Saturday, June 3, 2023

Goodies to Go! Newsletter #388


Goodies to Go ™

May 9, 2006 — Newsletter # 388


     This newsletter is part of
the network.



          Please visit



A Note about Email Filtering:
All Goodies To Go
newsletters are sent from the domain “”  Please use this
domain name (not the entire “from” address, which varies) when configuring
e-mail or spam filter rules, if you use them.


Featured this week:


*   Goodies Thoughts – The Time It Takes
*   Q &
A Goodies
*   Discussion Goodies
*   News Goodies

*   Feedback Goodies
*   Windows Tech Goodie of the
*   And Remember This…

The Time It Takes


I was asked recently how long it takes to learn Web Page Design. 
That’s quite a question!  I can’t effectively answer it without making
certain assumptions, which might not turn out to be valid.


My first assumption relates to the meaning of the word design.  When
we talk about designing web pages we frequently actually mean writing web page
code.  The difference to me is that design is just that – the look and feel
of the page or site.  Certainly web site developers usually are involved in
the design of pages, but that is not so much a technical skill to be learned as
a talent of gift to be developed.  While there are definitely some tricks
that can be picked up to help one make a web page look good, really good design
requires an artist’s eye.  My first assumption then, is that the question
is about the technical side of the matter.


Next comes the question of technologies.  The meat and potatoes, so to
speak, of Web development are HTML and JavaScript.  If the question is
about these to the answer could be “it won’t take long to grasp the basics,” but
that’s not a very satisfying answer.  Joe’s HTML primers on the HTML
Goodies Website are designed to give an intro in seven days, though a lot of
people work through them in an afternoon.  Once you’ve done that, though,
there comes a seemingly unending stream of questions beginning “yes, but how do
you…..”  The same things apply to JavaScript.


Of course, there’s also the assumption being made that the objective is
actually to learn to write code.  This too may be false.  There are
several web page generator programs like FrontPage and Dreamweaver that will
allow the creation of webpages without having any knowledge of the underlying
technologies.  While many purists may see this as the wrong way to go, it
does provide the ability to accomplish “Web Page Design” with a much shorter
learning curve.


All of these thing are just scratching at the surface, however, when the
full scope of available technologies is taken into account.  Consider such
things as Flash, SQL, ASP.Net, C++, XML, StoryBoard, ColdFusion, SharePoint and
so on, all of which have a place in the world of Web Development.  Any one
of these can take quite a long time to really master.  There are so many,
and new ones appear all the time.


While writing these few paragraphs and considering the question a little
further, it occurs to me that there actually is a pretty good answer.  “It
takes the rest of your life, so the sooner you start, the better off you’ll

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



X   Please take note:    X



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
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor
Q. Can you please tell me how to add
variables?  I know you are suposed to add two variables with a + sign but
it doesn’t work most of the time.  It adds the number to the end of the
variable instead of adding them together.  For example, if I wrote
var a = 7;
var b = 2;
var c = a + b;
document.write( c );
would get 72.  Can you please tell me how to correct this?


A. In javascript, variables can be either numbers or strings.  Strings
are enclosed in quotation marks.  If a number is enclosed in quotation
marks, it is treated as a string.  In javascript, the + sign is used for
concatenation, or the combining of strings, as well as the addition of
Using your example:
var a = “7”;
var b = “2”;
var c = a +
document.write( c );
will return “72” as a string (without the
quotation marks of course), but:
var a = 7;
var b = 2;
var c = a +
document.write( c );
will return 9 as a number. So, if your results are
concatenations instead of numbers, check your code and remove any quotation
marks from around digits that should be treated as numbers.

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor
     The answer was provided by the same one
of our Mentor Volunteers


Q. You just explained to me that anything inside of quotes in a variable
will be treated as a string.  Here is the problem.  When I have a user
enter a number to be used for math it is treated as a string.  Then when I
do math with it the number is added to the end which makes the answer
incorrect.  Can you please give me a method for the user to be able to
enter a number and have it treated like a value instead of a string?  Or if
not, is there a way to convert strings into values?


A. JavaScript interprets a default value given to a text area as a
string.  The workaround is to use the eval() function when processing that
value as a number.  If your user inputs a number to a text area in a form,
and that number is to be added, subtracted, mutiplied, … etc, process the
number within the eval() function. From your previous example, suppose the user
inputs to the variables a and b via text boxes in a form, you can then add a to
b to return c with this:
c = eval(a)+ eval(b)
This way, the values in both
a and b will be treated as numbers instead of strings.

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor
     The answer was provided by the same one
of our Mentor Volunteers


Q. I have one more problem with JavaScript programs.  A lot of times I
create variables and then when I try to use them I get an error saying that they
are undefined.  Why is this?  Here is an example of when this
var a = 1;
function part2()
if (a ==
document.form.textbox.value = “The variable worked,
<.INPUT TYPE=”RADIO” NAME=”why_doesnt”
VALUE=”the_variable_work” onClick=”part1();”>
VALUE=”Variable work?” onClick=”part2();”>
NAME=”textbox” VALUE=”If the variable worked, a message would appear
If I write this in a document and click the
button, an error message comes up saying that it is undefined.  I’ve tried
creating the variable directly from the event handler, renaming the variable,
using checkboxes instead of radio buttons, and nothing works.  I have tried
putting an alert box in the function and it comes up so I know the function is
executing.  It just won’t remember the variable.


A. You are declaring a as a variable from within a function. This makes it
a local variable that is only accessable by that function.  You can make it
a global variable that is accessable by any function by declaring it from
outside any functions, but still between the script tags. Usually global
variables are declared before the first function for the sake of clarity, but
they can be declared from anywhere between the script tags, just not inside a
function. Here’s your script with a as a global variable:
var a = 0; // declares a as a global variable and
initializes it to 0
function part1()
a = 1; // the function sets the
global variable a to equal 1
function part2()
if (a ==
document.form.textbox.value = “The variable worked,
<.INPUT TYPE=”RADIO” NAME=”why_doesnt”
VALUE=”the_variable_work” onClick=”part1();”>
VALUE=”Variable work?” onClick=”part2();”>
NAME=”textbox” VALUE=”If the variable worked, a message would appear

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


Q. Hello, I have a link question.  On my site I have the link color
scheme to be black, which works well on the left bordered side of my page, but
not on the right side which has a black background.  Is there anyway to
change the color just one or two links without changing the color of all the


A. Using CSS and assigning a class to each link you can use different
colors and other attributes to whichever links you want. For instance if you
want one of your links to be black and another to be white you would set up a
style sheet like this:
<.style type=”text/css”> {color:
a.two:link {color: #FF0000}
Place the style
between the <.HEAD> tags.  Now apply the class to the actual links in
your HTML like this:
<.a class=”one” href=”default.html”>This link will
be black.<./a>
<.a class=”two” href=”default.html”>This link will
be red.<./a>

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor
Q. Is there anyway that I can make
multiple frames load at a time without using a form, and using just a regular


A. There are a couple of different ways you can accomplish this.  The
first example uses “inline javascript” to load two frames (in both examples you
need to specify the name of the frame that you want the documents to load
second example uses a function that is passed the documents to load when you
click on a link:
<.script type=”text/javascript”>
<.a href=”#”
onClick=”Doframes(‘page1.html’,’page2.html’)”>Click Me<./a>

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor
Q. I was wondering how to have
information filled our on a form sent directly to a e-mail address? If this is
possible how can I implement it into my website?


A. It does not work very well when you try to email a form directly to an
email address.  Usually what happens when the attempt to submit the for is
their email client will pop up without the information from the form in the body
of the email.  You should use a serverside language such as Perl PHP or Asp
to process the form and email it to you.
[Take a look also at: 
— Ed.]


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:








News Goodies


The Open Source For IT Management
[May 9, 2006] Effort aims to bring an
open source style approach to standards to the broader community of IT
management systems vendors and projects.  
Read the article:


EMC Pays $153M For Data Protection
[May 9, 2006] EMC will buy
startup Kashya to flesh out its CDP and data-replication tools.
Read the


Packeteer Picks Up Tacit
[May 9, 2006] Packeteer’s $78 million
acquisition of Tacit Networks creates a big player in the WAN optimization and
wide area file services market.
Read the article:


Dell PowerVault Quadruples Bandwidth
[May 9, 2006] The array also
doubles storage capacity and shuttle data 30 percent faster than previous
Read the article:


Security, The Microsoft Way
[May 9, 2006] Microsoft’s security
honcho spreads the word on Vista’s security plans, and integrating with
Read the article:


Coming Soon: The AJAX-based OS
[May 9, 2006] Users won’t have to
store anything locally, since both applications and data files are stored on
servers, instead of computers.
Read the article:


Can Cisco Jump-Start Techs?
[May 8, 2006] Cisco Systems will try to
snap tech stocks out of their doldrums when the networking giant releases
quarterly results late Tuesday.
Read the article:


App Acceleration Not a Pipe Dream
[May 8, 2006] Networking vendors
ramp up acceleration efforts as newcomers come to the fore with new
Read the article:


Doom For Anti-Spyware Software?
[May 8, 2006] UPDATED: Not just yet.
A Yankee Group report predicts Vista will harm the anti-spyware market, but that
assumes people will buy Vista.
Read the article:


The Surge in Mac Attacks
[May 8, 2006] Mac users may have to start
learning the language of vulnerability.
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

Thanks for all your feedback!



Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 



Visual Studio 2005 Hands-On Tutorial – Part 2


This is the second part in a series of hands-on tutorials that will take
you through all the steps to build a complete application using Visual Studio
2005 and SQL Server 2005. In this part, David Catherman walks you through
building a Windows Forms based interface to the database.



*** AND ***


Examining ASP.NET 2.0’s Membership, Roles, and Profile – Part 4


Improve the login experience by showing more informative messages for users
who log on with invalid credentials; also, see how to keep a log of invalid
login attempts.



*** AND ***


‘Teach Yourself Ajax in 10 Minutes’ Sample Chapter


One of my contacts from Sams recently sent me an email telling me about
their latest offering: ‘Teach Yourself Ajax in 10 Minutes’. The sample chapter,
Chapter 11: Our First AJAX Application, walks you through building your first
simple Ajax application.



And Remember This …


On this day in…


1092 Lincoln Cathedral (England) was consecrated; 1671 Colonel Thomas Blood
attempted to steal the British Crown Jewels; 1899 the lawn mower was patented;
1901 Australia opened its first Parliament, in Melbourne; 1927 the Australian
Parliament first convened in its new capitol, Canberra; 1932 Picadilly Circus in
London was first lit by electricity; 1949 Prince Rainier III became leader of
Monaco; 1962 The Beatles signed their first contract, with EMI Parlophone; 1971
Friends of the Earth returned 1,500 non-returnable bottles to Schweppes; 1977
Patty Hearst was released from jail; 1980 35 motorists died when a Liberian
freighter rammed a bridge in Tampa Bay; 1995 Kinshasa, Zaire was quarantined
following an outbreak of the Ebola virus;

Born today were: in 1800 abolishionist who led the attack on Harpers Ferry,
John Brown; 1860 Scottish novelist Sir James Matthew Barrie (Peter Pan); 1873
English archeologist/Egyptologist Howard Carter (found Tutankhamen’s tomb);
English dog training expert Barbara Woodhouse; 1913 Admiral John Hayes; 1930
English actress Joan Sims; 1936 actor Albert Finney; 1936 English actress Glenda
Jackson; 1946 actress Candace Bergen; 1949 musician Billy Joel; 1962 actor John


EarthWeb’s family of online services for IT insiders


Popular Articles