Goodies To Go! Newsletter #350

By Vince Barnes

************************************************************
Goodies to Go (tm)
August 16, 2005 -- Newsletter # 350
 
This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.
http://www.internet.com
 

************************************************************

Featured this week:
 
*   Goodies Thoughts - Here and There

*   Q & A Goodies
*   News Goodies
*   Feedback Goodies
*   Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 
*   And Remember This...
 
************************************************************
 
Here and There
 
When it comes to the task of problem resolution, we will so often find that it breaks into ninety percent identification and ten percent solution.  In other words, once the problem has been properly diagnosed, its resolution is often a relatively simple matter.  This is certainly true when it comes to the art of web page design.
 
Here at HTML Goodies, we get tons of questions coming in all the time.  Sometimes these questions are about fairly difficult coding techniques, sometimes they're about where to find something on the Goodies site, but many times they are about attempts to solve problems that the questioner doesn't have -- let me explain.
 
When it comes to diagnosing problems on web pages, the first thing to think about is where the problem is happening.  Is it here, or there?  In other words, is the problem originating in the server, or is it because of something in the client?
 
The red "X"s I spoke about a couple of weeks ago are an example of a problem originating in the server.  The picture file is not in the right place, or the code in the page doesn't correctly reference the place where it is.  That all has to do with the server.
 
A Java applet not running could easily be the result of a client problem.  If it runs OK when you look at it but it won't run on your friends computer, does your friend have Java installed?  A lack of it would certainly be a client problem, and nothing you could do to your page could fix it (unless you took out your applet altogether, but that's not really a "fix", is it?)
 
Web pages originate in the server, but are sent down to the client to be viewed.  When they get there, there are a lot of things that are beyond the control of the web page designer, such as the browser in use and all its optional settings.  Of course, a good web page designer will make every effort to ensure that the page will look right in all the most popular browsers, with the standard settings, but there are things that they can do nothing about.
 
Taking time to make sure all things are nicely proportioned is great, but the client can choose to have massive fonts, or tiny ones.  They can also choose to change their default colors.  Telling them to use "view source" for some reason is all well and good, except they can choose which program (if any) will be used for that view.  "Scrabble", while not a good choice, is a possible choice.
 
They also have control over their ability to print things from your page.  If I want a client to print something, my preference is to offer a PDF, if that's at all possible.  Their print of a form could take on all sorts of strange appearances, even though it prints perfectly on your PC.
 
If a site visitor tells you something about your site is not working properly, think first "is it here or there?" If it's there, perhaps the SEP principle applies (Somebody Else's Problem -- thanks, Douglas Adams!)
 
 
 
 
 
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
http://www.htmlgoodies.com/mentors/
 
 
Q. I downloaded the following script and I am somewhat at my wit's end in trying to figure out how to modify it to suit my needs:
 <script language="JavaScript"><!--
 function addDays(myDate,days) {
     return new Date(myDate.getTime() + days*24*60*60*1000);
 }
 document.write(addDays(new Date(),10));
 //--></script>
The script outputs the date and time x-number of days in advance of the current date and time.  I would like to alter it so that it only outputs the date and not the time.  Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?  I've been trying to figure this thing out for about three hours on my own.
 
A. Here is a slight modification of the script that will write out the date only in mm/dd/yyyy format.
<html>
 <head>
  <title>Date and Time Print</title>
 </head>
 <body>
 <script language="JavaScript"><!--
  function addDays(myDate,days) {
     return new Date(myDate.getTime() + days*24*60*60*1000);
  }
  new_date=addDays(new Date(),10)
  year=new_date.getFullYear()
  month=new_date.getMonth()
  day=new_date.getDate()
 
  document.write(month+"/"+day+"/"+year);
  //--></script>
 </body>
</html>
 
 
 
 

    
Q. How is SHTML related to HTML?
 
A. The .shtml extension means that server side includes (SSI) code is being used with the html code. Here is a link describing it:
http://htmlgoodies.earthweb.com/beyond/ssi.html
 
 
 


    
Q. Is there any way (such as using the "repeat-y" function) to get the background to border down the right as opposed to the left side?  also, is there a way to get it to tile down both sides?  I am essentially interested in getting the look of a border on both the left and right side of the page, but I want it to appear correctly on all screen resolutions, so of course, making a very long image with the desired left and right backgrounds simply on opposite sides or the image would be impractical.
 
A. I have one way for this to work; however, it doesn't work in IE 5.5 (I don't currently have access to IE 6 at the moment, but can check later). It does work in NN 6 and above, Mozilla, and Opera.
Add two divs to the bottom of your HTML file:
<div id="left"></div>
<div id="right"></div>
Then add the following CSS:
#left {
        position: fixed;
        top: 0;
        left: 0;
        width: 100px;
        height: 100%;
        border: 1px solid red;
        margin: 0;
        padding: 0;
        background: url(ava.gif) repeat-y top left fixed; }
#right {
        position: fixed;
        top: 0;
        right: 0;
        width: 100px;
        height: 100%;
        border: 1px solid red;
        margin: 0;
        padding: 0;
        background: url(ava.gif) repeat-y top right fixed; }
This will set backgrounds for the two extra divs in your HTML, and should tile the length of the page. IE 5.5 doesn't recognize the "fixed" property for anything other than background images for the BODY tag, so the extra divs scroll with the page.
 
 
 


    
Q. I've just started experimenting with frames for a redesign to my website (hand coded and I'm self taught with HTML!)  I want to use an image behind links for the side frame on my page.  I just don't know how to code a background image so that it will remain "fixed" (I think that's the right word) instead of tiling itself across the page. 
 
A. I think you're looking for this CSS property:
background { url(image.gif) no-repeat; }
You could also add "fixed" as another property, which will hold the background in place (no scrolling). The "no-repeat" will add the image just one time.
 
 
 

 
 
Q.  I made a small "form" type page with 3 boxes in which to type data.  I am trying to figure out how to make that page open with the cursor already located in box #1, instead of having to hit Tab 2 or 3 times.  The form is written in HTML, but I'm assuming that I will need to use Javascript to accomplish this.
 
A. You could use the onLoad event in the body tag to place focus on the first
box this way:
<body onLoad="document.form_name.field_name.focus()">
"form_name" would be the name you gave your form in the form tag and "field_name" would be the name you gave the first box in your "<,input>" tag.
If your form and field do not have a name associated with them then you can use this format: document.forms[0].elements[0].focus()
The above refers to the first form and the first element in that form.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
News Goodies
***********************************
 
Small Devices, Big Risks
[August 16, 2005] Businesses are overlooking security risks posed by their workers' USB memory sticks, iPods and PDAs, a software maker says.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/security/article.php/3527661
 

Comcast Gives Customers Security Software
[August 16, 2005] The broadband provider will give subscribers three applications from security specialist McAfee.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/xSP/article.php/3527776
 

Site Settles Deceptive Credit Report Claims
[August 16, 2005] FTC imposes a $950,000 fine and requires consumer restitution. 
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article.php/3527756
 

VeriSign Goes to School
[August 16, 2005] Amid a string of college security breaches, the company teams with a nonprofit to offer digital certificate services to schools.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/security/article.php/3527646
 

Symantec Hardwires Partners
[August 16, 2005] The company adds functionality from other developers to expand the reach of its commercial-grade security appliances.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/ent-news/article.php/3527746
 

JBoss Tweaks Migration Program
[August 16, 2005] Open source vendor standardizes migration path away from competing, commercial app server vendors.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3527651
 

Microsoft's Acrylic Moves Closer to Vista

[August 15, 2005] Latest beta release of design tool aims at application UIs.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3527611
 

IBM Donates Code to Firefox
[August 15, 2005] Big Blue gives the Mozilla Foundation accessibility code to improve feature-rich pages.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/xSP/article.php/3527341
 

Game Over: Next Year's H1-B Visas Already Gone
[August 15, 2005] Early run on visa pool prompts tech calls for increased allocations. 
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3527631
 

AOL Unveils Mobile Storefront
[August 15, 2005] The suite of services brings AOL to the palm of your hand. 
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/wireless/article.php/3527476
 
 
 

 
 
 
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:
 
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 

***********************************
 
Streamlining Your Data Access Layer with Helper Methods
 
This article focuses on how to streamline the data access layer through encapsulating common functionality with the aid of simple helper methods.
The helper methods we'll examine in this article are ones that I have created and used in many of my consulting projects over the past several years, and have helped me to greatly trim down my data access layers. Read on to learn more!
 
 

*** AND ***
 

Database Multi-Sort Classic ASP Sample
 
This works just like our Database Sort sample except that it adds the ability to sort by multiple fields just by clicking on the field headings.
The script will sort on as many fields as you want but it does remove duplicates to keep things logical.
 
 

*** AND ***
 

SQL Server 2005 XQuery and XML-DML - Part 2
 
In the second part of his series on SQL Server 2005's new XML support, Alex Homer looks at extracting data from XML columns, comparing traditional XML data access approaches with XQuery, and combining XQuery and XSL-T.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And Remember This ...
***********************************
 
On this day in...
 
1977 "The King" Died
 
On August 16, 1977 Elvis Presley died at Graceland, his mansion in Memphis, Tennessee.  He was 42 years old.  Elvis, The King of Rock and Roll, paid $4 for the privilege of recording a few songs for his mother.  The studio owner liked what he heard.....  Elvis had been discovered.  In 1955 he gathered a good following of fans in the South, and in 1956 became a national sensation with the release of "Heartbreak Hotel".  He served in the US Army as a jeep driver from 1958 to 1960, after which his style became more of the romantic ballad genre.  His career turned largely to film making with 27 musicals being released in the 1960's.  In the seventies, Elvis gained a lot of weight by eating junk food, and became addicted to prescription drugs.  His physical and mental health declined.  The doctors ruled that he died of a heart attack, but there are many who believe he committed suicide.  (There are also those who believe he's still alive, but they are probably also members of the "Flat Earth" society!)  He is buried in the grounds of Graceland.
 
 
 
Today was also the day that in: 1829 Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker arrived in Boston to be exhibited; 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation was signed (US); 1896 gold was discovered in the Klondike; 1898 the Roller Coaster was patented; 1934 US explorer William Beebe descended 3,028' (1922 m)in is Bathysphere; 1955 Fiat ordered the first privately owned nuclear reactor; 1960 Cyprus gained independence from Britain; 1960 the Republic of the Congo (Zaire) was formed; 1963 The Dominican Republic regained independence; 1984 a Los Angeles jury acquitted auto make John DeLorean of cocaine charges; 1985 Madonna married actor Sean Penn; 1988 IBM introduced its Artificial Intelligence software;
 

Born today were: in 1897 circus master Robert Ringling; 1899 actor Glenn Strange; 1902 English novelist Georgette Heyer; 1910 actress Mae Clarke; 1913 Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin; 1925 actress Fess Parker; 1930 actor Robert Culp; 1930 English poet laureate Ted Hughes; 1932 singer Eydie Gorme; 1935 actress Julie Newmar; 1936 actress Anita Gillette; 1936 actor Gary Clarke; 1938 actress Ketty Lester; 1939 English actress Carol Shelly; 1946 actress Lesley Ann Warren; 1953 musician James Taylor; 1953 TV personality Kathy Lee Gifford; 1957 musician Tim Farriss; 1958 singer and actress Madonna (Ciccone); 1960 actor Timothy Hutton;
 


Make a Comment

Loading Comments...

  • Web Development Newsletter Signup

    Invalid email
    You have successfuly registered to our newsletter.
  •  
  •  
  •  
Thanks for your registration, follow us on our social networks to keep up-to-date