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Unity [web] Web Beginner Questions and Resources

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Hi, I am setting out to create a webpage. I have designed two websites previously, one with a WYSIWYG editor, and one written with notepad using basically just HTML 1.0. Now I am ready for something bigger and better using some scripting, XML, CSS, and of course XHTML. I am looking for a forum or community like gamedev.net but for website designers and a place where I could get help for my questions. I have some basic stuff done, but I want to know whats possible and whats not possible with javascript. I know exactly what I want my page to do. Thanks everyone for the links and answers![wink] Learning w3schools webstandards.org Forums Coding Forums Code Project aprelium.com Forums Good Sources w3.org alistapart.com PHP ASP 4guysfromrolla.com experts-exchange.com javascript javascript Kit javascript Source DOM Gecko DOM Reference Searching google.com www.com [Edited by - Boder on July 11, 2004 4:26:33 PM]

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Okay here we go!

I've been working on a little site and the framework is all set up. I realized I was starting to go overboard with dynamic content and that I need to focus on real content now. The page is color-coded for each section and the user can change the background color. Here is a diagram of what it looks like.


+------------------------------------------------------+
| +--------+ +-----------+------------+-----------+ |
| | SIDE | | Home | Section 1 | Section 2 | |
| | MENU | +-----------+------------+-----------+ |
| | | +------------------------------------+ |
| |--------| | | |
| | info | |=========== date & time ============| |
| +--------+ | | |
| | INSERT CONTENT | |
| | | |
| | | |
| +------------------------------------+ |
| |
| last modified |
| |
| XHTML & CSS VALIDATION |
| |
| |
+------------------------------------------------------+


So the framework is done, just need some "meat" on my "plate" if you know what I mean. im vegetarian. The framework works out to 4.60 kb.

Questions

1. The biggest question and most important... how should I insert content?
In my limited understanding, I can think of 3 ways.
a.) Copy and Paste Framework into each html document
b.) Use javascript .innerHTML to tediously insert entire pages into the appropriate position, making sure not to mess up quotations (pretty impossible)
c.) Use iframe and change the source depeding on which page to load.

How to professional and other webpages with menu systems keep the framework intact while changing the content? Are there better ways to do this? Is this what server-side languages are good for, amongst other things of course?

2. I know that table based web designs are being phased out. Are frames and iframes also being phased out? I ask this because my page is XHTML strict and the frameset DTD is even more lenient than transitional so I don't know if I want to use an iframe.

3. Working with webpage design, I've switched to Firefox for a number of reasons. It supports the "fixed" position for elements so that they stay on the page while the rest of it scrolls. Is there a way to detect whether a browser supports this "fixed" position or do I have to test each browser and then use browser detection code to set either 'absolute' or 'fixed' position?

4. The w3schools XML examples don't work at all in Firefox. Is there an XML parser thats non-microsoft to use for websites? Is there a way I could use XML and XSLT to define my content and then insert it in the content area of my webpage? XML really isn't used a whole lot currently for making webpages yet is it?

5. Is there any difference between span and div besides their nesting behaviors? Why use span if its more restrictive?

6. Is NN7 based on the Mozilla engine or Gecko or whatever technology?

Phew.. That takes a lot off my mind. Anyone have any answers to above-mentioned questions? Thanks for reading this!

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Quote:
Original post by Boder
1. The biggest question and most important... how should I insert content?
In my limited understanding, I can think of 3 ways.
a.) Copy and Paste Framework into each html document
b.) Use javascript .innerHTML to tediously insert entire pages into the appropriate position, making sure not to mess up quotations (pretty impossible)
c.) Use iframe and change the source depeding on which page to load.

I'm just trying to figure out the same thing myself - moving to a CSS based layout/style method has so far helped hugely (*so* much easier and more predictable than tables) but I'm still trying to avoid having to copy and paste the same boiler plate code everywhere. After some thought I'm going to stick my boiler-plate code (header, footer, side nav bar) in individual PHP functions and call them from each page. This should hopefully distil each page down to pretty much pure content, with layout and navigation in seperate, shared CSS and PHP files.

Quote:
2. I know that table based web designs are being phased out. Are frames and iframes also being phased out? I ask this because my page is XHTML strict and the frameset DTD is even more lenient than transitional so I don't know if I want to use an iframe.

IMHO, frames totally suck and should *never* be used on any site. CSS 'fixed' will eventually be a proper replacement, but for the time being I'd still avoid frames like the plauge, they're just too annoying from the users point of view.

Quote:
3. Working with webpage design, I've switched to Firefox for a number of reasons. It supports the "fixed" position for elements so that they stay on the page while the rest of it scrolls. Is there a way to detect whether a browser supports this "fixed" position or do I have to test each browser and then use browser detection code to set either 'absolute' or 'fixed' position?

Never 'switch' to a browser for web design. Its a good idea to keep several browsers with your page open all the time, then you just have to refresh each to see how you're looking on all of them. I'm currently using Opera, Firefox and IE6 for testing.

'fixed' is pretty much unusable at the moment. While Firefox and Opera both support it, IE has some horrible bugs with it, rendering it practically useless.

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Quote:
Original post by Boder
Questions

1. The biggest question and most important... how should I insert content?
In my limited understanding, I can think of 3 ways.
a.) Copy and Paste Framework into each html document
b.) Use javascript .innerHTML to tediously insert entire pages into the appropriate position, making sure not to mess up quotations (pretty impossible)
c.) Use iframe and change the source depeding on which page to load.

How to professional and other webpages with menu systems keep the framework intact while changing the content? Are there better ways to do this? Is this what server-side languages are good for, amongst other things of course?

Indeed. This is best handled on the server side, using an XSL processor or any number of other options. Alternatively you could pre-render static HTML pages from XML/XSLT avoid the overhead of server-side programming.

Quote:
2. I know that table based web designs are being phased out. Are frames and iframes also being phased out? I ask this because my page is XHTML strict and the frameset DTD is even more lenient than transitional so I don't know if I want to use an iframe.
iframes should definitely be phased out, as there are standards compliant ways of implementing that kind of functionality. Frames aren't quite dead yet.

Quote:
3. Working with webpage design, I've switched to Firefox for a number of reasons. It supports the "fixed" position for elements so that they stay on the page while the rest of it scrolls. Is there a way to detect whether a browser supports this "fixed" position or do I have to test each browser and then use browser detection code to set either 'absolute' or 'fixed' position?
You would have to use browser detection code. Alternatively you could design your layout to be tolerant of IE's shortcomings.

Quote:
4. The w3schools XML examples don't work at all in Firefox. Is there an XML parser thats non-microsoft to use for websites? Is there a way I could use XML and XSLT to define my content and then insert it in the content area of my webpage? XML really isn't used a whole lot currently for making webpages yet is it?
Which examples are you referring to?

See my answer for #1.

Quote:
6. Is NN7 based on the Mozilla engine or Gecko or whatever technology?
Yes.

Quote:
Original post by OrangyTang
'fixed' is pretty much unusable at the moment. While Firefox and Opera both support it, IE has some horrible bugs with it, rendering it practically useless.

I agree. IE is useless.

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