Goodies to Go (tm)
April 7, 2003-- Newsletter #227

By Vince Barnes


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

Goodies to Go (tm)
April 7, 2003--Newsletter #227

This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.

Featured this week:

* Goodies Thoughts - Confessions Of A Web Jack
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* Goodies Peer Reviews
* 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 - Confessions Of A Web Jack

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" wrote the bard in "Romeo and Juliet". That may be true, but what then does the name actually convey? And what about other names; what do they convey? In the world of computers, some names can be a little confusing, if not downright misleading! To try to sort out the meanings of all these names would be a mammoth task, but I'd like to take a look at a few that touch the world we live in; namely, that of the web developer.

In the corporate world, the person heading up the "computer department" used to be known as the manager (or director, or other such title) of Data Processing. This name seems largely to have gone out of style. The "Nom Du Jour" for this position is now manager/director of either Information Systems or Information Technology. There are those who argue that these two names don't mean the same thing, but most of the time they seem to be interchangeable. The difference between the names "Data Processing Manager" and "Information Systems Manager" is, to my way of thinking, somewhat akin to the difference between the names "Trash Collector" and "Sanitation Engineer" -- if you can't increase their pay, at least you can make their job sound better! My personal favorite is Information Technology because it allows me to talk about the person who manages IT, and I just love a pun!

Working in the Director of Information System's department -- the DIT's department (sorry!) -- there is a variety of programmers and analysts. Depending on the size of the department, there may be Database Administrators, Communications Systems Administrators, Network Engineers, Systems Analysts and others in addition to the programmers. These positions all involve specializations that impact the edges of the web developer's world. Web developers themselves really fall within the "programmers" category.

In the minds of some, web development is not really "programming". They like to think of programming as the task of writing programs in languages like Assembler, "C" and its derivatives, Visual Basic, even COBOL and the like. To me, a program is a series of instructions that tells the computer to do something. My favorite analogy is the expression 2+2=4. In this expression, 2 and 2 are input data, 4 is output data and + = is a program. Using this definition, all web pages are programs and all web page developers are programmers. I personally like this thinking, though I do acknowledge that professional system developers are usually dealing with far more complex problems than a person writing a web page is dealing with. Add the capabilities of Dot Net Architecture into the equation, however, and the lines definitely blur.

Having drawn the conclusion that our web developers are programmers there remain a few interesting of questions. What do we call the different kinds of web developers? For example, there are those with a particularly good artistic eye who can design a beautiful layout for a web page, knowing that it can be accomplished on the web and providing the needed graphic images and color specifications, but lacking the knowledge of specific codes needed to create the pages. Are they no longer "Web Developers"? To me they are -- they're Graphic Designers, specifically Web Graphic Designers or Web Graphic Artists; you can even leave out the "Graphic" and have Web Designers or Web Artists. My vote? "Web Designers". I believe there is a difference between a Painter and an Interior Decorator. A Web Designer is a web developer with a particular talent. What then of the coder whose eye is not so great for the art, but whose talent as a page developer is outstanding. They are a Web Programmer. Together, they are the central part of a Web Development Team.

Web programmers may also have a variety of specializations. Apart from HTML, JavaScript, ASP, .Net, PHP, etc., there are such animals as Flash and Shockwave, and Database systems such as MySQL, Access, SQL Server, Oracle etc. There are a lot of opportunities for creating specialized names in here!

What then is a "Webmaster"? A Webmaster is a person using a title that really should be left behind. the title belongs in history. There are so many technologies available for Web Development, many of which are hugely complicated systems, that nobody could master them all. I don't think we want to use a term like "Master" to represent the person who runs a team either. Manager or Director sound a lot better than Master, especially when we remember that IDE Hard Drives are configured together on a channel as "Master" and "Slave". While in some circumstances some developers may consider the latter to be a fairly accurate portrayal of their job environment, it doesn't sound very favorable!

Then, of course, there's the famous saying about a "Jack of all trades, master of none." While I study various web technologies all the time, I recognize that I have friends and colleagues I rely on who are much better than I am at one or another technology. Thus I must confess I'm not so much a "Webmaster"; I'm more of a "Web Jack"!

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 have a Feedback form and have managed to get it to open the e-mail programme in order for the viewer to e-mail their feedback to me, but the problem I am having is to get the SUBJECT line to state "FEEDBACK".

If you want the subject line to be filled automatically you need to add "?subject=FEEDBACK" to the MAILTO link like this:
Change FEEDBACK to anything else if you want something different!

Q. Could you please tell me how to link one page to a specific point on another page? Also, how do I link the top of one page to the bottom of the same page?

A. If you want to link to a spot on a particular page you can use the NAME ANCHOR. For instance if you had a long page and wanted to give the user an easy way to get back to the top after reading the article you would place this in the HTML near the top after the <BODY> tag:
<a name="top">
At the end of the article you would place this code:
<a href="#top">TOP</a>
That creates a link to the top of the page. If you want a link to a certain area on another page it is done in a similar way. On the page you want to link to you place the NAME ANCHOR in the spot on the page you want to jump to:
<a href="jump">Jump Here</a>
On the page you are coming from, the link would look like this:
<a href="#jump">Click here to Jump</a>
Here is the tutorial from the HTMLGoodies site:

Q. How do you get your brower reset because I have no status bar and no scrollbar?

A. You could provide a link like this to reload the document:
<a href="javascript:window.location.reload()">Refresh</a>
When the link is clicked on it would refresh the page.
[If you wish to restore the browser status bar (in Internet Explorer) click "View/Status Bar"

Q. I have a flash uploaded that I would like to use as an intro... although it wont play. I might have some thing wrong in my code, so here it is:
<object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"
codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="550" height="400">
<param name="movie" value="file:///saddam%5B1%5D.swf">
<param name="quality" value="high">
<embed src="file:///saddam%5B1%5D.swf" quality="high" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="550" height="400"></embed>

A. Your source is incorrect. Make sure that this line: "file:///saddam%5B1%5D.swf" correctly points to where your file is. As it is now it is looking for the file on your computer.

Q. How I could go about creating large check boxes?

A. The standard checkboxes used in HTML are just that, standard. I know of no way to change their size. I have never done it and I have not found anything about it.






News Goodies

Yahoo! Unveils New Search
[April 7, 2003] As promised, the portal overhauls Yahoo! Search, integrating it more tightly into its network, and leaving some questions about future plans.

Click here to read the article


Orbitz Debuts Characters in TV Spots
[April 7, 2003] UPDATE:Orbitz.com goes back to television, at a critical time for the travel industry..

Click here to read the article


Sony's Blue Laser
[April 7, 2003] The Japanese electronics maker adds new high-capacity optical data storage disc drives and disc media to its storage arsenal.

Click here to read the article




Adobe Balances a Three-Ring Acrobat
[April 7, 2003] The company updates its PDF-making tool to version 6.0 with XML, tunes the file standard to version 1.5 and re-brands its reader from Acrobat to Adobe.

Click here to read the article



Comcast Rolls out Firewall Services
[April 7, 2003] Number one cable provider starts to bundle new security features as it looks to hit 5 million broadband subscribers by year-end

Click here to read the article



Red Hat Delves into Applications
[April 7, 2003] The Linux distribution firm wades into the higher-level applications space with its Content Management System and Portal Server release.

Click here to read the article



Unisys Has High Hopes by Aiming Low
[April 7, 2003] Aiming lower than it ever has before, the Blue Bell, Pa.-based enterprise system provider hopes a low-end but modular ES7000 system based on Windows Server 2003 will help it capitalize on commodity space of the server market.

Click here to read the article



AOL Asks FCC to OK Video IM
[April 7, 2003] The move could enable AIM and ICQ to support Webcams -- features that competitors both offer.

Click here to read the article



OSGi Drives New Managed Services Platform
[April 4, 2003] The Open Services Gateway Initiative launches Release 3 of its platform designed to bring managed services to devices in homes, cars, businesses, and other environments.

Click here to read the article




Microsoft Divvies Up Office 2003 Editions
[April 2, 2003] The company breaks Office 2003 into six editions, only one of which will come with the new InfoPath application.

Click here to read the article






Goodies Peer Reviews


Every week a site selected each week for review. Each week, reviews of the previous week's selected site are chosen for publication on the HTML Goodies website.


The current week's selected site is published in Goodies To Go and in the Peer Reviews section of the website.  Current contact email addresses for submitting your site and for submitting reviews are published in Goodies To Go.

If you would like to have your site reviewed, sign up for the Goodies To Go newsletter in the Navigation Bar on the left side of this page. 

For full details about this program, see http://www.htmlgoodies.com/peerreviews




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/


Inge Post wrote with a tip for those who want to use email forms to capture data, but have one or another problem with their host that prevents them from using such a form. Inge has used a site call Response-o-Matic to process form data. Their address is: http://www.response-o-matic.com/
One thing I would caution you about though, is to think about the data you collect under these circumstances. You would be ill advised to collect sensitive, financial or personal data with this method. Consider you visitor's privacy and security carefully. For relatively simple applications, however, this site looks to me as though it could be useful. Thanks for the tip, Inge!

I must say something more about Goodies Peer Reviews. I have spoken about this a couple of weeks ago also, but the program is now in jeopardy. The trouble is that although a huge number of you voted in favor of us creating this program, we are getting nowhere near enough of you sending in reviews to keep it going. Leo Ludwig has sent in a couple of excellent reviews,; Mark Abbott wrote a great review for Zepheria Yachting. We have received a few one-or-two paragraph comments about sites, but that is about it. If you wish to keep this running, maybe you should consider participating. Remember that links to the websites of reviewers are also published in HTML Goodies, so you would be getting free promotion on a site that gets millions of visitors every month! Some people pay good $$ to advertise here!




And Remember This . . .

On this day in...

1891 P.T. Barnum Dies
Phineas Taylor Barnum, creator of the "Three Ring Circus" died on this day in 1891 in Bridgeport Connecticut. He was born in 1810 in Bethel, CT. At fifteen he became the publisher of a local paper as a means of supporting his mother and five brothers and sisters when his father died. His creative mind landed him in several libel suits, after which he promoted Joice Heth, whom he said was a 161 year old former nurse to George Washington. This too, he later admitted was a hoax. At age 32 he bought the American Museum in New York from John Scudder and filled the building with curiosities including the Siamese Twins, joined at the chest, and his friend Charles Stratton, a small man whom he named General Tom Thumb. He ran the museum for 26 years, entertaining more than 82 million visitors. At the age of 60 he launched P.T. Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan and Circus and in 1881 teamed up with James Bailey. The partnership created "P.T. Barnum's Greatest Show on Earth, and The Great London Circus, Sanger's Royal British Menagerie and the Grand International Allied Shows United", better known as Barnum and London Circus. The unique feature of this circus was the spectacle of acts performing in three separate rings at once. In 1882, Barnum added the 6 1/2-ton elephant Jumbo to the show and changed its name to "Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth."

Born today were: in 1770, the poet William Wordsworth; in 1915 singer Billie Holliday; in 1920 Ravi Shankar (who taught George Harrison to play the Sitar); in 1939 film maker Francis Ford Copolla and on the same day, transatlantic TV show host David Frost.



Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!


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