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January 13, 2003-- Newsletter #215
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Goodies to Go (tm)
January 13, 2003--Newsletter #215
This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.
* Goodies Thoughts -
The Importance of Design.
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* Feedback Goodies
* And Remember This...
Just in case you missed it before, the new Beyond HTML Goodies book is now available!
|Goodies Thoughts -||The Importance of Design.|
The year 2003 is now well under way,
as is the new century. Being in the early part of
something new is, I think, a great reason to take a
quick look at where I stand with regard to my plans.
Are things in my life progressing according to plan
or have they gone wildly out of control? Not that we
really need a reason -- it's always best to take
stock on an ongoing basis -- but it is a great
excuse to step back and double-check. It occurs to
me that exactly the same applies to the early life
of a website.
A good website starts life in the design stage. There are several aspects of the site that are formed at this stage, including among other things, layout, color, sound, content, functionality and maintainability. No reasonable person would start to build a house without designing it first, no reasonable website builders should begin construction without a design either. While I admit there may be a better chance of succeeding with the un-designed website than with the un-designed house, you are selling yourself short if you skip the design stage. A friend of mine says (about programming computer systems) "you can't debug a system; you can only debug a system design. Sure you can fix the syntax things, but it's in design where the bugs are eliminated -- or introduced!" Wise words! The same holds true for a website, though by "bug" we might mean something a little different.
If design is so important, how should we go about it? Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to go over the main elements of website design. Hopefully I can help you take a structured approach to your next site, and maybe make life easier as you revisit some aspects of your earlier work. This is a process I go through all the time with my own sites. The more you do, the more you realize the benefits of good design work.
I used the analogy of a house design a moment ago; there are some good parallels to be drawn between these two types of design. The design of a house involves not only the appearance of the finished house, but also the material of which it is made, the manor in which the material is used, the time and expense required to put it together, the ease of access and the usability of its rooms and the building's durability and maintainability. A website design involves the look and feel of the site, the languages and server resources it will use, the programming and data structures involved, the time and programming abilities needed, end-user ease of use and site maintenance. Design a house, design a website. Same thing -- almost <G>!!
I hope I have convinced you of the importance of taking a little extra time in the design stage of your development work. "A stitch in time saves nine," my Grandma used to say. And the web wasn't even around then!
Next week I will be delving into the first few considerations of the design stage as I take a look at layout, color and sound. Until then,
Thanks for Reading!
- Vince Barnes
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 was trying to put a "close this window" link onto a webpage. When I put a HREF link to nowhere,
it linked to my homepage, because it is called index.htm. Is there any way around this?
Or using a button:
Q. How do I lose the blue line that appears round an image when I make it a link?
A. In the IMG SRC tag add this:
Q. Is there any way to place text on top of pictures?
A. Here is the link to see how its done: http://www.htmlgoodies.com/tutors/textonimages.html
Q. Is it possible to change the link color with the onMouseOver command?
<.title>Change Link Color<./title>
/* Set colors for IE5.0+ and Netscape 6.0 */
/* Set colors for Netscape 4.0+ */
/* No underline on link for all browsers */
/* This script was written by Jim Young of www.requestcode.com and has been tested in Internet Explorer 5.0+, Netscape 4.0+ and Netscape 6.0. I use the statement (this.className) to change the class for the links in NS6 and IE5.0+ . The scripts below are strictly for NS4.0+ . Add links below that are in the same order as your links in the body section. the format for the array is:
page to link to, the link name(what is displayed on your page), div id, class(color) for the mouseover, and class(color) for the mouseout.
Make sure you separate them by a comma (,).
var links = new Array()
// Unless you absolutely have to DO NOT change the functions below.
if(document.layers) // Check for NS4.0+
linkval=links[linknum].split(",") // split out the values
var linkd="<.A HREF="+linkpage+" CLASS="+linkclass+" onMouseOut=changeb(\""+linknum+"\")>"+linkname+"<./A>"
var linkd="<.A HREF="+linkpage+" CLASS="+linkclass+"
/* If you add more links here make sure you update the links array with the same url and other required information. Make sure they are entered in the array in the same order as they appear on your page. Also remember to change the value being passed on the mouseover and mouseout to the functions to match the entry in the array. Make sure you use different names for each div. In the mouseover for IE and NS6 you can change the class name specified by the statement this.className to a color you have setup in the styles area in your head section above. You should leave the class(color) for the mouseout the same as when your link is displayed when the page is first loaded. I currently have them set to blue which is the class normal.
<.H1>Link Effect Example<./H1>
Run your mouse over the links to see them change color <./CENTER> <.div id="divLink0" style="left:15; position:absolute; top:90; visibility:visible">
<.a href="http://www.wsabstract.com" onMouseOver="change ('0');this.className='textRed'" class="normal" onMouseOut="changeb ('0');this.className='textBlue'">Website Abstraction<./a> <./div> <.div id="divLink1" style="left:15; position:absolute; top:120;
<.a href="http://www.requestcode.com" onMouseOver="change ('1');this.className='textLgreen'" class="normal" onMouseOut="changeb ('1');this.className='textBlue'">Requestcode<./a>
Q. I designed a web page to present an image that had been scanned in and then saved as a jpg file. It all looked great but when I printed the page it did not print the complete image. How can I set the image up so that it is readable as web page and can be printed so that it looks nice? The image is a 8 = x 11 scanned document.
A. The problem is when you print, the hardcopy includes a margin besides the image. That means the printable area is actually less than 8= x 11. You have to shrink the image to make it fit on paper, or find a printer that can handle larger paper.
(Or, take a look at Adobe's "Acrobat" - Ed)
And this just in.... DatabaseJournal (http://www.DatabaseJournal.com) has a Forums section in which you can ask, and receive answers to, database related questions. Check it out! Here's a sample (this represents a short dialog in the forums):
Q. One of our programmers created an access database which is pretty big. It takes up a lot of resources and freezes the desktop sometimes. We're using the following operating systems WIN98, XP and Window 2000 Pro. Is there any known configuration for the desktops running a huge access database?
A. Which version of Access are you running on the desktops? In Access 97 MS did still use some 16-bit code which consumes a lot of resources. As far as I can tell Access2K's query engine is much more efficient.
Q. Access2K - So far two of our users are complaining about slowness.
A. Your computers need more memory and better processors... My Access DB is at the speed of a click.
A New AOL Time Warner?
[January 13, 2003] ANALYSIS: After Steve Case announces his exit as chairman of the media giant, speculation ensues over whether AOL Time Warner will change its name, spin off AOL, and how this helps its broadband strategy.
PalmSource Creating Graffiti 2: 'Jot' This One
[January 13, 2003] The handheld computer maker's splitting software division licenses CIC's Jot as an alternative to its 'Graffiti' handwriting technology for its latest OS.
Nextel Begins Nationwide 'Direct Connect' Rollout
[January 13, 2003] With the help of Motorola's iDEN technology, the walkie-talkie phone maker is going coast-to-coast in some 197 markets by Q3 2003.
Dell Moves into Electronic Cash Register
[January 13, 2003] The PC-based registers are designed for retail store systems.
Yahoo! Buffs Up Personals
[January 13, 2003] With an increasing amount of its revenue coming from paid services, Yahoo! adds voice and video features to its personals section.
Judge: Kazaa Can Be Sued In U.S.
[January 13, 2003] Court ropes file-swapping service into massive copyright infringement suit against Morpheus and Grokster.
Microsoft to Cough Up $1.1 Billion to Settle
[January 13, 2003] The software giant will pay more than $1 billion to disgruntled customers who felt the company was taking advantage of them.
What's in a Name for Microsoft? Not .NET
[January 10, 2003] Addressing public concerns that .NET was confusing, the software outfit simplifies the name of its upcoming server.
IT Vendors Publish Web Services Messaging Spec
[January 9, 2003] Fujitsu, Hitachi, NEC, Oracle, Sonic Software and Sun have joined forces to promote WS-Reliability specification; Microsoft and IBM are conspicuously absent.
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:
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Thanks to those of you who have sent in your comments regarding our use of "<." in code samples to help those readers whose email client programs interpret the code as code instead of text. Several of you have suggested we use "<" instead. The trouble with this is that while it is interpreted by HTML as the "<" sign for display purposes, it is still copied as "<" when cut and pasted. It still has to be edited for use as interpretable code. We felt that "<." is clearer since it is always visible to the reader that it is not interpretable code, whether their email client can sort out text from code or not.
Arthur Weibe suggests that HTML Goodies should be in HTML format instead of text. We have it as a text newsletter because a large number of our readers are using email clients that don't interpret the HTML. We do put it into HTML when it goes into the archive, however (see http://www.htmlgoodies.com/letters/)
Once again, thanks to all who take the time to send in your comments. It is my hope that this newsletter will continue to provide you with useful and timely news and information. Your input helps me to do that.
And Remember This . . .
On this day in...
1941: James Joyce dies
James Joyce, widely regarded as Ireland's greatest author, dies in Z|rich, Switzerland, at the age of 58. One of the most brilliant and daring writers of the 20th century, Joyce's masterpiece Ulysses is ranked among the greatest works in the English language. Born in Dublin in 1882, Joyce grew up in poor surroundings and was educated at Jesuit-run schools and the University College in Dublin. He wrote poetry and short prose passages that he called "epiphanies," a term he used to describe the sudden revelation of the true nature of a person or thing. Ulysses brought Joyce international fame, and the work's groundbreaking literary forms, including stream-of-consciousness writing, were an immediate influence on novelists the world over. The action of the novel takes place in Dublin on a single day but parallels the epic 10-year journey described in Homer's Odyssey.
1928 Experimental TV sets installed in homes
Television sets are installed in three homes in Schenectady, New York. RCA and General Electric installed the sets, which displayed a 1.5-inch-square picture. However, televisions did not become common household appliances until the late 1940s.
Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!