Goodies to Go! Newsletter #309

By Vince Barnes


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

Goodies to Go (tm)
November 1, 2004 -- Newsletter # 309

This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.

Featured this week:

* Goodies Thoughts - The Best Language
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* 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 - The Best Language

Somebody asked me a question the other day, it went something like this: "My son wants to get into computers. What's the best language for him to start?" My brain, of course, went immediately into logic overload -- there are so many problems with the question that I wasn't sure where to begin!

I'm not sure what "get into computers" means. Does he want to design them, build, repair, program, use or sell them? Perhaps he wants to climb inside one! If I take the "language" part of the question as a clue, I could presume that he wants either to program computers or to build web pages. I could also be that his dad simply doesn't understand computers enough to be asking me the right question.

If I presume that he does mean writing code of one sort of another, there would be a "language" involved. His original question didn't include the word "programming", which is probably just as well! Had he said "programming language", I might have had to exclude HTML from the list of possible answers. Since I run HTML Goodies it is entirely possible that he is asking me his question with the World Wide Web in mind.

The exclusion would be because, technically, writing HTML is coding, but not really programming. The distinction comes from the fact that a web page is really a document, not a program. A Web browser is a program. It interprets HTML documents. HTML is a language, however, so the distinction is very subtle. When you consider XML, the lines get even more blurred. Do you call it an XML "document" or an XML "script". Perhaps the distinction doesn't matter!

PHP, Perl, JavaScript and the like are programming languages. But these are web oriented languages. If his son wants to get into computer programming there is a myriad of possible languages. There are those best suited for business applications, another set for system software (such as operating systems and the like; other language might be best for scientific applications, others for games, graphics, animations, etc., etc., etc.!

There are so many possible answers to his question that my brain went into a tailspin. Then a small light appeared on the horizon, and grew as my brain settled down and finally got right down to the heart of his inquiry.

"English," I said.

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. 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 that's done:

Q. I am constantly creating files (pdf or word) files that I need to show to many co-workers. Instead of having to email everyone every time I finish a file, I would like to upload the file to my server and have them view the list of files online and download the ones they want. These files need to be password protected as different people in different departments should only see files pertaining to them. Here was my idea, create a bunch of password protected folders on a server - one for each department, and I will upload the file to any folder that should be allowed to view these files. Two questions: 1) I put the files in a folder, but when I try to view the folder in a browser it tells me I don't have permission to access this folder (I assume because I never created an index file). How can I set it up that I should be able to view a list of files that are in the folder? 2) how can I create a page that will allow me to upload files to folders using a browser?

A. I believe you are correct in that you do not have an INDEX file for the server to show when you try to access the folder. You could create an INDEX file with the links to the documents for downloading. I am assuming that you have already password protected the folder? An even easier way would be to use a password log in feature for your pages. The application would allow users to sign up themselves and you would control which group the user should be in and only the documents or files you allow each group or person to view. There is a nice web application called ASPLogin. It has to run on a server that supports ASP. For example, to make a document available to all users in a group called 'management', members of a group called 'administrators' and a user called 'fred' (who may or may not be in either of the groups), you would add the following code to the top of the document:
<.%@ LANGUAGE=VBScript %>
Set asplObj=Server.CreateObject("ASPL.Login")
Set asplObj=Nothing
Any other group or person trying to see that document will not be allowed to see it. It is a pretty slick application You can take a look here:
To create a page to allow you to upload documents would call for some scripting. This all depends on what type of server you site is hosted on. If it is a Windows server then it will support Active Server Pages (ASP).
[See also the upload page example in our new PHP tutorials:
- if your server supports PHP. --Ed.]

Q. I'm trying to design a personal portfolio site and need to have people click on my thumbnails to see larger images in a new window... easy. However I found a site that makes it hard for people to save/steal copyright materials- it makes the new window close when it is clicked on... I can't figure out how to do this.

A. You could use the onClick event in the body tag. Of course they can still steal your images because the images have to be downloaded to your PC for your browser to display them. The body tag would look like this:
<.body onClick="window.close()">
This will only work if the window was opened using the JavaScript window.open command.

Q. I'm making an imagemap in Photoshop. The imagemap is just made up of housing parcels. What I want to do is have it so that if you place your cursor on the parcel, a number will pop up. I figure I could do this by doing a rollover graphic, but for 200+ individual parcels, that would take a long time. Is there a simple way to have the imapemap be unclickable, but also have it so when you place the cursor on the parcel information would popup?

A. You could use the TITLE attribute in the <A> tag.
<area href="#" shape="rect" coords="20, 43, 231, 281" title="This is parcel number 218">
That will create a Pop Up message similar to the ALT attribute in the IMG tag. Using "#" should it so the link does not anywhere if the user happens to click on it.
As a side note, the TITLE attribute should be used on your actual links also. This will help the search engines when indexing your website and help vision impaired people that use screen readers.







News Goodies

Oracle to PeopleSoft: 'Best and Final Offer'
[November 1, 2004] UPDATED: Oracle ups its bid for PeopleSoft to $24 per share and drops most conditions in its continuing quest to buy the software maker.

Click here to read the article




Indian Telecom Adds Tyco Network
[November 1, 2004] As part of an international expansion, VSNL will pay $130M for the conglomerate's fiber-optic network.

Click here to read the article


Linux to Power Wind River Sails
[November 1, 2004] The company announces barrage of products to cover all aspects of development.

Click here to read the article




Macromedia Bids For More eBay Users
[November 1, 2004] The Web graphics software maker customizes its content creation software to benefit the online giant's customers..

Click here to read the article




Avaya, Polycom Dial in Videoconferencing
[November 1, 2004] The communications software and conferencing firm aims a joint product at enterprises.

Click here to read the article



AT&T Builds In Network Security
[November 1, 2004] The network operator enhances its managed services with new worm and virus catchers.

Click here to read the article




Rage Against the Voting Machines
[October 29, 2004] The 21st century solution to voting problems conjures up 20th century concerns.

Click here to read the article



Cracking the Car Codes
[October 29, 2004] FEATURE: Unlikely allies are making car diagnostics simpler.

Click here to read the article




It's Bagle Day, Again
[October 29, 2004] Anti-virus vendors spot new strains of the fast-spreading Bagle virus.

Click here to read the article



Rumor: EU to Nix Microsoft DRM Deal
[October 29, 2004] The proposed acquisition of ContentGuard by Microsoft and Time Warner could make trouble with Euro regulators.

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/

Thanks again for all your feedback!




Windows Tech Goodie of the Week:

Building a Better Button Handler in ASP


This article outlines the design and implementation of a classic ASP ButtonHandler class which functions as a utility object for working with form buttons. In addition to making work with multiple buttons simpler, it also allows you to store and retrieve additional information by using a dot delimiter in the button's name attribute.








And Remember This . . .

On this day in...

1993 European Union established

In 1991 delegates from the European Community drafted a treaty designed to strengthen the bonds between European countries, creating a European parliament, a central bank and common foreign and security policies. The treaty. which was developed in Maastricht, Holland, was signed in 2992 and took effect on this day in 1993. At that time, the twelve signing countries were the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Irish Republic, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Denmark, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. In 1995, Austria, Finland, and Sweden joined the Union. These member nations were joined in 2002 by Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. In addition to these 25 members, there are four candidate countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Turkey. The formation of the European Union is quite an accomplishment, considering the centuries of wars its members have fought with each other.

Today was also the day that in: 79 Pompei was buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius; 1512 Michaelangelo Buonarroti's painting's on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican were first exhibited; 1604 William Shakespeare's "Othello" was first presented; 1611 William Shakespeare's "The Tempest" was first presented; 1755 50,000 die in an earthquake in Lisbon; 1870 the US Weather Bureau began its operations; 1922 the Ottoman Empire was abolished; 1932 Wernher von Braun was named head of German liquid-fuel rocket program; 1936 Mussolini described alliance between Italy & Germany as an "axis"; 1939 The first animal (a rabbit) conceived by artificial insemination was displayed; 1942 John H Johnson published the first issue of Negro Digest; 1945 John H Johnson published the first issue of Ebony magazine; 1951 John H Johnson published the first issue of Jet magazine; 1952 The first hydrogen bomb was exploded at Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific; 1969 Beatles' "Abbey Road," album went to #1 & stayed there for 11 weeks; 1970 Discotheque in Grenoble France caught fire with all its exits padlocked & 142 die; 1976 Gilbert Is (Kiribati) obtained internal self-governmentt from Britain; 1988 Actor Jeff Goldblum married actress Geena Davis in Las Vegas; 1990 Sandra Miller was awarded $100 for Mike Tyson fondling her breasts;

Born today were: in 1500 sculptor Benvenuto Cellini; 1798 brewer & Mayor of Dublin Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness; 1915 English actor Michael Dennison; 1929 actress Betsy Palmer; 1935 golfer Gary Player; 1939 actress Barbara Blossom; 1942 publisher / pornographer Larry Flynt; 1942 actress Marcia Wallace; 1944 English musician Keith Emerson; 1960 actress Elizabeth Dennehy; 1963 musician Rick Allen;


Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!


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