Goodies to Go (tm)
December 30, 2002-- Newsletter #213

By Vince Barnes


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

Goodies to Go (tm)
December 30, 2002--Newsletter #213

This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.

Featured this week:

* Goodies Thoughts - Year Out, Year In.
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* Feedback Goodies  
* And Remember This...



Goodies Announcement

Just in case you missed it before, the new Beyond HTML Goodies book is now available!


Go beyond the basics and learn how the pros add and use dynamic HTML features and advanced JavaScript techniques. Beyond HTML Goodies demonstrates dozens of new and different features readers can add to their existing Web pages using HTML and JavaScript. The book starts with simple text and image tips, such as adding a clock to a Web page or causing text to appear when the mouse moves over an image. It gradually builds to more complex tricks, including manipulating forms or working with cookies behind the scenes. Throughout the book, readers enjoy Joe's snappy style and "to the point" discussion of each "goody" in the book.





Goodies Thoughts - Year Out, Year In.

As December draws to a close, it is traditional in these parts, to take a retrospective look at the year passed, see what lessons are to be learned from the experience of it, and to make resolutions aimed at improving things for the year that is about to start.

That's the theory.

In practice, we give great thanks for having been able to survive the last year, hope like heck that things will improve and make wild resolutions that we know in our hearts won't last out New Year's Day!

Perhaps it's actually somewhere in between!

When we look at the Web, however, there's always brightness and joy! My good friend Scott, says that Net years are counted like dog years -- there are seven of them to every calendar year. I think that the Net uses a form of metric calendar in which there are ten years to every calendar year. Either way, the pace of things on the Net, especially including the Web, justifies either view. I was thinking of doing a quick summary of the changes we have gone through this past year but there are so many it would be an impossible task. Here, however are a couple of observations and a quick look forward.

One of the things that I notice most over recent months is the increase in numbers of "just plain folks" who are creating their own web pages and sites. Hurrah and congratulations to every one of you! Gone are the days when heaven and earth had to be moved before someone would be "published". Now, somebody can decide "I think I'll publish something about the slug population of Upper Lowerbury," register a domain name, create the site and they're done! When people now search for information about those slugs, http://www.upperlowerbury.com/slugs will jump into their attention. In this way, everybody can be published. I am absolutely in favor of every way in which we can all share our knowledge

Along with this increase in the number of new developers, there has been in increase in the number of, and in the capabilities of, "novice" web developer tools. Some of these "novice" tools that are being created are very powerful and can create beautiful, useful and capable web sites. I look for these tools to increase in number, increase their capabilities and become even easier and more intuitive to use. Everybody should be a web developer. Everybody has a story to tell.

My prediction for 2003: companies everywhere will be going .Net crazy. The new architecture will be pushing the web further into the front of company operations. Folks with .Net developer skills are going to be very much in demand. Never underestimate the marketing power of a giant like Microsoft, antitrust suits notwithstanding.

My wishes for you in 2003? I wish you a happy, successful and prosperous year. I hope you continue with your web development efforts and create great things to add to the wealth that is the web. I thank you for your interest in and loyalty to HTML Goodies and to our Goodies To Go newsletter. Spread the word and keep us going!!

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'm trying to set up an email form. How do I send form data to an email address instead of a file? My email form just brings up outlook; how do I get it to send email directly? When I get data to me email address it is in an attachment with an ".att" extension -- what is this and how do I read it? How do I get my email form data to be formatted as text instead of being full of stuff like "1=on&2=on&3=Better+Management"?

A. To get rid of the .att extension (and formatting problems) add enctype="text/html to the form tag like so:
<form action="mailto:somebody@somewhere.com" method="post" enctype="text/plain">
Version 6 (and above) browsers do not support email forms (action="mailto:... etc.) Instead, it is necessary to use CGI scripts (PERL, CGI Shell Scripts, PHP etc.) Alternatively, if your server supports FrontPage extensions, there is a "WebBot" in FrontPage that automatically handles sending form data to an email address (as an option to, or in addition to saving it to a file.)

Q. I have taken over responsibilities for an inhouse intranet site and when users access a certain page, I want to have a "pop-up" page come up that gives specific information or instructions, and I would like to have it close itself after a certain amount of time. Any suggestions?

A. Try using a timer to execute a self.close command. You might find a free script that does this already at http://www.javascriptsource.com or http://webdeveloper.earthweb.com, and there are other free script sites that might have something.

When creating a HTML page do I have to put:
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
above the <html> tag?

A. It should be used. Without it a page will not validate. It is telling the browser that this is an HTML document, using the "transitionial" dtd. The browser then knows exactly how to render the page. Without it the decision lies upon the decision of the browser.
For more indepth info check out this link:

When I run the following script it returns the correct day, year, and time. However, the month returns as the previous month, e.g. this month, December (12), is shown as November (11) (my computer does have the correct date.)
RightNow = new Date();
document.write("Today's date is " + RightNow.getMonth()+ "-")
document.write(" "+ RightNow.getDate() + "-" + RightNow.getFullYear() + ".")
document.write("You entered this Web Page at exactly: " + RightNow.getHours() + " hours")
document.write(" "+ RightNow.getMinutes() + " minutes and " + RightNow.getSeconds() + " seconds")

A. I have run into this before. The solution is to:
1. Add the following code immediately after RightNow = new Date(); in your function:
newMonth = RightNow.getMonth() + 1;
2. Next change the line that returns the month to:
document.write("Today's date is " +newMonth+ "-")

How can I force a user to submit a form by clicking the "Submit" button only and not by using the "Enter" key?

A. This script had the desired effect, but not in all browsers. It worked in Netscape 7 and IE 6, not in Opera 6 and Netscape 4.
<script language="JavaScript">
<!-- ;
function showAlert() {
alert("don't do that");
return false
// end hide -->
<form action="http://yourcgiscript" method="post" onKeyPress="showAlert()">
<input type="submit" value="default value">

Q. I want to create an online newletter, but I dont want to use just text, the webpage style newsletter is what I want. Can you guide me on how to create it?

A. I use a great application called Ocean12 Mailing List Manager. It has to run on a server that supports Active Server Pages (ASP). He offers two versions, one free and the other is about $30.




News Goodies

Register.com Wins Stay Against Domain Reseller
[December 30, 2002] Register.com rejoices in the latest finding against Domain Registry of America, a firm it alleges is a 'deceptive marketer.'

Click here to read the article


Bugzilla Bug Squashed
[December 30, 2002] The popular open-source bug-tracking system has a potentially harmful bug of its own.

Click here to read the article


Pew Study Finds Web's Reach Expanding
[December 30, 2002] Internet becomes relied upon medium for millions, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Click here to read the article


Microsoft Sued Over Phone Software
[December 24, 2002] Sendo claims its former partner wrongfully appropriated some of its intellectual property for so-called smart mobile phones.

Click here to read the article



Online Retailers Ring Up a Merry Christmas
[December 27, 2002] E-tailers thrived this season despite a shorter shopping season and a weakened economy, say analysts, a sure sign of stronger e-tail seasons to come.

Click here to read the article



Popular Pop-Ups?
[December 26, 2002] Orbitz tries to make the Net's most hated ad format more effective by adding a little fun -- and providing a trip to its site.

Click here to read the article

(If you ask me, they're making things worse & worse! - Ed)




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:


We already receive a lot of email every day. This address will help 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/

Last week I started using the dot in the code samples in the Q&A Goodies (see above) and thanked an anonymous writer for the suggestion. This week, I thank Shari Pierce of Homefront Studios ( http://www.homefrontstudios.com ) for identifying herself, and for sending in this suggestion in response to the CSS/NS4 question in last week's Q&A Goodies (see http://www.htmlgoodies.com/letters/212.html ):

I happen to have a cute little trick I picked up from somewhere -- most likely from those web standards folks -- that handles this quite nicely.
The trick uses two external style sheets. I call them main.css and safe.css. Main.css is called via an @import statement rather than the normal CSS file call. Browsers that choke on CSS ignore the @import command and fail to call the stylesheet titled main.css. The only stylesheet called into those browsers is safe.css. Both stylesheets, however, are called into browsers that can handle complicated CSS.
I test all my styles and classes in main.css first and the things that make NS4 choke get moved over to safe.css. It makes for a very boring page in NS4, but at least it isn't mangled beyond all recognition.

1) This goes in the <head> section:
<style type="text/css"> <!--
@import "main.css";
--> </style>
<link rel=stylesheet href="safe.css" type="text/css">
2) Here's the CSS class that will hide the warning from all but the bad browsers. It goes in the imported style sheet, main.css.
.ahem {display: none;}
3) This goes in the page where you want the warning showing:
<!-- Help NS4 users -->
<iframe class="ahem"><b><i>
Please note: This site will look much better in a browser that supports
<a href="http://www.webstandards.org/upgrade/">web standards</a>,
but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.
<!-- End NS4 help -->

That message, of course, should be changed to reflect the personality of the site. This is the generic version that came with the trick when I found it.

Thanks again, Shari, and thanks to all of you who sent in kind words about my holiday wishes -- you warm my heart.




And Remember This . . .

On this day in...

1922: USSR Created
Following the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Russian Civil War which lasted the following three years, Vladimir Lenin and his Bolshevik Party ran the "Soviet Forces". This was a coalition of workers' committees and soldiers' committees that called for the creation of a socialist state. On this day in 1922 the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was established. It comprised a confederation of Russia, Byelorussia, Ukraine, and the Transcaucasian Federation (divided in 1936 into the Georgian, Azerbaijan, and Armenian republics). Based on Marxist socialism, the Soviet Union, as the new communist state was also known, replaced the Russian Empire.
Over the next few decades the USSR became one of the most powerful and influential states in the world. It eventually controlled fifteen Republics: Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Byelorussia, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.
The ten year occupation of Afghanistan, which failed to take control of the country and led to a withdrawal in disgrace, heralded the collapse of the ruling communist government and in 1991 the Union was dissolved.


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