Word Count Total ~   ___1345___

How article actually appeared in Net4TV Voice
Vox Populi, Vox Dei - Vol 2, Issue 3 (#29) - April 25, 1999

ADH-HH Tips & Tools


Organizing with comment tags & other tips

Basic Tip : Using Comment Tags
   ~~~  submitted by:  Sandy  [ email ]  ~~~
*"A tip to use when making tables and audio scopes: If you are like me and have used more then one table on a page or have created an audioscope, you will find it frustrating sometimes when you think you have it right and you go to check it out and something is wrong. When making tables and audioscopes, before each table I use the hidden..." comment tag "code...," like what follows:
<!--- scope 1 --->
"...This will not show up on your page but if the table or audioscope isn't right then all you have to do is pull up your 'find' key and type in the the line you want to go to, & make your corrections. It can also help you find exactly where you left off when designing a page. With some of the audioscopes I have made, it really came in handy. I am sure if you have designed a page with several tables, scopes, etc. and try to find where the mistake is by looking at a whole page of codes, you can sometimes get very frustrated. Just a little tip I have found that has saved me many hours of staring at a page when it's right there in front of you all the time..but you just couldn't find the right line."

ADDITIONAL INFO   We modified the above tip slightly in the example from a line of dashes to the example given. The Web Design Group says the following about the comment tag :
"...Since HTML is officially an SGML application, the comment syntax used in HTML documents is actually the SGML comment syntax. Unfortunately this syntax is a bit unclear at first. The definition of an SGML comment is basically as follows:
A comment declaration starts with <!, followed by zero or more comments, followed by >. A comment starts and ends with "--", and does not contain any occurrence of "--".
This means that the following are all legal SGML comments:
<!-- Hello -->
<!-- Hello -- -- Hello-->
<!---->
<!------ Hello -->
<!>
Note that an "empty" comment tag, with just "--" characters, should always have a multiple of four "-" characters to be legal. (And yes, <!> is also a legal comment - it's the empty comment)..."

Based on the above, it seems that although a comment that consists of the opening tag, a series of dashes, & the closing tag would be nice to divide a page, it could cause problems. From the rule above, if the amount of dashes is not a multiple of four, then the editor will figure it is still in the comment tag & will result in hiding all text until it finds the next "-->", or closing comment tag. This could result in more than half of your page appearing blank & you would be forever trying to figure this out.

Closing tags properly & following tag syntax is a vital part of getting your page to appear as you desire. Using the comment tag is a great tool on almost any page. It definitely is, as mentioned in the tip above, a great help the larger your code / page gets. This practice, sometimes called documentation, is taught in many of the computer programming language classes. The main purpose of this type of documentation is for clarity upon modification or editing of the codes. Although one goal is to make it easier should another programmer have to modify or edit the programming that you wrote, obviously, it can also be used to the program author's advantage also. I'm not sure how many of you have made a page, not been able to get back to it to update it for a while & when you do go into the code stare at something & wonder "...now, why did I do that?!..." or "...now, what was that put there for?!..." Well, by using the comment tag to place small reminders to yourself or to note where one section ends & the next begins, it can greatly help prevent you from accidentally erasing / modifying some code that is vital to the design of your page.

Basic Tip : HTML Editor Tips
   ~~~  submitted by:  webfriends  [ email ]  ~~~
In homepage editors be careful of vertical movement in the text area. Ghost spaces could be "...inserted, sometimes in most unfortunate spots which may cause an image or link to go dead. Horizontal movement is best accomplished with [cmd] and [arrow] right or left key to end of line, then single back with left/right [arrow] movement keys. or Use [cmd] and [g] with < or > in [find] to quick jump.
     Also upon entering the text field by using the edit key (WebTV key), you can then use find key (again, a WebTV key) and enter <html in the [find] text window then [return] key and it will instantly transport you to the top of the page. or <a to goto first link, then [cmd]-[g] to check each link. You can use any regularly occurring character or character string you wish in the [find] box to check URLs, spacing, a list of tags used (e.g. <img, <a, <table,...), etc. [cmd]-[g] will move you thru one at a time to search & check each one. When done, leave the editor by using the tab key to also prevent ghosts spaces..." being inserted in your code.

   ~~~  submitted by:  Janet  [ email ]  ~~~
"...When editing in Tripod, don't use the [cmd]-down-arrow to get out. You may end up on the "reset" button at the bottom and hit it by mistake, use the "tab" key and it will bring you right out to the "use this HTML" key. Works every time and no reset mistakes."

Intermediate Tip : Transition Codes
   ~~~  submitted by:  Mike R.  [ email ]  ~~~
"...While surfing with WebTV did you ever come across a page that seemed to 'slide' it's way onto the screen? There's a very simple way to accomplish that little trick. Place this HTML..." attribute "...inside of your BODY tag:..." transition="slidedown"....

<body transition="slidedown">

"...Besides 'slidedown' you can also use: slideup, slideleft, slideright, wipeup, wipedown, wipeleft, wiperight

All of these attributes provide a really cool page transition. WebTV doesn't have them listed on there 'Designing Webpages for Television' section of their website for some reason. Perhaps they're planning on not supporting it in the future, but for now, its a really cool way to grab a WebTVer's attention when they load up your website!"

Intermediate Tip : Use Links / Site Map
   ~~~  submitted by:  Julie  [ email ]  ~~~
"...Many web sites I've visited fail to provide a link back to their other pages. Instead, usually you will find only a 'back' button or a 'home' button to click on. Each page should have an index or list of affiliated pages related to the website. This way, a visitor can jump from one page to another if they wish, instead of having to return to the MAIN front page each time. This saves both time and frustration, if you can simply go to the page that interests you. (Especially for those website front pages that take forever to load each time you return.) :))"

About Alt.Discuss.Homepage-Homepage Helpers

The alt.discuss.homepage newsgroup is a great source of help if you are just beginning or run into a snag when creating your home page. Each issue, we will focus on one or more tips that will help your home page design. You can visit our home page at http://members.tripod.com/adhhh/ & request more one-on-one assistance. Our Help Teams include: Tutor Team; Construction Crew, if you have a particularly complex design problem; & Image Researhers.

Have a tip, idea, tool, or shortcut you'd like to share & see featured in the next or subsequent article? Submit your tip to our ADH-HH Tips & Tools Committee.