Goodies To Go! Newsletter #367

By Vince Barnes

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Goodies to Go (tm)
December 13, 2005 -- Newsletter # 3
67
 
This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.
http://www.internet.com
 

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Featured this week:
 
*   Goodies Thoughts - Getting It Done
*   Q & A Goodies
*   News Goodies
*   Feedback Goodies
*   Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 
*   And Remember This...
 
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Getting It Done
 
A comedian known as Larry The Cable Guy (apparently he has no last name, only a reference!) who has recently become pretty popular in these parts, chose a catch-line for himself of "Git-r-done".  Of course, being a 21st century kind of redneck, he has a website -- you'll find it at http://www.larrythecableguy.com  (larrythecableguy.com) -- shocker, huh?  But I digress.  The reason I though of him is that slogan.  While it may not be the most correct pronunciation (to many of us, at least) the philosophy behind it is absolutely flawless.  And it relates directly to the fine art of Website Development!
 
First there's the obvious fact that if you've been toying with the idea of creating a website for something, I'd say "git-r-done" in a heartbeat!  But that is so obvious that I wont even mention it.  Instead, I think there's a subtler consideration at stake.
 
When it comes to creating web pages, there is a right way and a wrong way of doing things.  For example, using tables to lay out items on your page is generally considered to be the wrong way -- the right way would be to use CSS.  Correct as this is, at least, correct as any purist will tell you this is, it actually contains a fundamental flaw.
 
When somebody first learns how to create a web page, they will, if they have been following all the advice to be found in the world, start by learning some HTML.  Of course, they may well also start with a generator like FrontPage or Dreamweaver, but it won't take long before they start seeing the "behind the scenes" stuff and learning the ins and outs of HTML.  Tables, as you know, are constructed using HTML.
 
The upshot of this is that the novice quickly learns how to use a tool that can quite easily be used to lay out text above, beside and around graphics, create white spaces and all that sort of layout stuff.  A short amount of learning and they can create an elegant looking page, using no technology other than the one they started with, HTML.
 
Using CSS to accomplish this layout is without doubt a refinement of this skill.  But it not an essential element of it.
 
To my way of thinking, it is far more important for our novice to start creating their site and "git-r-done" so that we can see it than it is for them to learn all the technologies needed to display a higher level of refinement.  I want to see their stuff!  If they ask me to help them become closer to perfect -- well that's something else; and they might just be asking the wrong person!
 
 
 

Thanks for reading!
 
 
 
 
 
- Vince Barnes
 
 
 
 
 
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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'm out of work & learning Javascript to improve my skills, running W2K, IE 6.0. Periodically when I try to use the sample exercises, I get an error message saying that an object was expected. Here's an example:
<html><head>
<meta name="GENERATOR" content="Microsoft FrontPage 5.0">
<meta name="ProgId" content="FrontPage.Editor.Document">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;
 charset=windows-1252"> <title>IMG1</title> </head>
<body>
<center>
<FORM NAME = form1>
<IMG NAME = "IMG1" SRC= "images/dr1.jpg" WIDTH= 123 HEIGHT = 184> <BR>
<BR>
<INPUT TYPE = BUTTON Value = "Change Image" onClick =
 "ChangeImage()">
</FORM>
</CENTER>
</body>
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE = Javascript>
 function ChangeImage()
 {
  document.form1.IMG1.src = "images/woman1.jpg"
 }
<script/>
</html>
I get "Microsoft Jscript runtime error: Object expected" on the line that says "ChangeImage()". I'm copying the scripts exactly. This is only one example of a problem I keep having. Could this be because the people writing the scripts are running NN and I'm running IE? Is it because I'm using FrontPage?
 
A. The problem with your script is that the ending script tag is incorrect.  Instead of "<script/>" you should have "</script>".  In this particular case have the script at the end of your document is ok, but in most cases you should place it in the head section of your document.  Good Luck on your quest to learn new skills.
 
 
 

 
Q. I have a side menu that is part of the whole page, and was wondering if there is a way to change the menu with out having to go through each page, but with out using frames.
 
A. With out frames your best bet would be a Server Side solution such as PHP.  To do it with JavaScript would involve some heaving coding in an external JavaScript that could get rather ugly.  With PHP you could place the HTML and or JavaScript code in a separate file and then just include it in every page you want to display it.
[Check out Goodies To Go #231 at http://www.htmlgoodies.com/letters/ "Including Easy Maintenance" -- it includes a soup to nuts answer to your question! -Ed]
 
 
 
 
 
Q. I would like to start a web design company, but I don't want to be tied down to html editors.  I can manipulate open source websites, such as the ones found on www.oswd.org but I would like to be able to open up notepad and go to work designing my own.  I thought maybe I could get some answers here.
 
A. I am not sure what you are looking for. You can certainly use Notepad to create web pages. You just have to know HTML. You would have to have a program for images if you are going to edit and/or create images for your pages. An HTML editor is just a tool to make it easier to code a page. If you were to type every line of code it would take you a lot longer than if you used an editor. I'm not saying to rely on an editor completely. I have to edit/tweak my HTML manually all of the time. If you are just starting out trying to learn HTML you came to the right place. HTMLGoodies.com will get you well on your way.
 
 
 

    
Q. I uploaded some files via ftp and everything seemed ok, but when i go to look at the site I get the old test pages not the new pages. I have several machines all connecting to the internet via the same adsl router. I have cleared out the browser cache and history on all the machines, rebooted them, connected to the website and I'm still getting the old pages. But, if I use www.anonymizer.com I get the new pages!
 
A. You mention that you are using an "adsl setup". This has been known to cause caching problems. In the settings for your adsl modem look for the "webproxy" setting. Make sure that there is NOT a check in the box. If there is, "un-check" the box and look at the website again. You may or may not have to re-boot after making this change.
 
 
 

    
Q. I help maintain a small site for a non-profit and am pretty much self-taught (with the help of Goodies!).    I can't figure out how to open a new window launched from a JavaScript.  It's a small script, coupled with a form with dropdown links. Like "choose the issue of the newsletter."   After selecting the issue, the PDF launches, but I want it to launch in a new window. I'd like to do the same with the top navigation on the page, so all PDFs open in a new window.  Every time I try to incorporate /target = _blank or "resource window",  it doesn't work like in HTML. (Code provided)
 
A.  One of the problems you were having is that you were trying to use the
target property with a drop down.  That will not work.  I have modified your
code and was able to get it to work.  Here is is:
<html>
 <head>
  <title>Drop Down New Window</title>
  <script language="JavaScript">
    function LinkUp(frmobj)
     {
      if(document.DropDown.DDlinks.selectedIndex!=0)
        {
         loc=document.DropDown.DDlinks.options
[document.DropDown.DDlinks.selectedIndex].value
         NewWin=window.open(loc,"win1",config="width=400,height=500")
        }
     }
  </script>
 </head>
 <body>
  <form name="DropDown">
    <select name="DDlinks">
     <option value="">Select One</option>
     <option value="http://www.wheatlandsalem.org/newsletters/May03.pdf"> May
2003</option>
     <option value="http://www.wheatlandsalem.org/newsletters/Apr03.pdf"> April
2003</option>
     <option value="http://www.wheatlandsalem.org/newsletters/Feb03.pdf">
February 2003</option>
    </select>
    <input type="BUTTON" value="View" onClick="LinkUp()">  </form>  </body> </html>
 
You will notice that in the window.open statement in the JavaScript function I set the width and height of the window.  You can also set other properties such as wether to allow the status bar to display, the location bar, etc.  I believe if you search the HTML Goodies web site there is a tutorial on opening new windows.  Finally I also came up with an alternative that does not use a button to activate the script that opens the selection in a new window.
 
<html>
 <head>
  <title>Drop Down New Window</title>
  <script language="JavaScript">
    function LinkUp(selopt)
     {
      if(selopt!="") // if variable is not empty then open window
        {
         NewWin=window.open(selopt,"win1",config="width=400,height=500")
        }
     }
  </script>
 </head>
 <body>
  <FORM NAME="DropDown">
    <SELECT NAME="DDlinks" onChange="LinkUp(this.options [this.selectedIndex].value)">
     <option value="">Select One</option>
     <option VALUE="http://www.wheatlandsalem.org/newsletters/May03.pdf"> May
2003</option>
     <option VALUE="http://www.wheatlandsalem.org/newsletters/Apr03.pdf"> April
2003</option>
     <option VALUE="http://www.wheatlandsalem.org/newsletters/Feb03.pdf">
February 2003</option>
    </SELECT>
 </FORM>
 </body>
</html>
 
The above example uses the onChange event in the select tag to perform the
function LinkUp() when a selection is made.  It also passes along the value of
the option that was selected to the function.  The term "this" refers to the
formelement and its properties such as the elements name, type, etc.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Discussion Goodies
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Have you seen the discussion forums on the HTML Goodies website?  It's a great place to get help from others who, just like you, are developing web pages.  Many different topics appear in the forum, and a new one will appear if you create it!  Here's a sample of recent topics:
 
Why can't I create a directory by asp.net ?:
http://www.webdeveloper.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=88297
 
Prevent Multiple logins with same LoginID:
http://www.webdeveloper.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=88357
 
'open new window' works on IE but not Firefox? help please :):
http://www.webdeveloper.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=87143
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
News Goodies
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Cyber Security Group Flunks Washington
[December 13, 2005] CSIA faults White House and Congress for failing to adequately protect nation's digital infrastructure.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/security/article.php/3570596
 

EarthLink's New Edge
[December 13, 2005] The ISP buys a nationwide CLEC as it expands its platform beyond the consumer base and into the business world. 
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3570551
 

HP Takes More Photos
[December 13, 2005] The company snaps up another online photo service.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3570561
 

Must See Internet TV?
[December 13, 2005] 'Young Turks' is among a wave of original television programming finding a place on the Internet.   
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/xSP/article.php/3570471
 

Hurd Fleshes Out HP's Pros, Cons
[December 13, 2005] The CEO identifies markets that the company hopes to command and frankly assesses corporate shortcomings.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/ent-news/article.php/3570531
 

Sidekick II Users Can Upgrade Danger
[December 13, 2005] The company's free software upgrade features an improved browser and Web navigation.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/wireless/article.php/3570536
 

Could a U.S. Shift to IPv6 Cost $75B?
[December 12, 2005] Yes, but the question of who will pay is still unanswered.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/infra/article.php/3570211
 

Yahoo Gets Close to Six Apart
[December 12, 2005] After six months of speculation, the companies partner to bring blogging to Yahoo. 
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/xSP/article.php/3570386
 

IDC: Backup, Replication Lifts Storage
[December 12, 2005] The storage software market tallied $2.1 billion in the quarter, buoyed by key markets.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/stats/article.php/3570301
 

A CRM Sandbox For Wary Customers
[December 12, 2005] New testing service will let companies try out apps in a parallel IT universe.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/ent-news/article.php/3570356
 
 
 

 
 
 
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:
 
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 
***********************************
 
Examining ASP.NET 2.0's Membership, Roles, and Profile - Part 1
 
In this article series we will be examining the ins and outs of ASP.NET 2.0's membership, roles, and pofile systems and the various security Web controls. This particular article will examine the basics of membership with a look at configuring and using the built-in SqlMembershipProvider. As we will see, this particular provider stores user account information in a pre-defined database schema. Read on to learn more!
 
 

*** AND ***
 

Radio Button ASP.NET Sample Code
 
Hot on the heels of last week's Checkbox sample, this week, we're covering the checkbox's closest relative: the radio button. This sample code illustrates a number of different ways to use both the HTML radio input type and the RadioButton control from ASP.NET.
 
 

*** AND ***
 

What to Expect When Installing the .NET Framework Version 2.0 and SDK
 
The first step to developing great applications using .NET Framework Version 2.0 is to get it installed and start exploring the many resources available in the Software Development Kit (SDK). This article will walk you through the steps involved and will hopefully relieve some of the anxiety involved for those of you who are new to the world of .NET.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

And Remember This ...
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1989 Leona Helmsley Sentenced to Jail
 
Known as the "Queen of Mean" for the terrible way she treated employees and vendors and the way she looked down on anybody less wealthy than herself, Leona Helmsley was sentences to four years in prison, 750 hours of community service and ordered to pay a $7.1 million for tax fraud.  She became particularly disliked by the public after quipping "only the little people pay taxes."  Among her tax offences, she had written off personal furniture as a business expense, and had the empty boxes from hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of purchases shipped from New York to Connecticut to avoid the sales taxes.  In his public reprimand, Federal Judge John Walker said ""Your conduct was the product of naked greed [and] the arrogant belief that you were above the law."
 

Today was also the day that in: 1577 Sir Francis Drake set sail from England on a three year trip around the world; 1642 Dutch navigator Abel Tasman discovered New Zealand; 1774 400 attack Fort William and Mary in New Hampshire, starting the American Revolution; 1843 Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" was first published; 1903 Italo Marcioni of New Jersey received a patent for the ice cream cone; 1903 the Wright Brothers achieve the first successful flight, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina; 1920 the League of nations established the International Court of Justice in The Hague; 1938 Los Angeles froze with a temperature of 28F; 1951 Future British PM Margaret Roberts Thatcher married Denis Thatcher; 1969 Arlo Guthrie released "Alice's Restaurant"; 1975 with Richard Prior hosting, Saturday Night Live used a time delay for the first time; 1978 the first US coin to honor a woman, the "Susan B Anthony" dollar was released; 1983 Martha Layne Collins was inaugurated as Kentucky's first female Governor; 1993 was the deadline for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza -- they didn't; 1995 US Federal Court voted that cable companies in the US must carry local stations;
 

Born today were: in 1818 first lady Mary Todd Lincoln; 1819 composer Edwin George Monk; 1835 composer (Little Town of Bethlehem) Bishop Phillip Brooks; 1900 actor Norman Foster; 1903 guitarist Carlos Montoya; 1906 soldier/explorer/conservationist Laurens jan van der Post; 1910 actress Lillian Roth; 1914 actor Samuel "Larry" K Parks; 1920 actor Dick van Dyke; 1929 actor Christopher Plummer; 1930 actress Genevieve Page; 1948 musician Ted Nugent; 1948 actress Kathy Garver; 1950  actress Wendie Malick; 1951 English actor Robert Lindsay; 1967 comedian Jamie Foxx; 1973 actress Christie Clark;
 


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