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Re: [NH] Use Of target="_blank"

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  • Ray Shapp
    Hi Lotta, Thank you for your insights. What do you say to the problem that annoys me about sites that don t provide easy links to backtrack? IOW, I have
    Message 1 of 29 , Mar 26, 2011
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      Hi Lotta,

      Thank you for your insights. What do you say to the problem that annoys me
      about sites that don't provide easy links to backtrack? IOW, I have visited
      sites where I have clicked seven or eight windows deep and then want to go
      back to say the third or fourth window. Yes, I can hit backspace four times.
      That has happened often enough so that now, when I am visiting an
      unfamiliar site I often shift-click to each successive window so that I
      don't "get lost" in backtracking.

      Maybe I'm glum because winter has returned to the northeast U.S. and sunrise
      is still hours away.

      Ray Shapp


      On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 4:15 AM, loro <tabbie@...> wrote:

      >
      >
      > Ray Shapp wrote:
      > >Please tell me your opinion about using target="_blank" in hyperlinks.
      > >
      > >Well over a year ago, this topic was discussed on this Y! group or on
      > >ntb-clips. I recall some folks advocated strongly, but I don't remember
      > what
      > >the arguments were in favor or against.
      >
      > I think it boils down to three main points.
      >
      > 1. It's bad practice, or at least redundant, to recreate behaviour
      > that every browser has built in. Back button, go to top and bottom of
      > the page, open a link in a new window...
      >
      > 2. It's definitely bad practice to force something on users that they
      > may not want. If links are left alone they can be opened in new
      > windows or not at will. If you use target="_blank." you take away the
      > user's power of choice.
      >
      > 3. It's said to be troublesome for people who use screen readers.
      >
      > That said, the darn thing is back in HTML5, so there goes some 10
      > years of work to get rid of it down the drain. But the points above
      > still apply and more and more sites stop doing it, even big ones.
      >
      > The sad thing is that people have gotten so used to off-site links
      > opening in a new window that they sometimes complain when they don't.
      > When informed about Shift-click, middle-click and what other ways
      > there are to do this yourself, it often turns out they had no idea
      > they could do that, at least not that they could do it easily without
      > using the context menu. The same way as many people don't know they
      > can change the text size even if there isn't a widget on the site or
      > make lines have a more comfortable length by resizing their browser
      > window (if the site doesn't make those things impossible). I believe
      > many more would know how to use their browser if sites hadn't made it
      > so hard at times. You try once or twice, it doesn't work, you forget about
      > it.
      >
      > As usual, it's a mess. But today it's spring outside, so who cares
      > about web messes? Not me when the sun is shining at last! ;-)
      > Lotta
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Axel Berger
      ... That must have been me among others, doesn t take much to set me off in a rant on that subject. Three reasons 1) It doesn t validate (though Lotta says
      Message 2 of 29 , Mar 26, 2011
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        Ray Shapp wrote:
        > I recall some folks advocated strongly,

        That must have been me among others, doesn't take much to set me off in
        a rant on that subject.

        Three reasons
        1) It doesn't validate (though Lotta says that will change in HTML 5).
        2) It is my computer and my browser and I decide when and when not to
        open tabs and windows. See:
        http://www.minervation.com/index.aspx?o=1149&newsitem=1812
        http://www.useit.com/alertbox/990530.html
        3) Perhaps most important and worst: It breaks the back-button.

        This also goes for non-browser files. I forbid my Acrobat to sit inside
        a browser window, so whenever someone makes a PDF link with
        target="_blank" I will get an EMPTY tab. It is better to add the
        following to your .htaccess:
        <FilesMatch "\.(pdf|mp3)$">
        Header add Content-Disposition "Attachment"
        </FilesMatch>

        One last related point. It is good to add
        <BASE TARGET="_top">
        to your <HEAD>. This prevents others from opening your page in a frame
        of their frameset thus hiding the source and claiming your work as their
        own.

        And one very last:
        > Currently, the site uses frames, therefore, the main
        > navigation links can always be visible.

        If you have not done so already take a look at server side includes. You
        might also adopt a little script of mine. It checks whether the window
        is wide enough to prevent horizontal scrolling and high enough to take
        all the menu and if both conditions are satisfied it makes the menu
        fixed. Thus it will always be there and people who have scrolled down
        several pages need not go back up again to find it. (Your current frames
        do that already.)
        http://fdp.berger-odenthal.de/base/fix-menue.js
        (Forget the "unten" bit. You'll also see a bit of bad style in there. In
        the spirit of semantic markup I ought to have used <DIV ID="menu"> and
        not <DIV ID="left">.)

        Axel
      • Ray Shapp
        Hi Axel, Thank you for your reply. I ve read it all several times and will have questions about other parts later, but my experience in following your
        Message 3 of 29 , Mar 26, 2011
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          Hi Axel,

          Thank you for your reply. I've read it all several times and will have
          questions about other parts later, but my experience in following your
          recommended reference at
          http://www.minervation.com/index.aspx?o=1149&newsitem=1812 illustrates the
          problem I want to avoid on my site. After reading the article, I clicked on
          the Google map link on their About Us page. After viewing the map, I clicked
          on a link to Google news. I read a few news articles and followed a link
          from one of the news sites and followed another link from that resulting
          site. Then I wanted to return to your reference. After mashing the Backspace
          key half a dozen times, I abandoned the backtracking and returned to your
          message in my mail client instead. My return to your reference would have
          been so much more convenient if their Google map link had spawned a new tab
          in my browser.

          About half of the members of the club for which I maintain a website have
          very limited computer skills. The kind of backtracking I described above
          would be very discouraging to them. Yes, it is true that my use of the
          target attribute "breaks" the back button, but I think I provide a more
          beneficial experience when the user finds that the original page is still
          there after he/she is done with all the linking around the web.

          I'm not sure how to implement your function gross() script, but, if it will
          keep my nav bar in view as the user opens various pages on our site, then I
          will not need to use the target attribute. You mentioned the script in your
          paragraph that begins with a comment about server side includes. Does that
          mean your script should go into the cgi-bin folder on the hosting site or is
          it enough to post your script in a comment near the top of my HTML pages?
          IOW, how do I invoke the script on my web pages? For example, I tried to
          test SSI with a simple web page at:

          http://www.asterism.org/shapp/SSI.htm

          I expected it to output a list of variables, but it merely displays "Hello".

          Ray Shapp


          On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 6:00 AM, Axel Berger <Axel-Berger@...> wrote:

          >
          >
          > Ray Shapp wrote:
          > > I recall some folks advocated strongly,
          >
          > That must have been me among others, doesn't take much to set me off in
          > a rant on that subject.
          >
          > Three reasons
          > 1) It doesn't validate (though Lotta says that will change in HTML 5).
          > 2) It is my computer and my browser and I decide when and when not to
          > open tabs and windows. See:
          > http://www.minervation.com/index.aspx?o=1149&newsitem=1812
          > http://www.useit.com/alertbox/990530.html
          > 3) Perhaps most important and worst: It breaks the back-button.
          >
          > This also goes for non-browser files. I forbid my Acrobat to sit inside
          > a browser window, so whenever someone makes a PDF link with
          > target="_blank" I will get an EMPTY tab. It is better to add the
          > following to your .htaccess:
          > <FilesMatch "\.(pdf|mp3)$">
          > Header add Content-Disposition "Attachment"
          > </FilesMatch>
          >
          > One last related point. It is good to add
          > <BASE TARGET="_top">
          > to your <HEAD>. This prevents others from opening your page in a frame
          > of their frameset thus hiding the source and claiming your work as their
          > own.
          >
          > And one very last:
          >
          > > Currently, the site uses frames, therefore, the main
          > > navigation links can always be visible.
          >
          > If you have not done so already take a look at server side includes. You
          > might also adopt a little script of mine. It checks whether the window
          > is wide enough to prevent horizontal scrolling and high enough to take
          > all the menu and if both conditions are satisfied it makes the menu
          > fixed. Thus it will always be there and people who have scrolled down
          > several pages need not go back up again to find it. (Your current frames
          > do that already.)
          > http://fdp.berger-odenthal.de/base/fix-menue.js
          > (Forget the "unten" bit. You'll also see a bit of bad style in there. In
          > the spirit of semantic markup I ought to have used <DIV ID="menu"> and
          > not <DIV ID="left">.)
          >
          > Axel
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Mike Breiding - Morgantown WV
          ... It is not just the club . I find it to be the case with most web users. I always use target= _blank for that very reason. -Mike
          Message 4 of 29 , Mar 26, 2011
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            On 3/26/2011 10:55 AM, Ray Shapp wrote:
            > About half of the members of the club for which I maintain a website have
            > very limited computer skills. The kind of backtracking I described above
            > would be very discouraging to them.

            It is not just "the club".
            I find it to be the case with most web users.
            I always use target="_blank" for that very reason.

            -Mike
          • Axel Berger
            ... Several questions here, I ll try to keep some logic in the answer. With frames you have different parts of the window in different files and moing around
            Message 5 of 29 , Mar 26, 2011
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              Ray Shapp wrote:
              > if it will keep my nav bar in view as the user opens various
              > pages on our site,

              Several questions here, I'll try to keep some logic in the answer. With
              frames you have different parts of the window in different files and
              moing around on your own site normally involves just changing one frame.
              I won't repeat the disadvantges, the big advantage was, that it made
              writing the site quite easy. Without frames each complete page is one
              HTML-file. You have to include the menu in each and every one of them
              and what's worse, you have to aplly all changes to all the files. A
              nightmare. So what you do instead looks like this:

              <DIV ID="left">
              <!--#include virtual="/base/navigation.htm" -->
              </DIV> <!-- end #left -->

              The #include virtual is a command for the server software to drop the
              contents of navigation.htm here and serve that as HTML to the visitor.
              You need a hoster that offers SSI. Not all do and those often only with
              "premium" accounts. Another problem is, you can't just view those pages
              locally before uploading. You need to run Apache on your own computer
              for that and then call http://localhost/. So it definitely is more
              hassle than simple frames, or at least it is the first time.

              Leave the script for later, it is just a bit of icing on the cake. In my
              CSS I have

              #left {
              float: left;
              position: relative; /* relative Needed for IE/win */
              z-index: 6;
              }

              Now the obvious thing, seen on other pages, would be simply to make that
              position: fixed;. The page would be rendered normally and then the menu
              would stay put in its corner of the window however you scroll. In a
              narroew window you can't scroll it out left, it wiss stay in the way and
              in a shallow one the bottom entries might end up outside the window and
              inaccessible.

              The script needs to go into the <HEAD> (after modifying for your needs)
              as

              <SCRIPT TYPE="text/javascript" SRC="/base/fix-menue.js"></SCRIPT>

              It does its checking of window size and if appropriate exchanges that
              position: relative; with position: fixed; and back again when the window
              is made smaller.

              I forgot to mention that I wrote some of this up with a complete example
              here:
              http://axel.berger-odenthal.de/work/Sudel/Webdesign.htm

              Axel
            • Axel Berger
              ... And that way you put visitors in the habit of closing the window or tab instead of going back so that on a well-made site they end up with a blank screen
              Message 6 of 29 , Mar 26, 2011
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                Mike Breiding - Morgantown WV wrote:
                > I always use target="_blank" for that very reason.

                And that way you put visitors in the habit of closing the window or tab
                instead of going back so that on a well-made site they end up with a
                blank screen without any browser window at all. I'll try not to blow my
                top here, I do that often enough while browsing other people's sites.

                Axel
              • loro
                ... It validates now under (X)HTML Transitional. Lotta
                Message 7 of 29 , Mar 26, 2011
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                  At 11:00 2011-03-26, Axel Berger wrote:
                  >1) It doesn't validate (though Lotta says that will change in HTML 5).

                  It validates now under (X)HTML Transitional.

                  Lotta
                • loro
                  ... I say you should learn how to open new windows yourself, if that s what you want. And as I hinted at earlier, you would probably have done se long ago if
                  Message 8 of 29 , Mar 26, 2011
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                    Ray wrote:
                    >Thank you for your insights. What do you say to the problem that annoys me
                    >about sites that don't provide easy links to backtrack?

                    I say you should learn how to open new windows yourself, if that's
                    what you want. And as I hinted at earlier, you would probably have
                    done se long ago if it hadn't become almost a rule for sites to force
                    new windows for external links. What is the saying? Something like
                    "With freedom comes responsibility". If you want freedom of choice
                    you have to be prepared to make the choices. Maybe you have to be
                    prepared to make them so other people can have freedom of choice even
                    in the cases you don't personally see the need for it.

                    Lotta
                  • loro
                    ... That s a little like saying that if half the population in a country are analphabets and find books discouraging, there should be no books. Or if only half
                    Message 9 of 29 , Mar 26, 2011
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                      At 15:55 2011-03-26, Ray Shapp wrote:
                      >About half of the members of the club for which I maintain a website have
                      >very limited computer skills. The kind of backtracking I described above
                      >would be very discouraging to them.

                      That's a little like saying that if half the population in a country
                      are analphabets and find books discouraging, there should be no
                      books. Or if only half can drive a car, no one should drive. Isn't
                      that taking democracy too far?

                      I don't think that protecting those members from learning is doing
                      them a favour in the long run. It isn't brain surgery, doesn't take
                      any special computer skills. A monkey can learn to press down a key
                      to get something it wants. It's more a matter of habits that are a
                      little hard do break, I think. When this new window business started
                      people went berserk because it wasn't the expected behaviour (and it
                      was rude too!). Now some people are so used to it they think things
                      aren't working if it isn't there. No big deal.

                      Lotta
                    • Axel Berger
                      ... And of course you re absolutely right again. I took one of the pages I quoted at face value and never checked. Axel
                      Message 10 of 29 , Mar 26, 2011
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                        loro wrote:
                        > It validates now under (X)HTML Transitional.

                        And of course you're absolutely right again. I took one of the pages I
                        quoted at face value and never checked.

                        Axel
                      • Axel Berger
                        ... Well no, Ray s got a point here. I don t want tabs and windows all over the place and I rely on my back button. So when a good page directs me to another
                        Message 11 of 29 , Mar 26, 2011
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                          loro wrote:
                          > I say you should learn how to open new windows yourself,

                          Well no, Ray's got a point here. I don't want tabs and windows all over
                          the place and I rely on my back button. So when a good page directs me
                          to another and that breaks my browsing, it's annoying alright and out of
                          the good guy's control.

                          BUT, Ray, in all browsers I know the back button is not just a button.
                          You can make it drop open and choose from a whole bunch of earlier
                          pages, the right one, hopefully and usually among them. So if you do the
                          right thing, people can always get back to your page, if only they know
                          how to use their own tools. After all, if you run a boarding house and
                          give people directions, you do usually assume they know how to drive. It
                          is only on the net you're expected to hold their hands and do that for
                          them as well. I refuse to.

                          Axel
                        • loro
                          ... So don t open new windows then. :-) The whole sentence was: I say you should learn how to open new windows yourself, _if_that s_what_you_want._ Lotta
                          Message 12 of 29 , Mar 26, 2011
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                            Axel wrote:
                            >loro wrote:
                            > > I say you should learn how to open new windows yourself,
                            >
                            >Well no, Ray's got a point here. I don't want tabs and windows all over
                            >the place and I rely on my back button.

                            So don't open new windows then. :-)

                            The whole sentence was: "I say you should learn how to open new
                            windows yourself, _if_that's_what_you_want._"

                            Lotta
                          • Axel Berger
                            ... Quite. The point Ray made was, that you never know beforehand, who s going to do the nasty on you. You you either open new windows right, left, and centre
                            Message 13 of 29 , Mar 26, 2011
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                              loro wrote:
                              > So don't open new windows then. :-)

                              Quite. The point Ray made was, that you never know beforehand, who's
                              going to do the nasty on you. You you either open new windows right,
                              left, and centre or you're sure to end up bitten - both equally not
                              nice. So the browser makers thought of that too - they thought of a lot
                              of things to block the nasties, be it tiny script or garish colour - and
                              offer the extended back function.

                              The point we're both agreed on, I think, is: don't second guess your
                              visitors, don't attempt to think for them, but make it so, that they are
                              given the maximum of power and freedom to do their own thing with their
                              own tools.

                              The WDR radio website seems to have one of those bigger/smaller buttons
                              that use script to change the font size, but when you click it, a page
                              opens explaining exactly how to do that in several of the common
                              browsers. Personally I find that kind of thing a bit condescending and
                              wouldn't do it myself, but if that's what it takes, then why not?

                              Axel
                            • Michael Rawley
                              Axel Burger wrote ... Making the same changes to a folder full of files is easy! It is also rather scary, but the feeling of achievement in modifying 300 odd
                              Message 14 of 29 , Mar 26, 2011
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                                Axel Burger wrote
                                > the big advantage was, that it made
                                > writing the site quite easy. Without frames each complete page is one
                                > HTML-file. You have to include the menu in each and every one of them
                                > and what's worse, you have to aplly all changes to all the files. A
                                > nightmare.
                                > Axel

                                Making the same changes to a folder full of files is easy! It is also rather
                                scary, but the feeling of achievement in modifying 300 odd files in one go
                                is worth it

                                I am, of course, refering to the command 'Ctrl-D'.

                                Try it on half a dozen dummy files first!

                                Michael Rawley
                                www.normist.co.uk
                              • Ray Shapp
                                Hi Axel, Lotta, Mike, This is just to let you know I haven t gone away. I ve spent the whole day trying to learn the lessons contained in Axel s great tutorial
                                Message 15 of 29 , Mar 26, 2011
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                                  Hi Axel, Lotta, Mike,

                                  This is just to let you know I haven't gone away. I've spent the whole day
                                  trying to learn the lessons contained in Axel's great tutorial at
                                  http://axel.berger-odenthal.de/Webdesign/Testpage.htm# and to consider
                                  carefully what you folks have said in your messages.

                                  So far, I have successfully tested my first web page using SSI. I discovered
                                  it was failing because Apache requires a file extension like ".shtm". After
                                  fixing that, I was able to confirm that the hosting service for the club's
                                  website does act on SSI directives, but a site for classic car restorations
                                  (at a different hosting service) which I also maintain does not. It merely
                                  renders the SSI as text. That's OK for now because it's the club's site that
                                  I want to modify to eliminate the use of frames.

                                  I also placed a German dictionary in my bookmarks, and I had fun trying to
                                  understand some of the comments linked from
                                  http://axel.berger-odenthal.de/BTW, Axel, you appear much younger than
                                  I had imagined (assuming that is not
                                  a very old photo of you).

                                  Most of what I have seen today is quite daunting because it's new to me. A
                                  basic question before I go much farther though: my main nav bar in the
                                  redesigned website will be along the top of the page. Can SSI and a
                                  modification of the script at
                                  http://fdp.berger-odenthal.de/base/fix-menue.js keep the nav bar in view
                                  when the user scrolls down the page?

                                  If this discussion does nothing else, it will definitely reduce the number
                                  of instances where I use target="_blank". On the other hand, I have special
                                  audiences for both the club website and the classic car website. In the
                                  first case, the majority of users do need extra hand-holding. Most don't
                                  know about the drop-down window on the Back button, and they don't want to
                                  learn about it. We have a wide range of ages in the club, but the modal
                                  member is probably 55 to 60 years of age. The important audience on the
                                  classic cars website is special because the content of the site is mostly
                                  about rare vehicles. For example, users who want to know about 1918 Cadillac
                                  laundry trucks will want to stay on our site because the internet doesn't
                                  offer many other places to see that kind of vehicle. The site is also
                                  special because car enthusiasts tend to be unfamiliar with web navigation.
                                  It was after speaking with a number of visitors that we realized many of
                                  them were not scrolling vertically. In response, we placed a large white
                                  downward-pointing arrow labeled "more below" on the Home page. All our
                                  thumbnails are accompanied by a hint indicating that a click on the picture
                                  will display a larger version. Otherwise many visitors will miss important
                                  content.

                                  I need to take my first break all day now to get something to eat, but I'll
                                  be back later. I really like working with this stuff. Thank you all!

                                  Ray Shapp


                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • loro
                                  ... Includes don t do anything more than glue the content of files together before the page is served, like a server-side Find & Replace, you could say, only
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Mar 26, 2011
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                                    Ray wrote:
                                    >Can SSI and a modification of the script at
                                    >http://fdp.berger-odenthal.de/base/fix-menue.js keep the nav bar in view
                                    >when the user scrolls down the page?

                                    Includes don't do anything more than glue the content of files
                                    together before the page is served, like a server-side Find &
                                    Replace, you could say, only it isn't permanent, the physical files
                                    aren't changed.

                                    I think you are looking for 'position: fixed' (that isn't supported
                                    by older versions of IE, but there are workarounds).
                                    http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/visuren.html#propdef-position

                                    Lotta
                                  • Axel Berger
                                    ... You re right of course! I have done that quite a few times and I forewent the trial. But you will admit, I think, that editing one file - there will
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Mar 27, 2011
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                                      Michael Rawley wrote:
                                      > I am, of course, refering to the command 'Ctrl-D'.
                                      > Try it on half a dozen dummy files first!

                                      You're right of course! I have done that quite a few times and I
                                      forewent the trial. But you will admit, I think, that editing one file -
                                      there will ususally be more than change, even moving something is one
                                      deletion plus one entry - is quite different from converting each step
                                      into a replace command (find the right and only the right place) or a
                                      clip.

                                      Anyway, I have a prepared clip for just that, where you only need to add
                                      the specific task at hand. N.B: Defeintely try this out on dummy files
                                      in a dummy folder first.

                                      Beware of long lines

                                      ; Adapt this part to the task in hand
                                      ^!Set %varFIL%="F:\Webspace\index.php"
                                      ^!Set %varPAT%="*.htm;*.php"
                                      ; End of invidual adaptation

                                      ^!SetWizardLabel "Please define the files to be converted"
                                      ;^!SetDebug On
                                      ^!Set %varFIL%=^?{(T=O;F="Source
                                      Files|*.html;*.htm;*.?html;*.xml;*asp;*.css;*.php;*.php3;*.php4")Sample
                                      file=^%varFIL%}; %varSDR%=^?{(T=L)Include Subdirectories?==_Yes|No};
                                      %varPAT%=^?{Search Pattern=^%varPAT%}
                                      ^!Set %varPTH%=^$GetPath(^%varFIL%)$
                                      ^!If "^%varSDR%"="Yes" yessub ELSE nosub
                                      :yessub
                                      ^!Set %varFIL%=^$GetFileFirst("+^%varPTH%";"^%varPAT%")$
                                      ^!Goto loop
                                      :nosub
                                      ^!Set %varFIL%=^$GetFileFirst("^%varPTH%";"^%varPAT%")$
                                      :loop
                                      ^!IfTrue ^$IsEmpty(^%varFIL%)$ finished
                                      ;^!Continue ^%varFIL%
                                      ^!Open "^%varFIL%"

                                      ; Adapt this part to the task in hand

                                      ^!Replace "http://www.w3.org/Icons/valid-html401" >>
                                      "http://berger-odenthal.de/pics/valid-html401.png" WAS
                                      ^!Replace "http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/images/vcss" >>
                                      "http://berger-odenthal.de/pics/vcss.png" WAS

                                      ;^!Replace "//EN"> <" >> "//EN"^P
                                      "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">^P<" WAS

                                      ; End of invidual adaptation

                                      ^!Close ALL,SAVE
                                      ^!Set %varFIL%=^$GetFileNext$
                                      ^!Goto loop
                                      :finished
                                      ^!CloseFileFind




                                      >
                                      > Michael Rawley
                                      > www.normist.co.uk
                                      >
                                      > ------------------------------------
                                      >
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                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      --
                                      Dipl.-Ing. F. Axel Berger Tel: +49/ 2174/ 7439 07
                                      Johann-Häck-Str. 14 Fax: +49/ 2174/ 7439 68
                                      D-51519 Odenthal-Heide eMail: Axel-Berger@...
                                      Deutschland (Germany) http://berger-odenthal.de
                                    • Ray Shapp
                                      Hi Michael and Axel, I will definitely need to use the global replace command in NoteTab (Ctrl+D), however it will be done piecemeal on limited subsections of
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Mar 27, 2011
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                                        Hi Michael and Axel,

                                        I will definitely need to use the global replace command in NoteTab
                                        (Ctrl+D), however it will be done piecemeal on limited subsections of the
                                        site. Currently I have nearly 6,000 files in 238 folders on the astronomy
                                        club's website. More than 3,000 of the files are JPGs, PDFs, XLS files, and
                                        DOC files, but that still leaves about 2300 html pages. The index frame
                                        points to 21 subsections in addition to the Home page. Over the past 12
                                        years well over a dozen members created and edited various web pages or
                                        whole sections of the site, and they used a wide variety of formats.

                                        While eliminating the frames, I want to develop a single CSS style sheet
                                        that will apply to most HTML pages. I want also a fixed nav bar preferably
                                        at the top of every page. Most of the current web pages were designed for
                                        800x600 resolution displays. I want to change that to 1024x768. Of course,
                                        the site needs to remain usable during the transition, and I am working
                                        alone on this project. Our hosting plan allows 5GB of storage, and we are
                                        using only a little over 1GB now. I think it may be best to duplicate the
                                        entire site using an alternate web address as I convert sections to the new
                                        format. I'll give out the alternate address to only a few members who might
                                        have constructive comments about usability of the new design. Axel's clip
                                        (shown below) will be very useful for making conversions on well-defined
                                        subsections of the site.

                                        I don't have any time limit. The only time pressure I feel is
                                        self-generated.

                                        Ray Shapp


                                        On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 7:10 AM, Axel Berger <Axel-Berger@...> wrote:

                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Michael Rawley wrote:
                                        > > I am, of course, refering to the command 'Ctrl-D'.
                                        > > Try it on half a dozen dummy files first!
                                        >
                                        > You're right of course! I have done that quite a few times and I
                                        > forewent the trial. But you will admit, I think, that editing one file -
                                        > there will ususally be more than change, even moving something is one
                                        > deletion plus one entry - is quite different from converting each step
                                        > into a replace command (find the right and only the right place) or a
                                        > clip.
                                        >
                                        > Anyway, I have a prepared clip for just that, where you only need to add
                                        > the specific task at hand. N.B: Defeintely try this out on dummy files
                                        > in a dummy folder first.
                                        >
                                        > Beware of long lines
                                        >
                                        > ; Adapt this part to the task in hand
                                        > ^!Set %varFIL%="F:\Webspace\index.php"
                                        > ^!Set %varPAT%="*.htm;*.php"
                                        > ; End of invidual adaptation
                                        >
                                        > ^!SetWizardLabel "Please define the files to be converted"
                                        > ;^!SetDebug On
                                        > ^!Set %varFIL%=^?{(T=O;F="Source
                                        > Files|*.html;*.htm;*.?html;*.xml;*asp;*.css;*.php;*.php3;*.php4")Sample
                                        > file=^%varFIL%}; %varSDR%=^?{(T=L)Include Subdirectories?==_Yes|No};
                                        > %varPAT%=^?{Search Pattern=^%varPAT%}
                                        > ^!Set %varPTH%=^$GetPath(^%varFIL%)$
                                        > ^!If "^%varSDR%"="Yes" yessub ELSE nosub
                                        > :yessub
                                        > ^!Set %varFIL%=^$GetFileFirst("+^%varPTH%";"^%varPAT%")$
                                        > ^!Goto loop
                                        > :nosub
                                        > ^!Set %varFIL%=^$GetFileFirst("^%varPTH%";"^%varPAT%")$
                                        > :loop
                                        > ^!IfTrue ^$IsEmpty(^%varFIL%)$ finished
                                        > ;^!Continue ^%varFIL%
                                        > ^!Open "^%varFIL%"
                                        >
                                        > ; Adapt this part to the task in hand
                                        >
                                        > ^!Replace "http://www.w3.org/Icons/valid-html401" >>
                                        > "http://berger-odenthal.de/pics/valid-html401.png" WAS
                                        > ^!Replace "http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/images/vcss" >>
                                        > "http://berger-odenthal.de/pics/vcss.png" WAS
                                        >
                                        > ;^!Replace "//EN"> <" >> "//EN"^P
                                        > "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">^P<" WAS
                                        >
                                        > ; End of invidual adaptation
                                        >
                                        > ^!Close ALL,SAVE
                                        > ^!Set %varFIL%=^$GetFileNext$
                                        > ^!Goto loop
                                        > :finished
                                        > ^!CloseFileFind
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > >
                                        > > Michael Rawley
                                        > > www.normist.co.uk
                                        > >
                                        > > ------------------------------------
                                        >
                                        > >
                                        > > Fookes Software: http://www.fookes.com/
                                        > > NoteTab website: http://www.notetab.com/
                                        > > NoteTab Discussion Lists: http://www.notetab.com/groups.php
                                        > >
                                        > > ***
                                        > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > --
                                        > Dipl.-Ing. F. Axel Berger Tel: +49/ 2174/ 7439 07
                                        > Johann-H�ck-Str. 14 Fax: +49/ 2174/ 7439 68
                                        > D-51519 Odenthal-Heide eMail: Axel-Berger@...
                                        > Deutschland (Germany) http://berger-odenthal.de
                                        >
                                        >


                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Scott Fordin
                                        FWIW, I think that, in most cases, you don t want to open links in new windows for many of the reasons already mentioned here. For example, I know the style
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Mar 27, 2011
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                                          FWIW, I think that, in most cases, you don't want to open links in new
                                          windows for many of the reasons already mentioned here. For example, I
                                          know the style guidelines for all external Sun Microsystems (let's take
                                          a moment here to shed a tear) Web sites specifically prohibited spawning
                                          new windows except in relatively rare circumstances.

                                          There are times, however, when it's appropriate to spawn new windows
                                          when you want to provide additional information about a topic or product
                                          without losing the initial context. Examples here include, say, an
                                          online help system, or individual photos in a gallery, or a page that
                                          compares a series of products, or a link to a PDF coupon, or a link that
                                          takes you to another Web site in an entirely different domain.

                                          All this said, I think it's much, much better to use a specifically
                                          named target window rather than _blank, so you're at least not rudely
                                          spawning a gazillion windows, and it also becomes possible to create a
                                          history trail in the spawned window. In short, I think _blank is evil,
                                          but specifically named targets can be quite useful.

                                          Finally, you could also use some sort of hover-based pop-up for certain
                                          kinds of content, but that can lead to all sorts of browser, platform,
                                          and accessibility issues. For example, hover-based pop-ups are not so
                                          great on mobile phones, and they're really bad if your users rely on
                                          screen reading add-ons.

                                          Scott

                                          On 3/27/2011 1:01 AM, loro wrote:
                                          > Ray wrote:
                                          > >Can SSI and a modification of the script at
                                          > >http://fdp.berger-odenthal.de/base/fix-menue.js keep the nav bar in view
                                          > >when the user scrolls down the page?
                                          >
                                          > Includes don't do anything more than glue the content of files
                                          > together before the page is served, like a server-side Find &
                                          > Replace, you could say, only it isn't permanent, the physical files
                                          > aren't changed.
                                          >
                                          > I think you are looking for 'position: fixed' (that isn't supported
                                          > by older versions of IE, but there are workarounds).
                                          > http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/visuren.html#propdef-position
                                          >
                                          > Lotta
                                          >
                                          >
                                        • loro
                                          ... Ah, but only if that s what you want. What if the user actually likes to open new windows and what if he also likes to save windows with pages he might
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Mar 27, 2011
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                                            Scott wrote:
                                            >All this said, I think it's much, much better to use a specifically
                                            >named target window rather than _blank, so you're at least not rudely
                                            >spawning a gazillion windows, and it also becomes possible to create a
                                            >history trail in the spawned window. In short, I think _blank is evil,
                                            >but specifically named targets can be quite useful.

                                            Ah, but only if that's what you want. What if the user actually likes
                                            to open new windows and what if he also likes to save windows with
                                            pages he might want to peruse later, so he minimizes them or lets
                                            them lose focus while he goes through the rest of the links (I do
                                            this a lot myself). When he wants to read that interesting page, lo
                                            and behold, it has been replaced with a totally different page. Boo-hoo.

                                            That's what it boils down to. No one knows what anyone else wants or
                                            prefers in a given situation. So keep the options open.

                                            I'm not adamant about this. There are situations when I think a
                                            little JS window fits in and doesn't harm anything, but for navigation - nuh.

                                            Lotta
                                          • Axel Berger
                                            ... Yes absolutely. I know I tend to be of the black and white school with no exceptions, but when used sensibly pop-ups and new windows do have their place.
                                            Message 21 of 29 , Mar 27, 2011
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                                              Scott Fordin wrote:
                                              > There are times, however, when it's appropriate to spawn new windows

                                              Yes absolutely. I know I tend to be of the black and white school with
                                              no exceptions, but when used sensibly pop-ups and new windows do have
                                              their place. Just remember how rare these instances are.

                                              > For example, hover-based pop-ups are not so
                                              > great on mobile phones, and they're really bad if your users rely on
                                              > screen reading add-ons.

                                              And of course for those fed up with noisy disturbing backgrounds all
                                              browsers offer a setting to turn them off. The result is that for me all
                                              these hovers have a transparent background and become illegible. Alas
                                              the number of sensible uses of the hover technique is minuscule compared
                                              to all the inappropriate backgrounds so I live with it.

                                              Axel
                                            • Ray Shapp
                                              Hi Axel and Scott, I m not sure what you are referring to when you say, hover-based pop-ups . Please look at the NewEgg website . Just
                                              Message 22 of 29 , Mar 27, 2011
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                                                Hi Axel and Scott,

                                                I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say, "hover-based pop-ups".
                                                Please look at the NewEgg website <http://www.newegg.com/>. Just below their
                                                "Search" window, they have a yellow nav bar containing eleven categories of
                                                product beginning with, "COMPUTER HARDWARE". When I hover over that button,
                                                a two-column screen opens containing links for about two dozen
                                                sub-categories of computer hardware. Is this an example of a "hover-based
                                                pop-up"?

                                                Axel, are you saying that the subcategories of hardware on the NewEgg site
                                                are illegible for you?

                                                Separate but related question: Do most of these hover-based pop-ups get
                                                spawned by the operation of JavaScript code?

                                                Ray Shapp


                                                On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 6:34 PM, Axel Berger <Axel-Berger@...> wrote:

                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Scott Fordin wrote:
                                                > > There are times, however, when it's appropriate to spawn new windows
                                                >
                                                > Yes absolutely. I know I tend to be of the black and white school with
                                                > no exceptions, but when used sensibly pop-ups and new windows do have
                                                > their place. Just remember how rare these instances are.
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > > For example, hover-based pop-ups are not so
                                                > > great on mobile phones, and they're really bad if your users rely on
                                                > > screen reading add-ons.
                                                >
                                                > And of course for those fed up with noisy disturbing backgrounds all
                                                > browsers offer a setting to turn them off. The result is that for me all
                                                > these hovers have a transparent background and become illegible. Alas
                                                > the number of sensible uses of the hover technique is minuscule compared
                                                > to all the inappropriate backgrounds so I live with it.
                                                >
                                                > Axel
                                                >
                                                >


                                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                              • Axel Berger
                                                ... Yes, exactly. ... I am. Firstly they are not even present and after allowing scripting this is what I see: http://berger-odenthal.de/upload/Clipboard01.png
                                                Message 23 of 29 , Mar 27, 2011
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                                                  Ray Shapp wrote:
                                                  > Is this an example of a "hover-based pop-up"?

                                                  Yes, exactly.
                                                  > Axel, are you saying that the subcategories of hardware
                                                  > on the NewEgg site are illegible for you?

                                                  I am. Firstly they are not even present and after allowing scripting
                                                  this is what I see:

                                                  http://berger-odenthal.de/upload/Clipboard01.png

                                                  > Do most of these hover-based pop-ups get
                                                  > spawned by the operation of JavaScript code?

                                                  Yes. Mostly it seems to be because many authors just don't know how to
                                                  do it in pure CSS. On the other hand this example conforms to a
                                                  useability rule of adding a slight delay. See:
                                                  http://www.useit.com/alertbox/mega-dropdown-menus.html
                                                  under the heading "Speed".

                                                  So here script is good, but they ought to implement pure CSS first and
                                                  have the script, when running, turn that off first and replace it by the
                                                  better version. Never exclude visitors without script.

                                                  By the way my sample design employs the CSS solution in the left menu
                                                  and it shows the problems with that. Try moving down to a certain top
                                                  menu entry from the top, you'll fail. I ought to write a script with
                                                  delay for that, but then we all ought to do many things ...

                                                  Axel
                                                • Axel Berger
                                                  ... My daughter keeps chiding me about that. It s more than thirty years old and I was younger then than she s now. It happens to be the only photograph of
                                                  Message 24 of 29 , Mar 27, 2011
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                                                    Ray Shapp wrote:
                                                    > BTW, Axel, you appear much younger than I had imagined
                                                    > (assuming that is not a very old photo of you).

                                                    My daughter keeps chiding me about that. It's more than thirty years old
                                                    and I was younger then than she's now. It happens to be the only
                                                    photograph
                                                    of myself I ever liked.
                                                    A more current one is this Buddha
                                                    http://berger-odenthal.de/upload/Axel.jpg

                                                    Axel
                                                  • loro
                                                    ... Hover based it may be, but it isn t a popup ( a new window). It s a section of the same page that was previously hidden that is shown when the link is
                                                    Message 25 of 29 , Mar 27, 2011
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                                                      Ray Shapp wrote:
                                                      >I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say, "hover-based pop-ups".
                                                      >Please look at the NewEgg website <http://www.newegg.com/>. Just below their
                                                      >"Search" window, they have a yellow nav bar containing eleven categories of
                                                      >product beginning with, "COMPUTER HARDWARE". When I hover over that button,
                                                      >a two-column screen opens containing links for about two dozen
                                                      >sub-categories of computer hardware. Is this an example of a "hover-based
                                                      >pop-up"?

                                                      Hover based it may be, but it isn't a popup ( a new window). It's a
                                                      section of the same page that was previously hidden that is shown
                                                      when the link is hovered.

                                                      Lotta
                                                    • Ray Shapp
                                                      Quoting Axel: Firstly they are not even present and after allowing scripting this is what I see: http://berger-odenthal.de/upload/Clipboard01.png That s odd!
                                                      Message 26 of 29 , Mar 28, 2011
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                                                        Quoting Axel:
                                                        Firstly they are not even present and after allowing scripting
                                                        this is what I see:

                                                        http://berger-odenthal.de/upload/Clipboard01.png

                                                        That's odd! Here is what I see:

                                                        http://www.classiccars.ws/testing/ScreenShot004.jpg

                                                        Notice they use a link title as well as hover pop-up. That's probably
                                                        because some browsers are deliberately set to ignore JavaScript or are
                                                        unable to do so. I am using Firefox v3.6.16 under Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit.


                                                        Quoting Lotta:
                                                        Hover based it may be, but it isn't a popup

                                                        That makes sense. Otherwise my pop-up blocker would prevent me from seeing
                                                        the enhanced menu.

                                                        Ray Shapp



                                                        On Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 9:04 PM, Axel Berger <Axel-Berger@...> wrote:

                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > Ray Shapp wrote:
                                                        > > Is this an example of a "hover-based pop-up"?
                                                        >
                                                        > Yes, exactly.
                                                        >
                                                        > > Axel, are you saying that the subcategories of hardware
                                                        > > on the NewEgg site are illegible for you?
                                                        >
                                                        > I am. Firstly they are not even present and after allowing scripting
                                                        > this is what I see:
                                                        >
                                                        > http://berger-odenthal.de/upload/Clipboard01.png
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > > Do most of these hover-based pop-ups get
                                                        > > spawned by the operation of JavaScript code?
                                                        >
                                                        > Yes. Mostly it seems to be because many authors just don't know how to
                                                        > do it in pure CSS. On the other hand this example conforms to a
                                                        > useability rule of adding a slight delay. See:
                                                        > http://www.useit.com/alertbox/mega-dropdown-menus.html
                                                        > under the heading "Speed".
                                                        >
                                                        > So here script is good, but they ought to implement pure CSS first and
                                                        > have the script, when running, turn that off first and replace it by the
                                                        > better version. Never exclude visitors without script.
                                                        >
                                                        > By the way my sample design employs the CSS solution in the left menu
                                                        > and it shows the problems with that. Try moving down to a certain top
                                                        > menu entry from the top, you'll fail. I ought to write a script with
                                                        > delay for that, but then we all ought to do many things ...
                                                        >
                                                        > Axel
                                                        >
                                                        >


                                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                      • Axel Berger
                                                        ... Not odd at all, self-inflicted. In Firefox the setting is found in Tools-- Options-- Content-- Colors-- Allow pages...-- No The reason is that now all text
                                                        Message 27 of 29 , Mar 28, 2011
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                                                          Ray Shapp wrote:
                                                          > That's odd!

                                                          Not odd at all, self-inflicted. In Firefox the setting is found in
                                                          Tools-->Options-->Content-->Colors-->Allow pages...-->No

                                                          The reason is that now all text on all pages is optimally legible
                                                          whatever bad contrast and noisy background a misguided designer-artist
                                                          may have chosen. As Jacob Nielsen keeps saying, people do not browse to
                                                          pages to admire their beauty but to find things and get things done as
                                                          quickly and as efficiently as possible. The default background of all
                                                          elements except <BODY> is transparent and if I forbid changing that,
                                                          that's what I'll get and hovering in front of other content won't work
                                                          for text.

                                                          Your mileage may vary, but whenever I turn colours back on for a page
                                                          like that one I tend to leave it on for a while and I find that very
                                                          soon the terrible abominations of taste I'm confronted with make me turn
                                                          it off very soon again. But be that as it may, it is a fully legal
                                                          setting that ALL browsers offer right there as a menu switch, so just
                                                          like script on and off, a minimum font size, and varying window size
                                                          conscientious designers have to be prepared for it and ensure their
                                                          designs basic useability. An ugly kludge is fine, it is self inflicted
                                                          by the visitor after all, but useable it has to be.

                                                          One possibility would be hover an image, one white pixel with width and
                                                          height in em, and hover the text in front of that. Contrary to script
                                                          there is no way, not even employing script, to find out what the
                                                          vistor's settings are so it's not possible to employ the cludge only
                                                          when needed. With bad luck your image has exactly the visitor's font
                                                          colour and will make things even worse.
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