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spacer.gif (807 bytes) Dynamic Drive DHTML Newsletter!
July 8th, 1999 Issue #7
Dynamic Drive URL: http://dynamicdrive.com

Welcome to the Dynamicdrive.com DHTML newsletter, the DHTML newsletter that keeps you informed on the latest updates to Dynamicdrive.com, and news on the DHTML technology!

------------------Newsletter begins here-----------
1) New DHTML scripts added to Dynamic Drive
2) DHTML Tip: Customizing the favorites icon image in IE 5
3) DHTML News Update: Mozilla, Mozilla, where are you?
4) Thank for the compliments, people!
----------------------------------------------------

1) New DHTML scripts added to Dynamic Drive

-Watching Eyes Script (http://dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex4/watcheye.htm)
Ever feel like you're being watched while surfing on the internet? Well, now you are! This fun, cross browser DHTML script follows your mouse around with a "watching eye". So do behave!

-Flying Image (http://dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex4/xoomimage.htm)
This script demonstrates the use of VBscript to create a DHTML script that flies a relatively-positioned image straightly across the screen. JavaScript isn't the only path to DHTML's heart, you know :-)

-Pausing up-down message scroller (http://dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex2/crosstick.htm)
One of the most popular script in our archive has just been updated, after numerous feedback from you, our surfers. Feature wise, this updated script now allows you to use a custom background image on the scroller.  Improvements wise, the scroller no longer displays itself in the upper left corner of the screen while the page is loading in NS, and for IE browsers, the first two messages of the scroller no longer inadvertently overlaps during page loading. If you didn't get a word we just said, that's fine. Quite frankly, we didn't either! One thing's for sure, though. If you've been using this script in the past, the time is here to upgrade...

-Pop-up 2.0 by Lefteris Haritou (http://dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex1/pop-up/popmenu.htm)
Lefteris has updated his popular pop-up program to version 2.0. Updates include an enhanced interface, and several bug fixes. Download Pop-up 2.0 today!

-Internet Amp midi player (http://dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex11/midiplayer/mplayer.htm)
Download v2.02 of the mind-blowing internet Amp midi player script. This updated version incorporates better randomization of the songs (when the "random song" button is selected), plus an important bug fix (which caused the script to crash in rare occasions when viewed under certain NS browsers). We'd say that alone is reason enough to upgrade to this version!


2) DHTML tip: Customizing the favorites icon image in IE 5

If you're currently using IE 5 to surf the web, you may have noticed a rather strange phenomenon right after bookmarking some sites (you do bookmark sites every once in a while, right?) on the net- in your browser's favorites menu where the bookmarked site is listed, a custom icon appears alongside the listing (instead of the default, IE icon). As if that wasn't strange enough, the custom icon suddenly shows up on your browser's address bar as well whenever you revisit that site. You're impressed, and since you suddenly remembered that you run a site as well, you say to yourself "How the heck did he do that?"

Well, we'll show you how. It's really quite a simple process, a process in which the hardest part is actually not how to associate a custom icon with your site, but rather, how to create an icon image that doesn't look like someone scribbled all over it. However, first thing's first. To associate a custom icon with your site (so it shows up alongside YOUR surfer's favorites menu and address bar after they've bookmarked your site), do the following:

1. Create the icon image. The image should be 16x16 in pixel dimension, and use only a 16 color palette.
2. Save the image as "favicon.ico"
3. Upload this image into your root directory, where your index.htm page is located.

That's it! IE 5 browsers will automatically seek and associate this image with your site whenever your IE 5 surfers bookmark the site.

One important thing to take note, though. If your site is on Geocities, or any other place where you don't have access to the root directory (ie: http://www.geocities.com is the root directory, whereas http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Orchard/1/ is not), the above method will not work for you. Joe Tan, a Dynamicdrive.com surfer, was kind enough to show us an alternative method of associating a custom icon with a site that will work in this situation as well. We'll hand the mic to Joe now. "If you don't have access to webroot (ie geocities), you can still have the icon functionality by simply inserting this line of HTML code at the top of your webpages: <LINK REL="SHORTCUT ICON" href="/path/foo.ico"> where /path/foo.ico is the path to the icon file. This method will work for anyone." Thanks Joe (http://conline.net/) for the tip!

Now, let's shift our focus to the most important part of this discussion- how to create a presentable image icon. After all, an ugly and unprofessional looking icon is worse than no icon at all. While we certainly aren't qualified to give a lecture on how to create an effective, decent-looking icon file, what we can show you are the tools you should use to make this happen. Most graphic designers will agree that the best tool for creating an icon image is, well, an icon editor! You will find an abundance of them, including freeware ones, in most download sites, such as hotfiles.com. Personally, we recommend Microangelo 98, a great shareware icon editor. This is the program we used to create the custom icon for Dynamic Drive. You can download a copy of Micorangelo 98 at it's homepage, at http://www.impactsoft.com/


3) DHTML News Update: Mozilla, Mozilla, where are you?

Since our discussion on Mozilla in the last issue of the Dynamicdrive.com newsletter (titled "Netscape abandons backwards compatibility in NS 5"), we've been receiving many emails from surfers wanting to know a little bit more about this creature. Specifically, what the big deal was about this upcoming NS browser, and when exactly it will be released. Well, we'll answer the later, and let an excellent article on the web take care of the former. NS 5 (Gecko) is scheduled to be officially released at the end of this year. Of course, this date could change as fast as Netscape's decision to be acquired by AOL, so keep your fingers crossed. Now, as a web developer, just what are the reasons why you should even care about NS 5's release? Check out an excellent article from WebMonkey that answers just that question: http://www.hotwired.com/webmonkey/99/27/index0a.html


4) Thank for the compliments, people!

Since the inception of Dynamicdrive.com, our mailbox has constantly been stuffed by mails of kind words and compliments regarding the site from people from all over the world (literally). We were especially moved by one of the emails we recently received from one surfer, and thought it would be nice to share it with everyone:

"To those at Dynamic Drive: I'm new to DHTML, I guess that makes me an infant, but I have been EXTREMELY impressed with it. I was sick and tired of the same old JavaScript over-and-over. Well to be honest, sick of Java. I'm a computer science student, and for the first year I had Java up to my eyes; from applications to applets. To see DHTML was a refreshing change, and what a change it is. It makes JavaScript look like something that was used about 150 years ago. I mean JavaScript still has it's uses, iterations and stuff, but DHTML is a modern; it looks modern and runs faster. I started off with a few beginner tutorials at another site. When I had gone through the material there, I saw a link to here....That's when I was caught on DHTML. Your site is ... well, let me put it into words ... WICKED! I have never had so much fun with webdesign before. I would like to thank you for a job and a site that's very well done! Keep up the good work. I wish you had a "Rush Mail Service", so that when I go my mail from you, my browser(s) would automatically open to your site. Again, I am very impressed! Sincerely; Damien"

Thanks Damien, and the rest of you for the encouragement...we greatly appreciate each and every one of them...


This concludes the 7th edition of the Dynamic Drive DHTML newsletter. If you have a moment, please forward this newsletter to your friends and co-workers who may be interested in receiving it. See you again in issue 8!
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-If you like Dynamic Drive, please recommend us to a friend...

Legend
All- Script works with Netscape 4 AND Internet Explorer 4+
NS- Indicates script works with Netscape 4 (NOT NS 6 yet)
IE- Indicates script works with Internet Explorer 4 and above
NS6!- Temporary index set up on script category pages to indicate script works in NS6


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