/introduction/newsletter_archive/goodiestogo/article.php/3518891/Goodies-To-Go-Newsletter-344.htm Goodies To Go! Newsletter #344

Goodies To Go! Newsletter #344

By Vince Barnes

Goodies to Go (tm)
July 5, 2005 -- Newsletter # 344
This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.


Featured this week:
*   Goodies Thoughts - Caution Colors
*   Q & A Goodies
*   News Goodies
*   Feedback Goodies
*   Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 
*   And Remember This...
Caution Colors
First, let me welcome you to the first ever Goodies To Go Newsletter edition to be officially released on a Tuesday!  Just in case you didn't already know, Goodies To Go has, until today, always been a Monday publication.  As it happens, even if we had not made this official move, today's newsletter would have been published today (Tuesday) instead of yesterday (Monday) because yesterday was a holiday in the US (Independence Day.)  The biggest difference is to be found in the date sensitive sections (News Goodies & Remember This.)  In the old days, if a newsletter was published on Tuesday, it would still have carried Monday's news and events; now it will carry Tuesday's.  Enough of this!  I had something else I wanted to discuss.
There used to be a lot of talk about which colors are "safe" to use on a website and which should raise a caution flag to the webmaster.  While it is not talked about so much any more, questions are still periodically raised as to whether "safe" colors are still something to be concerned about.
To recap the original problem: Windows and Mac OS include a basic set of 216 colors into their native palettes.  These colors are always pure.  Every other color is made by blending, or "dithering", these basic colors.  The problem comes with the fact that different applications, graphic cards, or whatever, might not always use exactly the same blend, and might not always truly "blend" them, creating a spotty, dotted effect - not very attractive.  There's a great piece on the HTML Goodies site concerning this issue; you'll find it here: http://www.htmlgoodies.com/tutorials/colors/article.php/3479001
Now, to the original question: does the lack of recent noise mean that you no longer have to concern yourself with the "safe color" palette?  The answer is definitely no and yes!
No, you don't need to worry about it because the graphical capabilities of modern computers are far more advanced than they used to be, and even dithered colors are rendered beautifully and pretty much uniformly.
Yes, you need to worry about it because the "no" answer above doesn't always hold true.  You might need to consider who your audience is, and whether or not the above is likely to be true.  Does your audience tend to use older equipment / operating systems / browsers / etc.?  Do you expect that you audience is all running Windows XP, MacOS 10, up-to-date Linux or better on a nice modern and powerful machine?  Only you can answer that.
What do you do if you're not sure?  Here's a hint:  there's a reason they're called "safe" colors!
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
Q. I am having trouble with using named parameters in JavaScript code.  For example, in this simple mathematical code:
var number : integer = cos (30);
document.write (" the Cosine of 30 Degrees is " + number + " ")
This is where I'm trying to calculate the cosine of 30 degrees and have made a rule that the "number" variable must always be an integer.  However, when I attempt to run this code, I get the error message in Netscape: [missing ";" before statement] in the line of code "var number : integer = cos(30)". I always get this type of message whenever I try to set any variable to always be an integer or string.  What am I doing wrong?
A. Unlike other languages you cannot specify if a variable is a string or integer in JavaScript.   Here is an example of how it would be done.
<script language="javascript">
  var number = Math.cos(30);
  document.write (" the Cosine of 30 Degrees is " + number + " ");
And here is link to a tutorial on the Math object:

Q. Is is possible to place a cell that provides scrolling capabilities into a specific location within a table?  I have information that I wish to place in the cell, but do not want to enlarge the height of the page.
A. What you are looking for is an inline frame. The problem that you will to look out for is that inline frames are only recognized by Internet Explorer 4.0 and above and I think Netscape 6 and above. Here is a tutorial on inline frames:
Q. I was curious about shopping carts and wondering what type programming was need to created these.
A.  Shopping carts are written in different languages and use different technologies. You server type will determine what you can use and cannot use. I use Active Server Pages(ASP) and for that I need to host on a Windows server. A UNIX server will support PERL and PHP. There are JavaScript carts but I have never used them. The shopping cart features will tell you if it updates the product amount.

Q. I'm having trouble understanding how to get an image map to work like a frame page.  I want my map in one place, but the links to come up in another frame.
A. It sounds as if you are not using the "target" correctly. If you have two frames, one on the left and one on the right and you have the navigation in the left frame. When you click on a link in the left, you want the page to open in the right frame. If the name of the right frame is "right" then in the hyperlink tag you have to have target="right"
<a href="some_page.htm target="right">Click Here</a>
That should do it. Change the target name to the frame name that you have designated in your own frames.
[Exactly the same appies to the href's in your maps. Note that if you create the map with a graphics program like Painshop, however, you might have to add the "target"s manually, after the mapis created. Ed.]

Q. My site uses 3 frames, heading, links and the third is the body, which is the only thing that changes as you move through different parts of the site.  I'm using css for fonts, colors and background images on the site. I would like to use a watermark logo, but I do not want to show it in the heading or links frames, only the body. Is there some way to override the background image in the css file in my heading and links frame so it remains as just a white background?
A. Put a class="withbg" in the body tag of your BODY.
Put the background declaration in body.withbg {background-image....}
News Goodies
Broadcom Hits Qualcomm Over 3G Patents
[July 5, 2005] The chipmaker alleges in a lawsuit that its rival's use of 3G patents violates antitrust laws.
Read the article:

Microsoft Fixes Date For New SQL Server
[July 5, 2005] Redmond promises a November launch date for SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006.
Read the article:

'Young' Servers Could Lead to Spending Freeze
[July 5, 2005] Corporations would seem to be happy with the machines they have now, leaving the hardware sector open to stagnation, Merrill Lynch reports.
Read the article:

Finance Firms To Give FTC ID Theft Data
[July 5, 2005] Industry consortium to pool data for FTC's Consumer Sentinel Network.
Read the article:

Nokia's Java Future
[July 5, 2005] Series 60 platform gears up for Sun's middleware features in latest Java releases.
Read the article:

China Joins Spam Fight
[July 5, 2005] The second-largest originator of spam, behind the U.S., joins the international effort to slow the flow of unwanted e-mails.
Read the article:

Next Stop For Google Toolbar: Mozilla's Firefox
[July 5, 2005] Mozilla browser's latest accessory: the Google toolbar
Read the article:

Rockin' in the Fee World
[July 1, 2005] Companies line up to pay licensing fees in order to be part of the music event of the decade.
Read the article:

Microsoft, IBM Settle Antitrust Claims
[July 1, 2005] Microsoft pays out millions to IBM over decade-old conflicts.
Read the article:

U.S. To Keep Control of Internet DNS
[July 1, 2005] The Dept. of Commerce reverses the policy of ceding governance control to ICANN. 
Read the article:

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 helps 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 for all your feedback!

Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 
Microsoft Announces "Atlas"
Microsoft has announced a new technology designed to make AJAX-style development easier.  We probably won't see a working copy until the PDC, but it's nice to know something is in the works.
*** AND ***

Retrieving Scalar Data from a Stored Procedure
Stored procedures typically return resultsets, but sometimes it can be useful to just retrieve scalar data.  This article looks at the various ways to get scalar data back from a SQL Server stored procedure and how to access the returned data in your ASP.NET code.

*** AND ***
Reading and Writing XML in .NET Version 2.0 - Part 3
In the final article of his series on reading and writing XML in .NET 2.0, Alex Homer looks at how the updated XML document store objects XmlDocument, XmlDataDocument and PathDocument can be used to read, persist and write XML documents and fragments more easily and more efficiently than in .NET 1.x.

And Remember This ...
On this day in...

1865 The Salvation Army was Founded
Preacher William Booth and his wife Catherine started the Christian Mission in London's East End on this day in 1865.  The Mission later (1878) changed its name to the Salvation Army to "wage war against the evils of poverty and religious indifference".  The structure of the Army imitated the British army, wherein the ministers wear uniforms and are called "officers" and new members are called "recruits".  Quoting their mission statement: "The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church.  Its message is based on the Bible.  Its ministry is motivated by the love of God.  Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ."  The Salvation Army is still headquartered in London.   Funded by contributions and by the sale of their publications, they operate evangelical centers, hospitals, emergency and disaster services, alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs, community centers, social work centers, secondhand stores, and recreation facilities throughout the world.

Today was also the day that in: 1687 England's Royal Society published Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica; 1811 Venezuela became the first South American country to gain independence from Spain; 1841 Thomas Cook opened his first travel agency; 1891 six horses in Rapid City, South Dakota were killed by hail; 1946 Louis Reard presented his two piece swimsuit design at a Paris fashion show (named after the site of the US atomic tests earlier in the week at Bikini Atoll); 1948 Britain's National Health Service started; 1950 the Law of Return passed, guaranteeing all Jews the right to live in Israel; 1962 Algeria gained independence from France (after 132 years); 1968 John Lennon sold his psychedelic painted Rolls-Royce; 1969 Rolling Stones played a free concert in London's Hyde Park; 1971 US voting age was reduced to 18 as the 26th Amendment to the Constitution passed: 1975 the Isle of Man began issuing their own postage stamps; 1975 Cape Verde Islands gained independence after 500 years of Portuguese rule; 1983 a baby girl was born to a Roanoke Virginia woman who had been brain dead for 84 days; 1989 Rod Stewart hit his head on stage and knocked himself out;

Born today were: in 1794 inventor of the graham cracker, Sylvester Graham; 1810 circus promoter Phineas Taylor Barnum; 1853 South African diamond merchant and politician Cecil John Rhodes; 1879 tennis cup donor Dwight Filley Davis; 1904 actor Milburn Stone ("Doc", Gunsmoke); 1909 former USSR president Andrei Gromyko; 1928 actor Warren Oates; 1929 actress Katherine Helmond; 1944 musician Jamie Robertson; 1951 musician Huey Lewis;

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