Goodies To Go! Newsletter #386

By Vince Barnes

                      Goodies to Go (tm)
               April 25, 2006 -- Newsletter # 386
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Featured this week:
*   Goodies Thoughts - A World Without JavaScript
*   Q & A Goodies
*   Discussion Goodies
*   News Goodies
*   Feedback Goodies
*   Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 
*   And Remember This...

A World Without JavaScript
"I want to build Web pages," says my correspondent, "but since I have already learned HTML, I dont want to have to learn JavaScript as well.  Why do people say that I will have to?"  A fair question, and in consideration of which let's take a light hearted minute or two to think what the world would be like without JavaScript.
Allow me to wax, for a moment, on the philosophical side of things.
There is a very old oriental philosophy which considers that all things comprise two opposites in some measure.  The names for the philosophical opposites are Yin and Yang.  You have probably heard of them, and seen the symbol that represents them.  The easy way to draw the symbol is to draw a circle and then draw a letter "S" inside the circle, touching at the top and bottom.  The result is a circle that contains two halves, one looking like a comma, the other looking like an apostrophe.  They are clearly the same shape as each other, but oppose each other in the circle and are oriented in opposite directions.  Equal and opposite, they represent the two opposites, Yin and Yang, which in turn represent any two opposites, such as male and female, light and dark, active and passive and so on.
One thing I am particularly fond of this point of view for is its close relationship to the world in which I ply my trade.  The only thing a computer knows is the difference between something and its opposite, one and nothing, one and zero.  We use this to represent binary code, which computers are designed to recognize and manipulate.  By using this code we can represent anything we choose to, which, put the other way around, shows that anything can be represented in terms of the two opposites, which might as well be called Yin and Yang.
Back to the Web.  HTML is HyperText Markup Language.  Those last two words mean that it is a language for describing how to decorate some text in a document (in this case, the document would be a Web page.)  That's it.  Decorate it, and it sits there completely passive.  JavaScript on the other hand, is a scripting language (hence the name!)  Scripting languages are programming languages that allow you to do things based on some input in this case, it may be input from the Web page;s visitor, making the page interact with the visitor.  "Interaction" says it all.  It is action, and the opposite of passive is active.  HTML and  JavaScript need each other like up needs down, like male needs female, like darkness needs light.
Indeed, every Browser, in order to call itself such, needs to be able to correctly interpret both HTML and JavaScript.  There are many other technologies that may be added into the mix, but those two are essential for a program to call itself a Browser.  They are the Yin and Yang of the Web.
So please, my dear correspondent, hop on over to the HTML Goodies JavaScript Primer series and learn JavaScript.  If you don't, the world will be shaped like and apostrophe; or a comma.

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

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We have had a number of people indicate that their email client programs are interpreting code examples in this newsletter as actual HTML code instead of text.  To overcome this problem and to enable everyone to read the newsletter, there is a period after the "<" in each tag.  If you cut and paste to try out code examples, please remember to remove the periods.  Wherever we intend you to use "<." in your code, the example will show "<..".  In this way, you will be safely able to use a global edit to change "<." to "<".  Thanks to all of you for your patience with this; if this technique creates an undue problem for you however, please let us know via our feedback address (see Feedback, below).

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
     The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
Q. I keep up two web sites for the American Foundry Society. I'm pretty much a beginner at this. I use FrontPage to build these websites. At the bottom of each page, I have put my email address for a web contact. I believe these have been harvested, and I have suddenly received tons of spam. Is there a way to put an email contact in so that it is anonymous?
A. There are probably many ways that this can be done, but I like nice and easy.
They have an application that will generate a code so that the spam bots see nothing but code and not the email address.
The problem you may face is that your email address already seems to be on a spam list so it may not make a difference at this point.

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
     The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
I'm trying to create a sort of mouseover-driven context-sensitive help system for my website.  The basic idea is that you mouse over a set of services (system checkup, basic service, advanced service, etc) and a window pops up telling you what it is you're going to be paying for.  I can get windows to pop up quite neatly...it's getting them to go away again that's having me in fits.  Is there any way to do something like:
onMouseOut="window.diediedie('popup');return true"
and have it actually work?
A. You might want to take a look at this script.  It is very flexible and looks great. http://www.dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex5/popinfo.htm

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
     The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers

Q. I am in the process of designing a site mainly for seniors, some of whom have difficulty seeing small fonts.  Can you please tell me how I can  code a page to include the option to change the size of font?
A. What you need is called a Style Sheet Switcher. The links allow the user to change the font size of the text by choosing a different style sheet. There are several style sheets used and some JavaScript can be used to help some browsers that do not recognize CSS. For a detailed explaination of how to use this, take a look at this site:
You could also do a search for Style Sheet Switcher and maybe come up with more versions of the same switcher.

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
     The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
Q. There is a HALO fan site on the web and they have some sort of title generator that changes the title every time you load the site.  How'd he do that?
A. It looks like they are using a Server Side language such as Perl or PHP to do that, but you can use JavaScript.  Here is an example:
<.html> <.head>
  <.title>Title change<./title>
  <.script language="JavaScript">
    mytitle=new Array()
    mytitle[0]="New Title One"
    mytitle[1]="New Title Two"
    mytitle[2]="New Title Three"
    mytitle[3]="New Title Four"
   This is a test

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
     The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
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 Paintshop, however, you might have to add the "target"s manually, after the map is created. - Ed.]

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
     The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
Q. Is there anyway that I can make multiple frames load at a time without using a form, and using just a regular link?
A. There are a couple of different ways you can accomplish this.  The first example uses "inline JavaScript" to load two frames:
<.a href="#" onClick="parent.frame_name1.location='page1.html';parent.frame_name2.location='page2.html'">Click Me<./a>
The second example uses a function that is passed the documents to load when you click on a link:
<.script type="text/javascript">
  function Doframes(page1,page2)
<.a href="#" onClick="Doframes('page1.html','page2.html')">Click Me<./a>
In both examples you need to specify the name of the frame that you want the documents to load in.

Discussion Goodies
Have you seen the discussion forums on the HTML Goodies website?  It's a great place to get help from others who, just like you, are developing web pages.  Many different topics appear in the forum, and a new one will appear if you create it!  Here's a sample of recent topics:
[RESOLVED] how to get the value of multiple dropdown?:
What would you do? Beginning a major project.:

News Goodies
IE7 Beta 2 Out of Preview
[April 25, 2006] Fit and finish for the next-gen browser.
Read the article:

Social Networking Comes to the Enterprise
[April 25, 2006] CustomerVision introduces wiki-based technology to help companies implement knowledge management programs.
Read the article:

Former CA CEO Kumar Pleads Guilty
[April 25, 2006] Sanjay Kumar and Stephen Richards plead guilty to fraud; sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 12.
Read the article:

Rambus, Hynix Patent Battle is Over
[April 25, 2006] Hynix to pay $306.9M for infringing on 10 Rambus memory product patents.
Read the article:

House Panel to Vote on Network Neutrality
[April 25, 2006] One committee plans to vote while another begins proceedings on antitrust implications.
Read the article:

Intel's vPro Gives PCs a Professional Feel
[April 24, 2006] Intel plans to give PCs a package of built-in management and security features.
Read the article:

Exit McNealy: New Era For Sun?
[April 24, 2006] UPDATED: Sun vet Jonathan Schwartz is set to takes the reins after Scott McNealy announces he's stepping down as CEO.
Read the article:

Open Source: The Intelligence Behind Business?
[April 24, 2006] A pair of open source BI vendors hope to challenge commercial competitors.
Read the article:

Microsoft Begins Defense of Self Against EU
[April 24, 2006] Of course, the company begins by saying the EC's case should be overturned.
Read the article:

Feds Nab E-Rate Fraudsters
[April 24, 2006] Houston networking firm agrees to pay more than $4.6M.
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 
TRY...CATCH in SQL Server 2005
The TRY...CATCH block in SQL Server 2005 offers a much more readable syntax and one that developers are more familiar with. In this article we'll look at the new TRY...CATCH block and examine how it can be used to rollback a transaction in the face of an error. Read on to learn more!

*** AND ***

Flex Table ASP.NET Sample Code
Usually when you design a page, you are the one that has to decide what a data table will look like, but what if you want to give your users some options? This neat little sample script allows users to select how many columns the data table should have.

*** AND ***

Extending the Binding Navigator in Visual Studio 2005 Forms
Visual Studio 2005 offers fantastic improvements in rapidly constructing Windows and Smart Client applications. This article demonstrates how to create a User Control to extend the functionality of the Binding Navigator component.

And Remember This ...
On this day in...
1684 a patent was granted for the thimble; 1719 Daniel DeFoe published "Robinson Crusoe"; 1859 ground was broken for the building of the Suez Canal; 1886 Sigmund Freud opened his practice at Rathausstrasse 7, Vienna; 1898 The US declared war on Spain over Cuba; 1901 New York became the first state to require auto license plates (the fee was $1.00); 1905 Whites won the right to vote in South Africa; 1928 Buddy, a German Shepherd, became the first guide dog for the blind in the US (trained in Switzerland by Dorothy Eustis as what she called LOeil qui Voit - the Seeing Eye); 1944 the United Negro College Fund was incorporated; 1953 scientists identified DNA; 1954 the US performed an atmospheric nuclear test at Bikini Atol; 1966 a drunk driver killed 10 children in Asse, Belgium; 1967 abortion was legalized in Colorado; 1984 the band Wings disbanded; 1990 Space shuttle Discovery put the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit;

Born today were: in 1284 King Edward II of England; 1599 Puritan lord protector of England, Oliver Cromwell; 1769 engineer and inventer Mark Isambard Brunel; 1873 English poet Walter De la Mare; 1908 newscaster Edward R Murrow; 1912 mother of Elvis, Gladys L Presley; 1918 jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald; 1923 actress Anita Bjorak; 1932 English actor William Roache; 1939 English photographer Richard, Earl of Lichfield; 1940 actor Al Pacino; 1946 actress Talia Shire (Rose Coppola);

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