February 11, 2001-- Newsletter #167

By Joe Burns

Goodies to Go (tm)
February 11, 2001--Newsletter #167

This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.
Announcement Goodies

Check out our new Community Mentor program. We have had the community up and running a week now. Check it out and let us know what you think. Email your comments and suggestions to mentors@HTMLGoodies.com.



Editorial Goodies - What is This .NET Thing?

This week is Microsoft's release of their "Next Generation" in software development, Visual Studio .NET. I'm sure many of you have heard some buzz about the whole .NET initiative and wondered what it means and how it effects web design and development.

Well, its biggest direct impact to web developers are the changes in ASP (Active Server Pages). For those of you that don't know what ASP does, it is a server technology that allows you to code dynamic pages that can be database driven. In other words, ASP allows you to create very interactive and easily updatable pages on your website.

So, what's so special about the new ASP.NET? The biggest advancements from Classic ASP (that's the term for pre-.NET ASP) to ASP.NET are this:

  • Allows you to produce dynamic pages with less code

  • Gives you the ability to use a whole host of languages like VisualBasic.NET, C#, Perl.NET and even COBOL.NET

  • Works much more efficiently

  • Takes care of many different issues behind the scenes like some browser compatibility issues so you don't have to worry about them

Granted, there are many more improvements Microsoft has made to the technology but those are some of the big ones.

Microsoft has taken many ideas and concepts from different technologies and blended them into a very impressive package. If you are an ASP programmer or if you would like to learn how to create more dynamic websites then ASP.NET might be just your ticket. It's worth checking out.

Now, before all you Microsoft haters start sending me email about this article here's my disclaimer.

While I am a big fan of ASP, I don't want to give the impression that it is the only technology worth using. In fact, there are many other technologies that allow you to achieve the same results as ASP like Java and PHP. You just need get your hands on a few books and decide which technology is most likely to provide you with the best results and makes the most sense to you.

Second, I will cover major new releases of many different products that directly relate to the web. So, if you hear of something new coming down the pipe please send me an email at curtis@HTMLGoodies.com.

Here are some recent articles about .NET:

Thanks for reading!


Quiz Goodies

When creating a frames page how do you place a hyperlink in one frame that causes a new page to load in a different frame?

Q & A Goodies

Q. Help! I know I've done this before, but I can't find the code for it. Anytime my window is resized, it adjusts my tables to fit the screen. It ends up distorting the site. How do I code it so that it is a fixed size (say for a 640 x 480), and will display properly as I had designed it, no matter what the screen size and resolution?


A. There are two way you can approach this problem:

First, you can put your entire page within a fixed width table. When viewers adjust their browsers your design will remain just as you intended it. The only drawback to this method is huge amount of white space that can result when your 640x480 design is viewed in 1280x1024, for example.

Second, you could use a similar approach by placing your design in a table that has both fixed and variable elements. With this method you can avoid the tremendous amount of dead white space that can result from a completely fixed table.

For example, you might want to set the table on your page to 90% width and centered. Within your table you could divide it into two columns. The left-hand column could be set to a fixed width of 200 pixels where you would place your navigation. The right- hand column would then be variable and the content would adjust to the viewers browser.


Q. How can I set the color of a link so it isn't a pale blue?


A. You can actually set the color for the link, active link and visited link. Just place any or all of the following within the <BODY> tag:

  • LINK - Sets the color of a non-visited link

  • VLINK - Sets the color of a link that the user has previously

  • ALINK - Sets the color that the link will take on after a
    user has clicked on the link but before the destination
    page has loaded.

Here's an example:
  <BODY LINK="#800000" VLINK="#808080" ALINK="#FFFF00">


Q. Do you know where I can get statistics on how often certain web browsers and versions, screen resolutions and color depths,
and plug-ins are being used by the general web surfing community?

This would help me a lot in deciding what tags to use in my web pages and what media I can offer. Thanks for your time.


A. If you are using a hosting service you probably already have a whole host of web statistics available to you even if you don't know it. If your site is hosted I would check with your provider to see what is available.

If you are hosting your own site then you may want to invest in a software package that handles statistical gathering for you. There are several companies that provide statistical analysis software in all shapes, sizes and price levels.

Lastly, you could write your own custom code in ASP, Java or PHP, for example, to gather and store statistical information. However, unless your needs are very specific and unusual, buying a statistical analysis software package is most likely going to be your best bet.

News Goodies

Are you ready for a vacation? Do you want to go to Disney? It appears that Travelocity is teaming up with Disney to provide air and land packages to Disney travelers. With the slumping air and travel markets now may be a great time to get cheap prices and avoid the crowds.

Click here to read the article


Wondering where one of the next big web expansions may happen? You might check out the financial services industry as they go from full service to self service.

Click here to read the article


Broadband access and small business security innovations are helping bring back Covad Communications from the jaws of death.

Click here to read the article

Quiz Answer

As you know, when creating a frames page each frame is given a unique name. You can use those unique names to target different frames in your hyperlinks.

Here's an example:
  <a target="FrameName" href="NewPage.htm">Click here to
  view a new page.</a>


And Remember This . . .

Did you know that Valentine's day is also the birthday of the electronic computer? In 1946 at the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Engineering the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was introduced. It weighed about 30 tons and took up the space of a modern motor home.

The idea for the ENIAC was the brainchild of a mathematician named Alan M. Turing. It took him nine years to mold his idea into reality. Now that's love.

Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!

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