Goodies to Go! Newsletter #387

Thursday May 4th 2006 by Vince Barnes

In this issue Vince talks about Future Web Technology, the Mentors answer some questions from our members, and we bring you the latest in web development news from around the net!

                      Goodies to Go (tm)
               May 2, 2006 -- Newsletter # 387

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Featured this week:

*   Goodies Thoughts - Future Web Technology
*   Q & A Goodies
*   Discussion Goodies
*   News Goodies
*   Feedback Goodies
*   Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 
*   And Remember This...

Future Web Technology

I have talked about what the world would be like if there was no JavaScript in use and in doing so, described it as the active partner to the passive HTML, when it comes to basic Web page design.  If these two are the fundament for the Web page, what else is there, and what does the future hold?

Consider for a moment technologies like ASP, PHP, MySQL and the like.  These technologies are Server Side technologies, meaning that when they are called upon to perform their duties, the software involved runs on the Web Server computer systems, as opposed to HTML and JavaScript, which run on the client side (where the Web Browser is running.)

Put very basically, the difference between the two is that the Server Side has access to databases and other resources at the server end of the conversation, but does not have the ability to interact directly with the site visitor sitting at their client side computer, while the client side technologies like HTNL and JavaScript are the reverse, in that they can interact with the user, but don't have direct access to files, databases, etc.

As the Web matures from its early inception as a document delivery system, it is becoming much more of a tool for communication between resources and the consumers and producers of those resources.  For example, in times past an organization may have gathered information into a central location, entered it into a computer system to organize and sift through it and then placed the resulting synopsis onto a web page for the use of those who needed it.
By using the Internet as a communications medium between the producers of the raw information and the central server systems, the middle processes can be bypassed, enabling the resulting synopsis to be produced in real time, on demand.  From beginning to end, this is both more efficient and more usefully productive.

To accomplish this requires much better communication between the client and server ends of the task, providing a high degree of seamless interactivity between the user and the databases and resources at the server.  Technologies like Microsoft's Dot Net Architecture are designed to shrink the bridge, as it were, providing a more seamless link.  Technologies like Citrix' Presentation Server are designed to enable (among other things) users to access older programs over the Internet as though they were sitting at the central server computer.

This type of link also means that the producers and consumers of the information are not constrained by geography -- in other words, their screens can be any Internet connected computer, so they don't actually have to go into an office to do what they need to do.

As the Web continues to evolve, it is my belief that this type of technology will receive an increasing share of the attention of the development community, so if you're planning a career in Web development, you might want to start looking into them too!

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                        X
X   Please take note:    X
X                        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 Community.
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
Q. I'm puzzled: - the text on my web pages changes size for user preferences, but the headings don't. Why is this?

A. Are you viewing your site with Internet Explorer? IE doesn't allow for absolute font sizes (pt or px) to change with user preferences -- Netscape 6+ and Mozilla do allow it. If you want IE to recognize the font-size user change, you'll need to use % or em instead of pt.

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
Q. I have a web site done in tables and am trying to convert it to CSS.  Everything seems to work fine except for my problems of aligning tables within tables.  I finally got everything to work, but don't know if the coding is correct. (sample provided)

A. Aligning inside tables can take some experimentation, but you should be able to get something working by using the text-align and vertical-align css properties.

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
Q. I have a piece of Java script I got off the HTML goodies page to open a new window. It works well enough but what I want it to do is to run from an onClick event handler. How do I get it to do this.?

A. You will have to place the window.open into a function and then You can call the function either by using the onClick or by placing the function call in the "href".  Here is an example:
   <.title>Open new window<./title>
<.script LANGAUAGE="javascript">
         function OpenWin()
                  MessageWin=window.open ("http://www.wsabstract.com", "newwin",config="location=no,status=no,directories

You can do it this way:
<.a href="JavaScript:OpenWin()">Click here<./a> <.br>Or you can use the onClick
<.a href="#" onClick="OpenWin()">Click here<./a>

This is but one example.  You can also set up the function to accept a variable that contains the link you want to open up in the new window like this:
<.html> <.head>
   <.title>Open new window<./title>
<.script LANGAUAGE="javascript">
         function OpenWin(linkid)
(linkid, "newwin",config="location=no,status=no,directories=no,toolbar=no,scroll

You can do it this way:
<.a href="JavaScript:OpenWin('http://www.htmlgoodies.com')">Click here<./a>
<.br>Or you can use the onClick event:
<.a href="#" onClick="OpenWin('http://www.htmlgoodies.com')">Click here<./a> <./center> <./body> <./html>

This will allow you to use the same function for multiple links.

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

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

Q. When clicking on a selection, it opens the new page in a new window.  How do I get the script to open the page in the same window?

A. If you remove the target="_blank"  in each link it will open the document in the same page.

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:

the Fly!!:

Javascript In ASP Nightmare:

editable dropdown box?:

How to write a good meta description?:

Beginners Question:

News Goodies

Microsoft, SAP Sing Praises of 'Duet'
[May 2, 2006] Microsoft and SAP unveil a highly anticipated project to make their software interoperable. 
Read the article:

'Don't Panic'? RIM Sued Again
[May 2, 2006] Barely able to catch its breath, RIM finds itself in familiar territory
Read the article:

Green Heading Back to Sun
[May 2, 2006] Rich Green goes back to Sun after a two-year stint at virtualization software specialist Cassatt.
Read the article:

Keeping an Open Source Eye on Interop
[May 2, 2006] You don't need expensive commercial software to handle large network management anymore. Or do you?
Read the article:

Avaya VoIP Linux Style to The SMB
[May 2, 2006] The company isn't 'dumbing down' the apps, but merely making access and deployment SMB-friendly.
Read the article:

Sun Says Manage Your Data in Four Steps
[May 2, 2006] The systems vendor will make data management the focus of its quarterly news event.
Read the article:

Turn Your Laptop Into a GPS
[May 2, 2006] MapPoint 2006 provides GPS and regional data analysis.
Read the article:

Zero-Day Attacks an Ongoing Menace
[May 1, 2006] Security report details biggest Internet vulnerabilities.
Read the article:

Microsoft Plays The Room
[May 1, 2006] Microsoft was panned on Wall Street, but its announcement today was all about pleasing Main Street.
Read the article:

Neighborhood Watch for Network Security?
[May 1, 2006] It may take a peer-to-peer village to help improve network security.
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 

Visual Studio 2005 Hands-On Tutorial - Part 1
In the first part of his hands-on tutorial on using Visual Studio 2005 to build a complete 3-tier application, David Catherman examines how Visual Studio 2005 can be used as a great tool for designing and building SQL Server 2005 databases.


*** AND ***

User Tips: Calculate the Date After a Given Number of Business Days

An issue came up recently where a client needed to wait a certain number of business days before taking an action. In particular, they wanted to know, given a certain date (such as today), on what date should the action be taken if we must wait 15 business days. A business day is defined as any weekday that is not a holiday.


*** AND ***

AutoPostBack ASP.NET Sample Code

After publishing our ASP.NET Flex Table Sample last week, I was surprised that the part of the code which I received the most questions on was that the form posted back to the server automatically whenever the value of the drop down list was changed. I wish I could take credit for it...


And Remember This ...

On this day in...

1519 artist Leonardo Da Vinci died; 1670 King Charles II of England chartered the Hudson Bay Company; 1878 the US stopped minting the twenty cent coin; 1885 the first "Good Housekeeping" magazine was published; 1887 Hannibal W Goodwin patented celluloid photographic film; 1932 Jack Benny's radio sow premiered on NBC radio; 1938 Ella Fitzgerald recorded "A Tisket, A Tasket"; 1946 five died in a prisoners' revolt at Alcatraz; 1952 The first scheduled jet airliner passenger service began with a BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) Comet; 1969 The ocean liner (Cunard Line) Queen Elizabeth II set sail on her maiden voyage (to New York city); 1975 Apple Records closed down; 1994 Michael Bolton was found to have plagiarized Isley Brothers' "Love is Wonderful Thing";

Born today were: in 1837 writer of parliamentary Rules of Order, General Henry Martyn Robert; 1869 English actor Tyrone Power Sr.; 1892 German WWI air ace "the Red Baron"  Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen; 1903 pediatrician/author Dr. Benjamin Spock; 1925 actor John Neville; 1945 former wife of Mick, Bianca Pirez Morena de Macias Jagger; 1945 English musician Robert Henrit the Kinks, Argent); 1947 actress Jo Ann Pflug; 1952 actress Christine Baranski; 1955 musician Jay Osmond; 1959 actor Brian Tochi; 1962 actress Elizabeth Berridge;

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