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April 14, 2003-- Newsletter #228
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Goodies to Go (tm)
April 14, 2003--Newsletter #228
This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.
Featured this week:
* Goodies Thoughts - The Game of the
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* Goodies Peer Reviews
Just in case you missed it before, the new Beyond HTML Goodies book is now available!
Goodies Thoughts - The Game of the Name
Say "Webster" to an ordinary person (that is, a person whose life has not been
taken over by computers! <g>) and they may think of the dictionary man, or
perhaps the playwright John Webster, but we, of course, know that the word is
really the name for those noble individuals who devote a part of their life to
the propagation of human knowledge and culture by designing and creating web
site on the Internet! Names are like that. They have different meanings to
different people. One set of names, however, is a little different. This set has
a specific meaning. While they may be based on words or names in one of this
planet's spoken languages, they designate specific locations on the Internet,
and are therefore held in high esteem by the aforementioned Websters. They are,
as you have already surmised, Domain Names.
"Ah yes," you nod knowingly, "Domain Names." But do you really know what a "Domain" name is and how it works? Many of you do, I'm sure, but it is surprising to me how many questions I am asked every week that have to do with them, so I though a little closer look might be in order.
Mr. Webster, the dictionary man, tells me that a Domain is "the possessions, estate or land belonging to one person." On the Internet, real estate takes on a slightly different hue. An Internet Domain is a collection of addresses controlled by one server (under the direction, presumably, of a Server Administrator!) A Domain Name's purpose in life is to provide an easy to remember way of discovering a numerical internet address. It accomplishes this through the Domain Name System (DNS) which is a clever, distributed system (meaning it is made up of a lot of computers working together) for translating the name into an address. The translation process is called "Resolving" a Domain Name. A computer involved in the DNS system runs a program called a DNS Resolver. Here's how it works:
A domain name is made up of two parts, separated by a period, like this: domainname.com Technically, this is actually two domains, as you will see, but that's too picky for this type of description! The part following the period is known as the Top Level Domain, or TLD. In this example the TLD is com -- known as "dot com" because it always follows the period (dot). Every DNS Resolver has addresses for "Root" DNS resolvers. These Root resolvers point to computers that can resolve the Top Level Domains. In our example, they would point to one that knows about ".com"s, which would in turn have the address of the system that knows about "domainname". The ".com" resolver is given the information about "domainname" when "domainname" is registered as "domainname.com". This updating is performed by a group of service providers known as "Domain Name Registrars". You go to a Registrar and register your domain name. When you do, they update the TLD resolvers.
Part of the information required in the registration process is the name of the DNS resolver(s) that will hold information about domainname.com. The first of these is called the Primary DNS Server. Information about the domain is updated in the Primary DNS Server, which will then provide this to "Secondary" DNS Servers that will hold a copy of the information for use in the event the Primary becomes unavailable. The TLD servers usually require information about a Primary and at least one Secondary DNS Server, though several Secondaries can be provided.
The Primary DNS Server (and subsequently, the Secondaries) stores information about addresses within the domain. One of the types of address that can be stored is a "Host" address. There are several others, but that's a story for another day! A Host is usually a particular computer. For example, you could have a hostname called "www" (which is very common!) Taken from the initials of the World Wide Web, this name is frequently used to point to a computer that houses (hosts) the web site for the domain. By "point to", I mean that the name is associated with the address of the computer. This association allows a DNS Resolver to translate www.domainname.com into the address of the computer hosting the website. When you type "www.domainname.com" into the address bar of your browser, the first thing the browser does is to use DNS to translate the name into an address to which it can send a request for a web page.
In this way, the Primary DNS Server for a Domain controls all addresses within the Domain. By the way, a Domain can contain a "Sub-Domain" -- as in sub.domainname.com -- which in turn contains Hosts, such as www.sub.domainname.com That too, is a story for another day. Think about it though, and you will probably be able to figure out how it works!
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 am trying to create printable pages for a large web site. I created the web site using Macromedia Dreamweaver 4. I have simply copied the code and pasted into another .htm file without the page background...etc. I was wondering if any of you know of a simpler way to do this.
A. To create a printable page it will require some sort of scripting. Basically what the script does is strips out any "include" pages and maybe images then you have a clean page to print. It can be done using CSS but only works on Internet Explorer 5.0 and above, so that leaves out anyone using any other browser. There are many tutorials available on the internet using different scripts. Do a search for "printer friendly pages" on Google and you will get a list of links. Here is a link for a tutorial using CSS:
Q. I am doing testing on a web application. In this application, when erroneous data is entered an alert is displayed. By default, the caption for this alert is "microsoft internet explorer". I reported this as a bug. But it was rejected. Is it not possible to change the caption of the alert?
A. No it is not possible to change the Alert caption. You would have to set
up your own customized Alert box using DHTML.
Q. I want to have a text box where the person can input what they are searching for, then have a drop box beside it allowing them to chose which search engine they want to use, and then have a submit button where when they click to bring up their search, in the search engine they asked for.
A. You could provide a link like this to reload the document:
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:
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>
Q. I have noticed that some of my internal pages will come up on a search engine. Is there anyway that I can have these visitors redirected to the main home page instead of having them link to a page that is basically out of the flowing order of the site?
A. You might try using document.referrer to check where they came from and if it is not the page you want then redirect them to it. Something like this:
You would place the above in the head section at the very beginning. The drawback to this script is that if they go to this document from anywhere in your site other than the document specified it will redirect them to that one document (page).
[You can also prevent specific pages from being indexed in (most) search engines; see:
about halfway down the title piece there is a discussion of the ROBOT Meta tag and Robots.txt -- Ed.]
AOL Accused of Collateral Damage in Spam War
[April 14, 2003] Netizens bristle over AOL's policy of bridling dynamically assigned IP addresses from broadband ISPs.
IP Steals Spotlight at Storage Show in Phoenix
[April 14, 2003] Leading vendors from all over the country assemble to show off their progress in developing new storage products or demonstrate interoperability with partners at the SNW 2003 show.
Kinko's Goes Wireless
[April 14, 2003] The chain of stores, known for making copies, has long provided Internet access. It will soon have over 1000 locations outfitted with Wi-Fi for that purpose, courtesy of T-Mobile Hotspot.
Web Gambling Sites Form Standards Group
[April 14, 2003] New organization aims to be an independent entity providing player protections to consumers.
Apple's Safari Beta 2 Goes Tabbing
[April 14, 2003] The latest upgrade adds tabbed page-switching and an AutoFill feature aimed at speeding up Web surfing for Mac users.
Microsoft Focuses on Antispam for Exchange 2003
[April 14, 2003] With spam increasingly becoming a significant drain on network resources, Microsoft opens up Exchange Server 2003, allowing partners to integrate antispam components with the server.
Hilton Battles Hotel Discounters
[April 14, 2003] The hotel company signs a new 'direct-connect' deal with Expedia and rolls out a new online reservation pricing strategy aimed at providing rate consistency.
Intel Accelerates Pentium 4 Platform
[April 14, 2003] Chip maker updates chipset platform with 800MHz system bus instead of the previous 533MHz.
Jeeves Upgrades Self-Service Search
[April 14, 2003] Competing in a growing field, the Emeryville, Calif., firm enhances its product to help searchers find information on corporate sites.
Apple Patches Flaws in Mac OS X
[April 11, 2003] A security alert warns of 'extremely critical' security vulnerabilities and Apple urges users to upgrade to the new Mac OS X 10.2.5.
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Greg Ozzimo, the Webmaster at the USCG Training Center in
Yorktown, was concerned by my depiction of the "Jack of all
trades, master of none." he asks me to "please don't get
hung up on the word 'master'.
The IT world throws titles around all day and it means nothing." That's true, Greg, but my point is that while the word "Webmaster" may have been applicable in the early days of the web, the technology involved has grown so much that it is unrealistic to expect a single person to do a masterful job on all aspects of web development. Greg also indicates that "Web Jack just doesn't cut it - that sounds really stupid." Sorry Greg, that was meant to be tongue-in-cheek humor.
Also, many thanks to Richard Boehm for pointing this out (regarding last week's Q&A):
"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>
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 name="jump">Jump Here</a>
On the page you are coming from, the link would look like this:
<a href="jumppage.htm#jump">Click here to Jump</a>
Absolutely correct, Richard; the example given would only work if the "from" link was on the same page as the "to" anchor.
And Remember This . . .
On this day in...
1865 President Lincoln shot.
At Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, shot and killed President Abraham Lincoln. Booth entered Lincoln's private theater box unnoticed, and shot the president once in the back of his head. He then jumped onto the stage and shouted "Sic semper tyrannis! [Thus always to tyrants]--the South is avenged!" Booth was pursued by the army and the secret service and was finally trapped in a barn in Bowling Green, Virginia. The barn was set on fire and (it is believed) Booth fatally shot himself.
1912 RMS Titanic hits an iceberg.
Today is also the day that the Titanic failed to correct its course enough to avoid collision with an iceberg, which tore its hull open. Believed to have been unsinkable, the Titanic lacked sufficient lifeboats for the number of crew and passengers on board. 1,500 perished in the icy waters as the ship sank. About 700, mostly women and children, survived.
Born today were: in 1904 actor Sir John Gielgud; 1925 actor Rod Steiger; 1932 actor Anthony Perkins; 1935 singer Loretta Lynn; 1941 actress Julie Christie, and on the same day, Baseball player Pete Rose.
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