Word Count Total ~   ___1725___

How article actually appeared in Net4TV Voice
Vox Populi, Vox Dei - Vol 2, Issue 10 (#36) - Aug 1, 1999

ADH-HH Tips & Tools

BackUps, CornerBacks, JS Bug Alert

edited by:ericB

Animated Goofy Gopher gif (5358 bytes)


Basic Tip : BackUp to Avoid Catastrophe
   ~submitted by: 
LeeAnne  [ email ]~
"Not so much a building tip, as a security tip. I had my main page dumped by tripod..." twice, "...and had to rebuild. I went crazy mailing them, and getting nowhere. After the last re-build, I..." cut & pasted "...ALL codes, of ALL pages, and have them safe and sound in my saved mail folder. I also sent them to a friend who is on computer, who loaded them on zip file.... maybe over-kill, but I'm not going to have to go thru that again. I suggest to anyone who has lost a page, thru no fault of their own.... SAVE EVERYTHING...!! LeeAnne...aka...DragonLadee"

You may have noticed the new backgrounds that are being used in a lot of people's e-mails and posts. The name coined for these kinds of backgrounds currently is "Corner Backs," or some variation of that phrase. These are backgrounds that have a "single" image in the upper right corner with usually the remainder of the background being black. Here is a tip from one of our readers on this new phenomenon. It's followed by a brief discussion on how to create a Corner Back, but deb's site is one of a few popping up by our fellow WebTvers with ready to transload Corner Backs.

Intermediate Tip : Corner Backs
   ~submitted by: 
deb-29  [ email ]~
"Hello... I have found a way for Webtv users to have corner images in their backgrounds, and it seems to have become a huge hit! I had over 25,000 hits in less than a week to my page, and boy was I amazed!!! :o) After only 4 days of the revealing of my site, I found that I had won one of Webtvs most desired awards!!...(Draacs Pick of the week). ...P.S. I have removed my corner image bg, since I know only webtv'ers can see it. :)

*deb* "

ADDITIONAL INFO   The above is the gist of deb's e-mail. As she mentions, this is another of the WebTV exclusive traits or design. Even if you were to send an e-mail to Hotmail, for example, and view it via WebTV, Hotmail is a non-WebTV based provider and they do not support this.

The interesting thing, however, is although these backs were created for e-mail, they can also be utilized on home pages. In deb's case, in particular, the backs on her site are mostly created at 526 x 751 and fill a WebTV viewed background very nicely. Some are a little larger at 544 x 1000 on some sites. So, how do you make one? Well, we discussed two articles ago, in issue #34 on July 4th, how to customize backgrounds. Refer to the above link to retrieve that article. The basic thing to remember is corner images on transparent backgrounds take less time to load than corner images on a graphic background. Most if not all of the ready made corner backs I've seen are generated on transparent backgrounds. Other collections of corner backs can be found under deb's Links section on her site. Deb has almost 200 background images on her site alone at this point with almost a dozen links to other corner back sites.... Now that's a generous collection. Some of the site webmasters have a "submit your requests" feature on their sites and will create a custom back for you if they can (or their time permits) and may take from a few days to a few weeks for them to do so. Although it's been harped upon many many many times, it bears repeating: please remember to transload the backgrounds that you use. These generous folk have taken the time to create these images and they request and would be most appreciative if you transload the images to your own site.

A neat trick or effect with these backs would be to have them "scroll" in the background. They can be made to scroll either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. The code for this is added to the <body> tag:

<body background="http://URL_of_cornerback" yspeed="10">

To have the image scroll vertically, use yspeed for horizontal use xspeed and for diagonal movement use both

<body background="http://URL_of_cornerback" xspeed="10" yspeed="20">

Since this is a WebTV exclusive trick not widely documented, I could not find the upper limit of the specified speed. From experience I do know a speed btween 5 and 10 is a pretty leisure pace (depending on the image & the make-up of your page). You want to decide on a pace that will make your page look intriguing without being distractive to your viewer. Another point to remember: if you have animated images on your page, background movement will be very jumpy and slow at best. Using animated images and background movement will also interfere with the image animation.

The following tip was noticed while browsing through one of the html newsgroups. It was sent by one of our members for use in the article.

Intermediate Tip : JavaScript Bug Notice
To remind people to reload in case they experience the "Javascript Bug";
<noframes><font color="red">ERROR Hit Cmd and R key</font></noframes>

Animated Goofy Gopher gif (5358 bytes) ADDITIONAL INFO Due to a glitch (that still remains) from the December '98 Upgrade, if your page includes a JavaScript code of any kind, your page may occasionally not load correctly. And if the page doesn't load properly, some of the items on the page may not work. In an earlier article we mentioned using the <title> </title> as a great indicator to your visitors that your page has not loaded correctly because the title will not appear in the status bar on a misloaded page. Some people don't want to use the <title> tag. The code above will alert your visitors that an error has occurred and a reload is required.

Don't ask me to explain the technical aspects of why this works.... that is a bit above my head & skill level at present. I can however explain what will happen when you use this code or the example below. When your page loads correctly, none of the error alert text (message) will appear. However, when a misload has occurred, that part of your page that can load will appear, and so will the error message. This is important to know since it will help you to determine where to place the alert codes. For example, you would obviously want it to appear as near the top of your page as possible. Another example of an error message, graciously supplied by Prototype-1 shortly after the bug was discovered, appears below. [note: As with other scripts provided to us by our fellow WebTVers for general free use, this script is free for use provided the author statement ("Brought to you by Prototype-1") remains intact and part of the code.]

&lt;!---JS Failure Alert Code---> &lt;script> &lt;!-- // Brought to you By Prototype-1 </plaintext><font color="#cc00cc"><plaintext>x='-'; if ( navigator.appCodeName == 'bowser' ) { document.write('\&lt;'+'!'+x+x);} </plaintext></font color><plaintext> //--> &lt;/script> &lt;img src=goofygopher.gif height=55 align=center border=0 alt="Animated Goofy Gopher gif (5358 bytes)"> &lt;center>&lt;emp> &lt;font color="a10000" size="5" effect="shadow"> &lt;limittext width="490" value="Warning~~JS Failure "> &lt;br> &lt;limittext width="490" value=" ( cmd[R]eload x 5 ) "> &lt;br> &lt;limittext width="490" value="( ~~or until title appears below~~ ) "> </plaintext><font color="#cc00cc"><b><plaintext>&lt;--></plaintext></b></font color> <plaintext> &lt;/FONT>&lt;/EMP>&lt;/CENTER> &lt;!---End js failure alert code---> </plaintext> <p> There are a few important things to notice about the above script. <ul><li>Although a validator will tell you to place JavaScript in the &lt;head> section, this script can be placed wherever on your page you want the error message to appear when a misload has occurred. Again, it should be in the area near the top or prominent in the first screen of data that appears when your page loads....like maybe right under the &lt;h1> Heading if one is used. On longer pages, I also place it mid-way or near the end just in case they miss the first one. <li>It doesn't <i><u>necessarily</u></i> have to be spaced or entered <i><u>exactly</u></i> as I've formatted it above. I've seen this written with "word wrap" on (i.e. no "returns" or line breaks between the &lt;script> and the closing &lt;/center> tags) and it still works....<b><i>providing</i></b> you adhere to the following points: <ul><li>The &lt;font> and &lt;limitext> attributes can be changed to personal taste; <i><b>but</b></i> <li>the text of the code that appears in color above must remain <i><u>exactly</u></i> as written, even though it may seem there is an error or it doesn't make sense. <p> For example, although the &lt;--&gt; appears to be either an error or a useless bit of code, omitting it will cause the error message to show up all the time, even when a misload has not occurred. Your visitors will get mighty frustrated if they've done 15-30 reloads and the error message won't go away!!!</ul> <li>I've grown kinda fond of that little gopher fellow above. One neat little touch is to add an image, like in the above JS Failure Code example, that also will not appear unless there is a misload. <b><i>But</i></b>, it must be placed after the &ltl/script> tag in order for it to only show when a misload occurrs. <li>As you see, you can have several lines of text in your error message. I believe the &lt;limittext> determines the maxmimum length of the specified line of text that will be displayed. This could be useful if trying to design the error message to fit into a box, or align with other text or images, etc. Although it will only display when a misload occurs, you still might want to present a neat or desired appearance then also. By playing with the value you can predetermine what you want to appear on each line. Of course, the larger or longer the text you use will effect what value to set the &lt;limittext>. For WebTV, I believe the maximum screen width is around 544. </ul> <hr><p> <font size=5>About Alt.Discuss.Homepage-Homepage Helpers</font><p> The <a href="news:alt.discuss.homepage"> alt.discuss.homepage </a> 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 <i>our</i> home page at <a href="http://members.tripod.com/adhhh/"> http://members.tripod.com/adhhh/ </a>& request more one-on-one assistance. Our Help Teams (which can be directly contacted via our new <a href="http://members.tripod.com/adhhh/helpdesk.html">Help Desk</a>) include: <i>Tutor Team</i>; <i>Construction Crew</i> [if you have a particularly complex design problem]; & <i>Image Researchers</i>. Also check out the collection of various home page building resources in our <a href="http://members.tripod.com/adhhh/resource.html"><i>Resource Center</i></a>. <p> <i><b>Have a tip, idea, tool, or shortcut you'd like to share & see featured in the next or subsequent article? <a href="http://members.tripod.com/adhhh/tips_form.html"> Submit </a> your tip to our ADH-HH Tips & Tools Committee. </b></i> </body> </html>