Goodies to Go! Newsletter #392

By Vince Barnes

                      Goodies to Go (tm)
               June 6, 2006 -- Newsletter # 392
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Featured this week: a
*   Goodies Thoughts - A Global Issue
*   Q & A Goodies
*   Discussion Goodies
*   News Goodies
*   Feedback Goodies
*   Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 
*   And Remember This...

A Global Issue
I have said it before, that it is so important for us to remember, when talking about matters to do with the Net, that we are dealing with the World Wide Web (with stress on "World".)  It is so easy for us to become insular in our thinking and forget how different things might be in other parts of the world.
Take, for example, the discussion that keeps cropping up here in the United States concerning Sales Tax.  Unlike Europe and various other parts of the world, prices in stores here are quoted without the tax.  The tax is added on at the register.  The percentage to be added depends on where you are.  For example, the State of Florida, where I am, imposes a Sales Tax of six percent.  Individual Counties and Cities within the State, however, may also impose a "Local Option" Sales Tax.  Thus, if you are in a County in Florida which imposes a 1% tax and within a city which imposes half a percent, you would pay a total of 7.5%.  All very complicated.
Actually, it's worse than that!  Technically, you owe the tax according to where you live, not where you make your purchases.  Retail stores will charge the tax according to where the store is located, however, since they really don't know where the buyer lives.  Unless, that is, they  buy by mail order.  A store in one state sending an item to a buyer in another state (where the store has no branches) will not collect the tax for that buyer's state.  Instead, the buyer is supposed to get a form from their State, declare their purchase and pay the sales tax, which, of course, they always do!  (Yeah!!)
Enter the Web!  Lots of people buy all kinds of things from Web Stores.  This is somewhat like a super-mail-order scenario.  It is so easy to find and buy stuff over the Web that the States (and 6,000 odd other taxing authorities in the U.S.) are worried that they are losing money....  and so the first mentioned discussion, namely, let's make a law that says that people selling stuff over the web have to collect the tax for the buyer's taxing authorities.
If you think about it, you will realize that this would be complicated enough to put most Web entrepreneurs out of business.  Knowing how much to charge the buyer is bad enough, but what about filling out the returns to send the money in?  How about enforcement?  Altogether this could create a bureaucratic nightmare (or dream, as it may be to a bureaucrat!)
But, as I first indicated, the Web has another wrinkle to throw in.  It is World Wide.  How would any one government control what a seller does or doesn't do, as far a tax collecting is concerned, in another country?  Not only that, but what should happen if a retailer in one country sells to a buyer in a second country, but buys from a wholesaler in a third country and has it drop shipped to the buyer?  This happens more than you might think.
Yes, the Web is capable of making things extremely complicated in a real hurry!  I love the saying that I've seen hanging on the walls of offices that says "To err is human; to really foul things up requires a computer."

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'm trying to implement Joe Burns' shopping cart onto my webpage and it's working great so far. However, instead of having an 'Add This Item To My Total', and then a 'You Have Ordered This Many Of This Item:', I'd like to have a dropdown menu listing various numerical choices and then an 'Add This Amount To My Total' button. I'm trying to figure it out, but I'm not getting very far. How do I go about doing this?
A. It sounds like you want to fill in the number with an option list, and find another way to store the value. I'm not familiar with that cart, but it sounds like a serious reworking of it. It might be a lot easier to find a shopping cart that works the way you want rather than trying to rework this one, though you would learn a bunch of JavaScript in the process. Replacing the text box containing the total with an option list is easy. The user sets it instead of the function setting it. However,
the function that fills that box in Joe's script also stores the variable, and you need to find another way to do that. That's the part that's a serious rewrite.
[As an option, check out http://www.JavaScriptSource.com -- as search on "shopping cart reveals some interesting options.  Also check out Bob Conley's suggestion, below.  - Ed.]

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
Q. I am starting to design web-pages and wanted to know what would I need to start a small e-commerce site.   I want it to be database driven.
A. First you need to know if your server supports database driven sites and if so, what type. If your host uses a UNIX server then it should support PHP and PERL. If your server is a Windows server then it supports ASP. Once you figure which one, you can then look for a shopping cart that will work on your particular server. Your host may even offer a cart for you to use. Ask them first. The next is to start testing cart available on the internet. Do a search on Google and then test drive them. Make a list of what you might want in a cart and see which ones offer what you need.
If you do not want host your own shopping cart, you can look into something like Paypal (http://www.paypal.com ). HTMLGoodies has a tutorail about Paypal here: http://www.htmlgoodies.com/beyond/paypal.html
They do all of the shopping cart work for you. You add some code to your site to use thier cart. They do get a percentage of the sale but I am not sure how much.

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
Q. I want to add a link on my pages that would allow my visitors to go back to the last page they were looking at, no matter which page it was (like the "Back" button, but a hyperlink).  How do I code this?
A. You can use a piece of javascript that works just like the browsers back button. Code it like so:
<a href="javascript:history.go(-1)">Go Back</a>

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
Q. Do you use href to open a link in a new window?
A. Yes you do. You add the target="blank" for a new window. Code it like so:
<a href="http://www.somewhere.com" target="_blank">Somewhere</a>

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
Q. My server supports CGI, PERL, PHP & MySQL, but not ASP.  What is the easiest way to add a shopping cart capability with credit card processing capability?
A. You can buy a shopping cart that will run on what your host supports. First check with your host to make sure that they allow uploading a shopping cart. Then take a look at this site: http://php.resourceindex.com/Complete_Scripts/Shopping_Carts/
It has a lot of pre-built carts that will run on a server that supports PHP. They seem fairly inexpensive. Before you buy one, make sure it has everything you are looking for and if possible, see if they offer a demo for you to try.

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
Q. I'd like to do is create a template (basically a header and footer) so that I can update the top and bottom of all my webpages by only altering one file for each.
A. You can use SSI to include a page at the top and a page at the bottom, if your server supports this.  Take a look at this tutorial: http://www.htmlgoodies.com/beyond/asp.html
About half way down the page it explains SSI and include pages.

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:
how to show records in more then one pages:
how to create regular expression with variable:

News Goodies
Dojo The Mojo For IBM's AJAX Push
[June 6, 2006] Big Blue gets its feet wet in critical AJAX runtime open source effort. 
Read the article:

Ringing (False?) Alarm Bells
[June 6, 2006] IBM and HP are launching disaster recovery services as the hurricane season kicks off.
Read the article:

Microsoft to Take Third Shot at IE 7 Beta
[June 6, 2006] After years of languishing, Microsoft's browser has a lot of catching up to do.
Read the article:

PC Security Checks on Deck From AOL
[June 5, 2006] It may not be getting into the security software biz, but AOL is getting a lot closer to it with an upcoming release.
Read the article:

Digium is The Voice of Asterisk
[June 6, 2006] Open Source IP-PBX no longer a 'play toy' for garage users. 
Read the article:

Microsoft Tags The Business Process
[June 6, 2006] The software giant hopes to use RFID to improve business processes.
Read the article:

A Forum for Delivering Web Services
[June 6, 2006] DynamiX is a new appliance that secures, speeds and manages XML messages across distributed networks.
Read the article:

AMD's Low Power Play
[June 5, 2006] Transmeta resurfaces in surprise deal with AMD.
Read the article:

Big Iron For The Little Guy?
[June 5, 2006] With the NS1000, HP is making its big iron more affordable.! 
Read the article:

Vonage IPO Woes Continue
[June 5, 2006] Mistakes 'eviscerated' IPO, according to legal papers.
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 
The Benefits of Using an Application Framework
This article discusses the pros and cons of choosing to build an application on top of an existing application framework. In addition to examining some of the common features most application frameworks share, it then introduces you to a couple of different frameworks that can be extended to create a lot of value for you and your clients.

*** AND ***

Checking All CheckBoxes in a GridView Using Client-Side Script and a Check All CheckBox
This article, by Scott Mitchell, builds upon a previous article, showing how to provide functionality to check all checkboxes in a GridView using client-side script and a Check All checkbox.

*** AND ***

Database Record Highlighting ASP.NET Sample Code
When I started trying to implement last week's database row highlighting sample in ASP.NET, I naturally looked for a simple and elegant solution. When I was unable to come up with one easily, I went to the web to find one. Well I found plenty of answers, but none of them were very simple, let alone elegant...

And Remember This ...
On this day in...
1844 The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) was founded in London; 1889 25 downtown blocks were destroyed in the Great Fire in Seattle; 1925 Walter Percy Chrysler founded Chrysler Corp.; 1933 the first drive-in theater opened (in Camden NJ); 1934 the US Securities and Exchange Commission was established; 1944  D-Day, the 150,000 strong Allied Expeditionary Force landed at Normandy, France; 1955 Bill Haley & the Comets hit #1 with "Rock Around the Clock"; 1960 Roy Orsbison recorded "Only The Lonely"; 1962 The Beatles recorded "Besame Mucho" with Pete Best on drums; 1966 activist James Meredith was shot in Mississipi; 1975 British voters decided to remain in the Common Market; 1975 the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam was established; 2012 the next Transit of Venus will occur (see http://www.transitofvenus.org );

Born today were: in 1755 patriot Nathan Hale; 1868 explorer Robert Falcon Scott; 1875 auto manufacturer founder Walter Percy Chrysler; 1918 actor Richard Crane; 1932 English actress Billie Whitelaw; 1935 Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama; 1949 actor Richjard Lewis; 1949 actor Robert Englund; 1955 comedian/actor Dana Carvey; 1955 comedienne/actress Sandra Bernhard; 1956 acrtess Marilyn Jones; 1959 actress Amanda Pays; 1960 actor Gary Graham; 1961 actress Sydney Walsh 1967 actor Max Casella;

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