Goodies to Go (tm)
April 19, 2004-- Newsletter #281

By Vince Barnes


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

Goodies to Go (tm)
April 19, 2004--Newsletter #281

This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.

Featured this week:

* Goodies Thoughts - Search Engine Attention
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* Goodies Peer Reviews
* Feedback Goodies  
* Windows Tech Goodies  
* And Remember This...



Goodies Announcement

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 - Search Engine Attention

"If you build it, they will come." That may or may not apply to playing fields, but it probably doesn't apply to much to websites! If you have built a website the requires a lot of visitors in order to consider itself to be a success, then you know that putting the site onto a server and making it available to the Internet at large is only the first step. If the journey is going to take you anywhere, there will need to be a lot more steps. The big question is: in which direction should you take them?

There are some websites for which traffic is not an important consideration. Family sites are a good example. A family website is intended to entertain family members and friends. These people will be given the URL of the site directly and can either remember it or add it to their favorites or bookmarks. There is not much point in attempting to be listed with top rankings in a search engine if this is the type of site. People don't usually use a search engine in the hopes of finding some stranger's family site -- though I'm sure there are circumstances in which this would occur!

If your website's intention is to sell something, or to refer people to a site that sells something so that you can collect a commission or referral bonus, then doctor's orders call for the largest number of visitors you can get. The larger the number of people visiting your site, the higher that chance of getting bites. The more frequently your site is found in the search engines, the more frequently it will be chosen for a visit. The higher it is in the search engine rankings, the more frequently it will be seen. It's simple logic! If this is your site, you need it to be as high in the rankings as you can get, and in the most popular search engines.

So which ones are the most popular? And how do you get to the top in them? Great questions! And the answer is -- not at all simple! To answer these questions requires looking at such matters as search engine optimization (SEO), meta tags, placement, submission, marketing issues, popular queries, types of search engines, rankings and such matters. Over the next few weeks I am going to take a look at some of these subjects here in this news letter. (While there will be several issues dedicated to this subject, there will be other subjects interspersed - we try to please as many of our readers as we can!)

For any type of business that involves selling something to someone (which, if you think about it, is just about every business except policing, fire-fighting and government -- and even they.... <G>) the first thing you want to do is get customers in through the door. If you have any notion of making money from a web based business -- or making money by promoting someone else's web based business -- then this series is for you! If you are the owner of a family website, this series may be academic to you, but it might also inspire you to new ventures!


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 make a website layout using JavaScript to create a design in which the viewer can choose between a selection of image themes. Upon clicking an image button on the page, the background and a header image will change without the page reloading. Everything works great (preloading images, image switches, background change) except that the design choice resets to the default whenever you go to another page in the site. I can't think of any way to carry the selection over to the next page.

A. Cookies would probably be your best bet. Of course you would have to check for the existence of the cookie on each page. Here is a link to a tutorial on the subject:

Q. I want some JavaScript code to look at a directory and if it finds a picture it displays it. So I can put pictures in the directory on the fly and the code just goes and picks a JPG file to display randomly.

A. Unfortunately JavaScript does not have the ability to check if file is present or not. You will need to use a Server Side language such as Perl or PHP to perform that function.

Q. Is there anyway either in JavaScript or html or css to define a length for a selection box?

A. CSS works best. If you want to assign the same properties to all selects in a document then you can do the following:
select {color:blue;font-weight:bold;width:200;background-color:white;}
In the above example the width of the select is set at 200 pixels.
If you want different properties for each individual select then you would add a class to the select tag like so:
<select class="selcss">
Then the CSS stuff would look like this:
.selcss {color:blue;font-weight:bold;width:200;background-color:white;}


Q. I am working with a button on my page:
.start {font-size: 8pt; color:#ffff00; background:#cc3333}
.end {font-size: 8pt; color:#cc3333; background:#ffff00}
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="javascript">
function highlightButton(s) {
if ("INPUT"==event.srcElement.tagName)
The above is placed above </head>
Then the <FORM></FORM> lines are placed where I need them to be below <BODY>
<FORM NAME=highlight onMouseover="highlightButton('start')" onMouseout="highlightButton('end')">
<INPUT TYPE="button" VALUE="Hot Computer Deals Of The Week!" onClick="location.href='http://www.tigerdirect.com/email/kb/promo.asp?ID=1671'">
I would like the button to start out as it appears for onMouseout="highlightButon('end')"
When the page loads, it is the standard grey default size button. Using <STYLE></STYLE> I now have some control over the button size by specifying font-size: 8pt; Of course, nothing happens until the cursor is passed over the button.
I tried some [ onload= ] ideas that didn't work. Is there a way to control the initial appearance of the button?

A. I added a class attribute to the INPUT tag. I just used one of the classes you had already set in your styles, but you can create another one. The javascript helps with the changes.
<form name="highlight" onmouseover="highlightButton('start')" onmouseout="highlightButton('end')">
<input class="end" type="button" value="Hot Computer Deals Of The Week!" onclick="location.href='http://www.tigerdirect.com/email/kb/promo.asp?ID=1671'" />
I'm not sure which version of HTML you are using... I'm used to writing in XHTML 1.0, so I've made the tags lowercase and added a / to the end of the INPUT.

Q. I currently have a couple of javascripts that are used throughout my website. One for a date and another for rollovers. Can these two be placed onto one external js page with a single link to it, or should each be on separate pages with its own individual link?

A. Yes you can place both scripts in one ".js" file and point to it this way:
<script src="myscript.js" language="JavaScript"></script>
One thing you will have to be careful of though is that if both scripts use variable names that are the same one of them will have to be changed or you will have a conflict. If you are already using them both on the same page then this should not be a problem.

Q. I am creating a web site that has several secondary pages, and some of those secondary pages have even further sub-categories. I would like to have just one image folder for the entire site. Example: From home page I have a link to "Authors" page. From that page, links to Twain, Longfellow, etc. The images folder is on the same level as the Authors page. So on the Authors page the image links look like this:
How do I get to the image folder from the Twain page?

A. The easiest way to do this is to use "../" for each level deep the folder is. For instance: Start in your root folder where the "index" or home page is. In that folder you also have an "images" folder and the "Twain" folder. If you are referencing an image from the "index" page it would look mlike this:
img src="images/My_pic.jpg"
That tell the browser to look for the picture in the "images" folder.
Now reference the same picture from the "Twain" folder:
img src="../images/My_pic.jpg"
That tells the browser to look for the picture one level up in the "images" folder.
Now let's get a little deeper. In the "Twain" folder you have another folder named "Clemins". Let's reference the same picture from a page in that folder:
img src="../../images/My_Pic.jpg"
That tells the browser to look for the picture two levels up in the "images" folder.







News Goodies

Microsoft Cleans Up Another Suit
[April 19, 2004] The Redmond, Wash.-based giant settles with Minnesota consumers after its dirty linen is hung out in public.

Click here to read the article




Survey: XP Developers' Top OS Target
[April 19, 2004] XP finally surpasses Windows 2000 as a target for developers, a new survey shows.

Click here to read the article


ColdFusion MX DoS Vulnerability Patched
[April 19, 2004] Macromedia issues an 'important' patch for a file upload denial-of-service security flaw.

Click here to read the article




AIM 5.5 Adds WeatherBug
[April 19, 2004] AOL's text chat application is fitted with weather content as part of a plan to expand the use of instant messaging.

Click here to read the article




Sun Bundles x86 Solaris Systems for a Song
[April 19, 2004] The company offers software subscriptions to compete with Linux and Windows and updates its Web server architecture for AMD Opteron chips.

Click here to read the article



Startup Hatches Disk Library
[April 19, 2004] Disk library by Copan Systems highlights an industry shift from tape to disk storage to corral 'write once, read rarely' data.

Click here to read the article




Judge Wants Oracle Case Kept 'Open'
[April 16, 2004] Companies supporting the government's case to stop Oracle from taking over PeopleSoft best be prepared for public scrutiny.

Click here to read the article



Independent ISPs Plot Survival Course
[April 16, 2004] While regulatory and legal issues move slowly through the bureaucracy, small and medium ISPs must adapt to boost revenues and win customers.

Click here to read the article



PC Sales Recovery Spreads
[April 16, 2004] Dell posted a record first quarter to beat out HP and IBM as consumers and businesses began to upgrade their PCs, IDC said.

Click here to read the article



Father of the Web Wins Millennium Award
[April 16, 2004] Sir Tim Berners-Lee takes home the first-ever prize from a Finnish organization for his part in the creation of the World Wide Web.

Click here to read the article






Goodies Peer Reviews


Every week a site is selected 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/

For those who are missing Peer reviews: we are once again revising the Peer review program in the hopes of creating a workable solution. The current plan is to move the new Peer Review pages into place in the new year. All those who have been selected for reviews in the past will be featured in the new pages. The new method will make it much easier for your peers to provide feedback and much easier for us to handle the publication side of things. "Watch this space!" It's coming soon!!


Thanks again for all your feedback!



Windows Tech Goodie of the Week:


Directory List (Sorted) ASP.NET Sample Code


ASP.NET's file system processing is much more advanced then what was
available in classic ASP. Despite all the improvements (including an easy
way to filter your results), for some reason, there's still no built-in way
to sort the resulting file list. I guess it makes sense... after all who
would ever want to list their files ordered by name, date, size, or type...
that's just madness... or is it?

*** AND ***

Reusable Components in ASP.NET 2.0


This article demonstrates how to create a reusable component in ASP.NET 2.0
and then consume it from an ASP.NET page. Also learn how the
ObjectDataSource control can be used to directly bind the output of an
object to the controls in an ASP.NET page and how precompilation can be
used to increase the performance of the Web application and catch
compilation errors.


And Remember This . . .

On this day in...

1993 Branch Davidian Compound Burned

A fifty-one day stand-off between the US Federal Government and a heavily armed religious cult group culminated in a tear gas attack and fire on this day in 1993. The cult, led by David Koresh (born Vernon Wayne Howell in Houston, Texas,) had stockpiled arms and explosives in "readiness for the apocalypse" which Koresh said was imminent. The bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)initiated a raid on the compound at Waco, Texas, on February 28th, looking for illegal firearms and explosives. As they approached, they were fired upon, resulting in the deaths of four agents, with fifteen others injured. The operation grew to include over a hundred agents. On April 18th, 1993 Attorney General Janet Reno gave approval for a tear gas raid. On the 19th at about 6:00 am the first of more than a hundred tear gas canisters was launched into the buildings. None of the cultists came out. Just after noon fires broke out in several places. A few minutes later nine Davidians fled the spreading flames. The ATF reported gunfire coming from the buildings, but it stopped as the building became completely engulfed in flames. Koresh and at least eighty of his followers, including twenty-two children died in the flames. The FBI and the Justice Department said that Koresh had ignited the fires, though in 1999 the admitted that they used tear gas bombs that have been known to start fires because of their incendiary properties.

And in 1995, a truck bomb exploded outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, collapsing the north side of the building and killing 168 people, including 22 young children in the building's day car center.

Today was also the day that in: 1587 Sir Francis Drake sailed into the harbor at Cadiz and sank the Spanish fleet; 1770 Captain James Cook first saw Australia; 1882 the father of the theory of evolution and author of "Origin of the Species", Sir Charles Darwin, died; 1909 Joan of Arc was declared a Saint; 1919 the French Assembly decided on an eight hour workday; 1956 US actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco in a civil ceremony; 1971 Sierra Leone became a Republic; 1971 Charles Manson was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Sharon Tate; 1982 NASA announced that Sally Ride was the first female astronaut; 1994 Rodney King was awarded $3,800,000 as compensation for a beating he took from the Los Angeles police;

Born today were: in 1903 "Untouchable" Elliot Ness; 1907 English actor Alan Wheatley (Robin Hood); 1921 composer Will Ogden; 1933 actor Dick Sargeant (Bewitched); 1933 actress Jayne Mansfield; 1941 English musician Alan Price; 1946 English actor Time Curry; 1949 French jewelry designer and actress Paloma Picasso; 1968 actress Ashley Taylor Judd


Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!


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