adjunct to my resume.
didn't support it. In the summer of 1999, I decided that this was no longer the
case, and decided to experiment with changing the 'jumpbar' on my
homeschool resource site
from the current normal/bold links to something that looks more like
a Windows application, with "stay down"
I think this worked rather well, and that the stay-down buttons showed context
better than the bold link does - but decided not to deploy this, when I found that
pretty much stuck to little things that would add value to my pages
for the JS-enabled majority, without crippling the JS-disabled minority.
For example, for years I'd used bitmaps error-diffused down to 256-colors,
because Paint Shop Pro did such a better job than the various browsers. But as
more and more people got computers that could display 24-bit color even at high
resolution, my 256-color logo bitmap started looking worse and worse. So,
[at the time I originally wrote this] my site's
main page and the
About Midnight Beach
page now have code to redirect JS-enabled browsers to a page that displays a
24-bit logo on machines that can handle it.
One of the things that I came to hate the most about maintaining a large site was
the boilerplate. A consistent look meant lots of identical code all over
the site, and changing the look meant changing all that code. Before I decided that
my standard design elements. This would let a change to a single file affect all files,
and would eliminate a lot of visual noise from my HTML files. In the end, I decided
ever got used is on my What's New page.
Here, however, I decided that the boilerplate burden of generating fussy
table entries every time I changed a page was just too high. So, I 'froze' the
time saver: I just write a line like
On("November 20, 1999", Updated(["Minnesota" ]) );
and the script generates a proper TR, handles all the list syntax (commas,
ands, and pluralizing), and even updates the date at the bottom of the page. The
What's_New.html contains a little JS-detect code, that directs JS-disabled users
to the 'frozen' page, and everyone else to the active page.
Like most large sites, I have a problem with 'deep linking' into my site. I don't
care about loss of ad revenue; I do care that someone might get sent to a subpage
and not realize how much more there was to my site. I think the frameset does a
pretty good job of letting people know where they are and what else there is - but
if they never see the frames, they might not ever explore the rest of the site.
So, I added a little more boilerplate to my site, so that most pages now know
what frame they belong under. If you follow someone else's link to a bare subpage
(like this example),
I measure the success of my front page by the amount of dumb mail I get. By this
measure, the Quick Tips box at http://www.midnightbeach.com/hs
was a huge success. So much so, that when a friend suggested that maybe it
should be in a separate window, I decided to make it a popup. Now, the JS-disabled
minority sees a two-section Quick Tips; the JS-enabled majority sees a third section
position preferences, though naturally this code works a lot better on Netscape.
UI was much easier to do than it was back in the old Turbo Pascal / DOS days, but
the performance is pretty poor.
Back in October, I decided to revamp the page for my poker
mailing list in the hopes of perhaps drawing in some more people by adding
descriptions of the games we play. I wanted the TOC in the left frame to show
which page (or subpage) you were on the right frame, whether you followed a link
off the left or right frame.
didn't want to break things for the JS-disabled 18%. That meant every link had
to be doubled, like this
// --></script><noscript><a href="stud.html#Five_Card_Stud">Five Card Stud</a></noscript>
which made for a maintenance nightmare that I didn't want to take on! So,
instead I just wrote a Perl preprocessor so that I could write these doubled
links as <x href=> tags.
QuizMaker is a
Perl script that reads a
multiple choice quiz of the type common in newspapers and magazines. Each
response may have a score value (the default is 0) and a Score button pops
so that clicking on a radio buttons caption clicks on the radio box (just like
Windows apps) and scrolls the next question into view.
Copyright © 1999, Jon Shemitz,