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DHTML: Visual QuickStart Guide

DHTML: Visual QuickStart Guide

by Jason Cranford Teague, Simon Hayes (Editor)

Finally, the smoke is clearing on the technology which unleashes the full capabilities of the world's 4.0 web browsers: DHTML. Capable of creating full multimedia power on a web site, DHTML is a collection of related technologies, cascading style sheets, Javascript, and HTML used together in powerful and elegant ways. The effects can be stunning, and give web


Finally, the smoke is clearing on the technology which unleashes the full capabilities of the world's 4.0 web browsers: DHTML. Capable of creating full multimedia power on a web site, DHTML is a collection of related technologies, cascading style sheets, Javascript, and HTML used together in powerful and elegant ways. The effects can be stunning, and give web designers unprecedented power over their visual interfaces. After learning DHTML, the interactive designer and webmaster can create web pages filled with animation, synchronized events, intelligent data, and beautiful fonts: all the bells and whistles!

The DHTML Visual QuickStart Guide inherits the immensely successful format and approach of the best-selling HTML and Javascript titles and shows that DHTML doesn't have to be difficult to learn. A technology created for designers, DHTML should not only be used by programmers.Task based, step-by-step instructions and easy to follow screen shots make the DHTML Visual QuickStart Guide the easiest way to learn DHTML. Read the book cover to cover, or just follow the steps for the task you need, right here, right now. Either way, you'll be up and running with DHTML in no time.

Easy to use and also comprehensive. The DHTML Visual QuickStart Guide documents every aspect of this complex technology, and provides extensive appendices that make finding the exact code word you need a snap.

Editorial Reviews

An easy, visual approach to DHTML. Part step-by-step step-by-step guide and part quick reference, it uses screen shots and images, clear instructions, tips, fingertabs, and a detailed index to cover all of DHTML's features. Enables Web designers using any browser on any platform to position elements anywhere on the page and control their visibility; manipulate font sizes and formats; adjust kerning, leading, spacing, indents, text alignment, margins, borders, and bullets; set colors and backgrounds; and create headlines, sidebars, titles, and columns. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

Peachpit Press
Publication date:
Visual QuickStart Guide Series
Edition description:
Older Edition
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.01(h) x 0.55(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

So you want to learn how to make your Web pages more exciting... more interesting... more dynamic-but you don't have all day. Creating Web pages used to be simple. You learned a few tags, created a few graphics, and presto: Web page. Now with streaming video, CGI, Shockwave, Flash, and Java, Web pages and their design may seem overwhelming to anyone not wanting to become a computer programmer. Enter Dynamic HTML, a suite of technologies that give you-the Web designer-the ability to add pizzazz to your Web pages as quickly and easily as HTML does. With Dynamic HTML you don't have to rely on plug-ins that the visitor might not have, or complicated programming languages (except maybe a little JavaScript). For the most part, Dynamic HTML is created the same way as HTML and requires no special software to produce.

Who is this book for? If the title of this book caught your eye, you're probably already well acquainted with the ins and outs of the Internet's most popular off shoot, the World Wide Web-or perhaps just a severely confused arachnophile. In order to understand this book, you will need to be familiar with the HyperText Mark-up Language. You don't have to be an expert, but you should at least know the difference between a

tag and a
tag. In addition, several of the chapters call for more than a passing knowledge of JavaScript. That said, the more knowledge about HTML and JavaScript you can bring to this book, the more you will be able to get out of it.

What is Dynamic HTML?
I'll let you in on a little secret: There really isn't a DHTML. At least, not in the way that there is an HTML or a JavaScript. HTML and JavaScript are specific, easily identified technologies for the Web. Dynamic HTML, on the other hand, is a marketing term coined by both Netscape and Microsoft to describe a series of technologies introduced in the 4.0 versions of their Web browsers, to enhance the "dynamic" capabilities of those browsers.
So the real question is, what makes a Web page dynamic? There is, of course, substantial debate on this topic, but we can agree on a few things.

  • Dynamic documents allow the designer to control how the HTML displays the Web pages' content.
  • Dynamic documents react and change with the actions of the visitor (the person using the Web site).
  • Dynamic documents can exactly position any element in the window, and change that position after the document has loaded.
  • Dynamic documents can hide and show content as needed.

The flavors of DHTML
Unfortunately, Netscape and Microsoft have differing ideas about exactly what technologies should be used to make HTML more dynamic. Fortunately for us, the specifications of these two companies do overlap, as shown in Figure I.1. And this area of overlap is what this book is primarily about. Why? Because the World Wide Web was founded on a very simple premise: the display of Web documents should be indifferent to the software being used.
Evolution and progress mean newer browsers have had to add technologies not supported by legacy (older) browsers. Still, there is an important tenet supporting the idea of being able to use the Web regardless of whose binary code you happen to be running. Cross-browser capability is what the Web is all about, and for good reason.
Cross-Browser DHTML

    The following technologies will run pretty much identically, regardless of the DHTML browser being used. (Exceptions are noted throughout this book.)
    • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Level 1 CSS allows you to define how HTML tags should display their content.
    • Cascading Style Sheets-Positioning (CSS-P) With CSS-P you can exactly position HTML elements anywhere in the window, as well as control the visibility of those elements.
    • JavaScript 1.2 JavaScript allows you to create simple code to control the behavior of Web page elements. Netscape-Specific DHTML: Netscape has brought several new technologies to the table hoping to create more dynamic Web pages. Unfortunately, these technologies will never become standards because CSS does most of the same things and is endorsed by the W3C.
    • JavaScript Style Sheets: Like CSS, JSS allows you to define how HTML tags display their content; but JSS uses a JavaScript syntax.
    • Layers: Like CSS-P, layers allow you to control the position of elements on the screen and their visibility. Microsoft-Specific DHTML Much of the Microsoft-specific DHTML is based on proprietary Microsoft software, such as ActiveX technology. Since ActiveX is owned by Microsoft, it is unlikely that it will ever be a cross-browser technology.
    • Visual Filters: Visual filters let you perform visual effects on graphics and text in your document. If you have ever worked with Photoshop filters, you'll understand the similar ways of visual filters.
    • Dynamic CSS: With Internet Explorer you can not only change the positions of elements on the screen, you can change their visual appearance as well.
    • CSS and DHTML: By the beginning of the next millennium, a scant two years away, the Web will probably bear no more resemblance to its current incarnation than a telephone does to an aldus lamp. The technologies used to create Web pages will continue to evolve, especially in the visual range. One thing Web design has always lacked however, especially for anyone used to the controls available in desktop layout programs such as PageMaker and Quark, is exact control over the position and appearance of the HTML elements on the screen. Cascading Style Sheets,-the key component of cross-browser DHTML technology and a central topic of this book-allow for just such control over our Web pages. Although the concept of control may not seem as jazzy and dynamic as the ability to make graphics move around on the page, CSS has the potential to do for Web layout what word processors did for print publication. In addition, the dynamic capabilities of cross browser DHTML are all predicated on the use of Cascading Style Sheet-Positioning.

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