Goodies To Go! Newsletter #372

By Vince Barnes


Featured this week:
 
*   Goodies Thoughts - Navigation the Easy Way
*   Q & A Goodies
*   News Goodies
*   Feedback Goodies
*   Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 
*   And Remember This...
 
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Navigation the Easy Way
 
The navigation of a web site brings up tons of questions.  Everybody has their opinion of the best way to do it form the visitor's perspective, from the coder's perspective, from the design cosmetics perspective or from their own perspective.  Almost none of them will agree!  This poses quite a dilemma for the burgeoning web designer who simply wants to know what they should do right now.  Here then, are some simple answers for such a person -- not the fanciest, perhaps not the most ideal from some points of view, but these are quite simple and get the job done.  After all, as we all know, it's content that rules!
 
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!  Now let's look at "How?"
 
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 http://www.htmlgoodies.com/beyond/webmaster/toolbox/article.php/3473411 ) 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  http://www.htmlgoodies.com/beyond/asp/article.php/3470021 ) 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 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 support 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: http://www.htmlgoodies.com/tutorials/frames/index.php   Go ahead and dig 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 http://www.htmlgoodies.com/legacy/tutorials/frames/2atonce.html 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. 
 
Hopefully you can now create a fairly simple to design, simple to use and simple to maintain navigation system for your site.
 
 
 
 
 
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. Hello, I have a link question.  On my site I have the link color scheme to be black, which works well on the left bordered side of my page, but not on the right side which has a black background.  Is there anyway to change the color just one or two links without changing the color of all the links?
 
A. Using CSS and assigning a class to each link you can use different colors and other attributes to whichever links you want. For instance if you want one of your links to be black and another to be white you would set up a style sheet like this:
<style type="text/css">
a.one:link {color: #000000}
a.two:link {color: #FF0000}
</style>
Place the style between the <HEAD> tags.  Now apply the class to the actual links in your HTML like this:
<a class="one" href="default.html">This link will be black.</a>
<a class="two" href="default.html">This link will be red.</a>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Q. My brother was on AIM when he clicked on a link in someone else's profile, when he did this it brought him to another page where he clicked the first link on it.  After he did so his homepage was changed to this site, which is a porn site.  it would change back after he tried deleting all memory and stuff.  Also his AIM profile had the link added to it.  He can erase it but whenever he signs on it comes back.
 
A. Unfortunately this is not a JavaScript or web development issue. This problem falls into the realm of spyware or hijackware.  There is a lot of information available on these topics as well as a variety of ways to fix an infected system. I recommend doing a search with your favorite search engine (Google, Lycos, Ask Jeeves, ...) using the keywords "spyware" and "hijackware". I'm sure you'll find the solution to the problem.
[You might also check out the lead piece in this issue:
http://www.htmlgoodies.com/letters/232.html  -Ed.]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Q. I'm trying to design a personal portfolio site and need to have people click on my thumbnails to see larger images in a new window... easy.  However I found a site that makes it hard for people to save/steal copyright materials- it makes the new window close when it is clicked on... I can't figure out how to do this.
 
A. You could use the onClick event in the body tag.  Of course they can still steal your images because the images have to be downloaded to your PC for your browser to display them.  The body tag would look like this:
<body onClick="window.close()">
This will only work if the window was opened using the JavaScript window.open command.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Q. This is a question based around HTML and Java. Firstly, how do you specify a constant width for a drop down menu, and secondly, how to you change its colours?
 
A. This is more of a HTML/CSS question, but you could use a style tag in the select tag to specify that.  Here is an example:
<select name="sel" style="width:80;color:red;background-color:yellow">
 <option value="yes">Yes</option
 <option value="no">No</option
</select>
This example would limit the select (dropdown) to 80 pixels, the text will be red and the background color of the select will be yellow.
 
 
 
 
 
Q. Is there was a way to position a background image in the center of a page regardless of screen resolution?
 
A. This code will position the image in the center:
body {
      background-image : url(image.jpg);
      background-position : center center;
      background-repeat : no-repeat;
     }
 
To position in the center of a table, try using this (be sure to replace __ with the height and width of the image):
<body>
<table height="100%" width="100%">
<tr><td valign="center" align="center">
<table height="__" width="__" background="image.jpg">
Any text on the background
</table>
</td></tr>
</table>
</body>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Discussion Goodies
***********************************
 
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:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
News Goodies
***********************************
 
The State of CDP
[January 17, 2006] After a breakout year for continuous data protection technology, we examine the different players and approaches and look at what the future may hold.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/storage/article.php/3577931
 

New Linux Kernel Patched
[January 17, 2006] The first Linux kernel of the year gets a point upgrade as work continues on the next version.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3577946
 

Google Tries Radio For Revenue
[January 17, 2006] The search giant purchases dMarc to explore another media source.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3577856
 

Microsoft Collab Tool Could Woo IBM Set
[January 17, 2006] The software giant is looking to be a thorn in Big Blue's side ahead of next week's Lotusphere event.  
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/ent-news/article.php/3577786
 

Cuban All For Multi-Tiered Internet
[January 17, 2006] Without tiered service levels, Mark Cuban says, broadband Internet will not reach its full potential. 
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/infra/article.php/3577896
 

GPL 3 Draft Released
[January 17, 2006] New license takes aim at Patents and DRM.  
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3577701
 

Xilinx's Digital Signal Score
[January 17, 2006] The company buys AccelChip for DSP boost.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3577796
 

Analysts See Big Year for Grid
[January 17, 2006] The coming year will be an important one for grid computing, according to a report by The 451 Group. 
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/ent-news/article.php/3577831
 

Online Shopping Boosted By Security Confidence
[January 16, 2006] Consumers report high confidence in software and services that thwart online bad actors.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article.php/3577631
 

Coffee, Tea or Broadband?
[January 13, 2006] FCC sets May spectrum auction date for airline broadband service.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3577531
 
 
 

 
 
 
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
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Accessing and Updating Data in ASP.NET 2.0: Data Source Control Basics

In this article series we'll examine the five built-in data source controls in detail. This first part, however, examines the concepts shared among all five data source controls and how ASP.NET 2.0's data Web controls work with their associated data source controls at runtime. Read on to learn more!

http://aspnet.4guysfromrolla.com/articles/011106-1.aspx


*** AND ***


Bracket Your [Table Names] for Access via OLE DB


Having trouble switching from ODBC to OLE DB for your Access database queries? Getting weird and unhelpful errors? This little tip might just be the solution.

http://www.asp101.com/tips/index.asp?id=129


*** AND ***


Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005, & BizTalk Server 2006


Launch Event When I first heard that Microsoft was planning a series of events to celebrate the launch of Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005, and BizTalk Server 2006, I was all excited. It was late October and I knew that the products were due to ship any day. I'd be one of the first people to see all this great new technology and I'd finally get my hands on the actual release versions... or so I thought.

http://www.15seconds.com/issue/060112.htm











And Remember This ...
***********************************

1966 The US Lost a Nuclear Bomb in Spain

For many years during the cold war, the US flew B-52 bombers carrying nuclear weapons around the globe all the time. With this number of flights accidents will inevitably happen. The Pentagon has admitted to more than three dozen accidents with these planes in which nuclear contamination occurred or weapons were lost. In 1966 one such "Broken Arrow" incident received world wide press attention when a B-52 collided with a KC-135 tanker over Palomares, Spain. The B-52, which was attempting to re-fuel, hit the fuel boom of the tanker, tearing the fuselage of the bomber open and igniting the fuel. The KC-135 exploded, killing all four of its crew members. The crew of the B-52 baled out and parachuted to safety. The plane went down near Palomares. The bombs on board at the time were not armed, but the explosive material in two of them did explode on impact, cratering the fields and spreading radio-active Plutonium over the area. 2,000 personnel were involved in the clean-up, during which 1,400 tons of contaminated soil were shipped to the US for disposal. The US settled some 500 claims for damage to health by local residents. A third bomb was recovered intact from a dry river bed nearby, but a fourth was lost at sea. A massive search effort continued until the bomb was spotted by a submarine on April 7. The US does not disclose information concerning nuclear accidents for security reasons, and people may have been unknowingly exposed to radiation resulting from such accidents. Today there are two H-Bombs and one Uranium core lost somewhere in Wassaw Sound off Georgia (US), in the Puget Sound in Washington state and in the swamplands near Goldsboro, North Carolina.


Today was also the day that in: 1861 patent for a flush toilet with a water tank and pull chain granted to Mr. Thomas Crapper; 1871 patent granted for a cable car (first went into service in 1873); 1926 George Burns married Gracie Allen; 1928 patent granted for a fully automatic film developing machine; 1929 Popeye made his first appearance; in the cartoon "Thimble Theatre"; 1946 the first meeting of the United Nations Security Council was held; 1969 the Beatles released Yellow Submarine in the UK; 1969 Led Zeppelin's debut album was released in the US; 1987 President Reagan signed a secret order permitting covert sale of arms to Iran; 1989 a gunman opened fire in a schoolyard in California, killing five children and wounding thirty; 1994 a 6,6 earthquake hit Los Angeles, killing 60 and causing $30B in damage; 1995 a 7.2 earthquake hit Kobe, Japan, killing 5,372; 1998 Paula Jones filed sexual harassment charges against President Clinton;


Born today were: in 1706 statesman Benjamin Franklin; 1820 English novelist Ann Bronte; 1880 movie creator Mack Sennett (Keystone Kops); 1899 novelist Nevil Shute; 1899 gangster Al Capone; 1922 actress Betty White; 1925 actor Rock Hudson; 1927 singer Eartha Kitt; 1928 English hairstylist Vidal Sassoon; 1931 actor James Earl Jones; 1934 ventriloquist Shari Lewis; 1939 TV personality Maury Povich; 1942 boxer Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay); 1949 comedian Andy Kaufman; 1956 actor David Caruso; 1962 Canadian actor/comedian Jim Carey;
 



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