do this and that as much as can possibly be fit into a twenty-four hour day.  For example, having mastered the basics of HTML and upon discovering the dynamic look of animated gifs and the added dimension of background sound, the budding webmaster creates a series of pages that, when you go to visit them, blind you with bright, whizzing, spinning, flashing and whirling images festooning (or, perhaps, infesting!) every item on the page, while simultaneously blowing your speakers off the table with a cacophonous and unexpected blast of sound.
 
I have written before of the dangers of this type of page, and have even written heartfelt pleas for any of you who may have been tempted to create such an animal to please reconsider!  Today I want to talk a little about the impact of Flash in this scenario.
 
Macromedia's Flash has certainly made a big impact.  It is so popular that most browsers now include support for it a part of their default installation.  Certainly it has some amazing capabilities, and while the development of flash components has become considerably simpler over the years, it still involves more of a learning curve than does the use of animated gifs, for example.  This makes it a higher-tech option with a lot more smarts and a lot more pizzazz.
 
Here's the bad news...
 
Along with the new capability comes abuse.  Abuse to me means the creation of a mini epic film complete with soundtrack that plays the moment you hit a site's home page, cannot be bypassed and cannot be silenced without muting the computer's sound system.  While there have been some notable exceptions (with regard to quality of image and entertainment value) the vast majority of this type are nothing but annoying.
 
And the good news...
 
There is, however, an effective way to use this medium.  I had occasion to visit Disney's home page a couple of days ago.  Their first entries into this medium left a little (quite a lot, actually!) to be desired.  But, it would seem that they, like most of us, were simply traveling up their learning curve.  If you are contemplating the use of Flash or a similar medium, it is worth taking a look at their home page (http://www.disney.com -- in case you couldn't guess!) and following a few of the links to their theme park sites, etc., to get some ideas for how this medium can e effectively used.  There are plenty of other great examples out there -- this just happens to be one I recently came across.
 
Flash in the pan?  I don't think so.  I think that considered and tempered use of Flash in a site can enhance the interest of its pages and make it both good and flashy.
 
 
 
 
 
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. How do I make three tables all on the same line with a space between them?
 
A. You make one large table at 100 percent width and a border of zero, with one row then add your three tables in the large tables <td> tags. Play around with the <td> widths to get the size you need. You can add a couple <td> tags with the code &nbsp; which is just a blank space to make some space between the 3 tables. Here is a example of the code:
<table summary="large table" align="center" width="100%" border="0"
cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0">
<tr>
<td width="30%">
<table summary="Menu Table" width="100%" border="1" cellspacing="0"
cellpadding="0">
<tr align="center"><td>Menu</td></tr>
</table>
</td>
<td width="5%">&nbsp;</td>
<td width="30%">
<table summary="Main Table" width="100%" border="1" cellspacing="0"
cellpadding="0">
<tr align="center"><td>Main</td></tr>
</table>
</td>
<td width="5%">&nbsp;</td>
<td width="30%">
<table summary="New Menu Table" width="100%" border="1"
cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0">
<tr align="center"><td>New Menu</td></tr>
</table>
</td>
</tr>
</table>
 
 
 
 
 
Q. I have a webpage that has a navigation bar on the left, and want that navigation bar to always be visible no matter how far a user scrolls down the page.  Do I need a frame, or do I need JavaScript?
 
A. Take a look at this site:
http://www.dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex1/index.html
They have many navigation menus you can use. Just keep in mind that not all of the menus will work with all of the browsers. Choose one that says it will work with all of them unless you have a captured audience and know that they all use a particular browser.
 
 
 
 
 
Q. Do you know of any commands that will not display the password as you type it, or put in a series of asterisks, while still keeping the data so that it can be compared to the values in a database?
 
A. HTML has a password form field that displays asterisks.
<input type="password" name="var name" size="40" maxlength="80" value="default value">
 
 
 

 
Q. I have some experience with HTML and JavaScript, but I recently visited a site that had a bunch of applet windows that popped up and disappeared.  I would love to know how to get that.
 
A. What you were looking at was actually a Java Applet.  This is very different from JavaScript - they are barely even related (except that they can both be used on the web).  A Java Applet is like a program and JavaScript is what it's name implies, a scripting language.  The only way to get something like that is to see if the developer at that site would be willing to share it with you.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
News Goodies
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HP to Slash 14,500 Jobs
[July 19, 2005] UPDATED: The company hopes to save almost $2B with job reductions and a modified U.S. retirement plan.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3521186
 

IBM Shuffles Services Deck
[July 19, 2005] IBM realigns its management structure following the departure of 30-year IBM veteran John Joyce.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3521296
 

GAO: Federal Systems Security Still Lacking
[July 19, 2005] New report finds major weaknesses at 24 major federal agencies.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/security/article.php/3521111
 

DoD Aims HP Supercomputer at Weapons Research
[July 19, 2005] DoD tabs Hewlett-Packard as its go-to systems vendor for a new cluster to study how to build new weapons
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/ent-news/article.php/3521106
 

SBC: Fiber to Reach 18M Homes
[July 19, 2005] A telecom exec said a dual approach to its fiber deployment keeps its IPTV rollout on schedule.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/infra/article.php/3521256
 

Blinkx Feeds TV Searches
[July 19, 2005] Video search service lets users save searches as RSS feeds.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/xSP/article.php/3521126
 

LinkedIn Launches Premium Service
[July 19, 2005] Social networking site hopes to be profitable by early next year.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article.php/3521166
 

IBM to Buy E-Forms Maker PureEdge
[July 19, 2005] Big Blue will acquire the company to improve its business process technology.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/ent-news/article.php/3521241
 

Big Blue Crushes Estimates
[July 18, 2005] Judging from its second-quarter results, divesting its PC business may have been a good move for IBM.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3521056
 

Handheld Crime Fighting

[July 18, 2005] Cingular, BIO-Key let police officers access criminal databases from anywhere.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/wireless/article.php/3521091
 
 
 

 
 
 
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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Database Projects in Visual Studio .NET
 
 
This article, by Scott Mitchell, looks at how to add a Database project to your existing ASP.NET application and how to import your existing database's objects into the Database project.  While creating and setting up a database project does take a bit of time, the small initial investment pays rich dividends.
 

*** AND ***
 

Wizard (Multi-Page Form) ASP Sample Code

 
http://www.asp101.com/samples/wizard.asp
 
Sometimes when you're collecting data via a web form, it's nice to split the form up into smaller pieces so that you don't overwhelm the users who are filling it out.  That's the idea behind wizards.  If you break long and/or complex tasks into smaller, easy to manage pieces, users are less intimidated by them.
 

*** AND ***
 

An Innovative Technique for Creating Reusuable Page Templates in ASP.NET 1.x
 
 
Code reusuability is one of the major goals of any good object-oriented programmer.  While the ASP.NET framework has made code reusuability easier and more elegant than it was in classic ASP, one area where reusuability could be improved is at the UI level.  This article outlines a technique that you can use in ASP.NET 1.x that allows every page in your web application to inherit not only the functionality of a base page, but its UI as well.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And Remember This ...
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On this day in...
 

1799 The Rosetta Stone was Discovered
 
About thirty-five miles north of Alexandria, near a town called Rosetta, a French soldier found a slab of black basalt covered in ancient carvings.  The carvings were writings in three different languages, Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics and Egyptian Demotic. The Greek portion told that the stone had been carved by Ptolemy V in the second century BC and that the three different language portions all said the same thing.  As such, the stone held the key to unlocking the ancient hieroglyphic language that had been dead for almost two thousand years.  With his knowledge of Greek, French Egyptologist Jean Francois Champollion was able to decipher the hieroglyphic writings in twenty years, thereby exposing the language and culture of the ancient world to the rest of us.
 
 
 
Today was also the day that in: 1553 15 year old Lady Jane Grey was deposed as England's Queen after only nine days; 1870 France declared war on Prussia (Franco-Prussian war); 1877 the first Wimbledon Tennis Championship was held; 1941 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill launched his "V for Victory" campaign; 1957 the first rocket with a nuclear warhead was fired at Yucca Flat, Nevada; 1957 Don Bowden became the first American to break the four minute mile; 1961 the first in-flight movie was shown (on a TWA flight); 1969 Apollo 11 went into Lunar orbit; 1975 Apollo and Soyuz linked up in space for two days; 1979 two supertankers collided off Tobago, spilling 260,000 tons of oil; 1979 Nicaraguan Liberation Day -- the Sandinistas took over from Somoza;  1984 Geraldine Ferraro won the Democratic Vice Presidential Nomination; 1985 Christa McAuliffe was chosen as the first schoolteacher to fly in the shuttle; 1991 Miss Black America contestant accused Mike Tyson of rape;
 

Born today were: in 1814 revolver inventor Samuel Colt; 1834 French impressionist painter Edgar Degas; 1860 murderer Lizzie Borden; 1865 surgeon and cofounder of the Mayo Clinic Charles Horace Mayo; 1896 English author A.J. Cronin; 1922 US presidential candidate George McGovern; 1923 actor Pat Hingle; 1926 actress Helen Galagher; 1937 actor George Hamilton IV; 1940 actor Dennis Cole; 1946 Romanian tennis player Ilie Nastase; 1947 musician Bernie Leadon (Eagles); 1947 musician Brian May (Queen); 1948 actress Beverly Archer; 1948 musician Keith Godchaux (Grateful Dead); 1952 musician Alan Collins (Lynyrd Skynyrd); 1954 actress Kathleen Turner; 1976 actor RJ Williams;
 


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