JavaScript Section - 2001

The history of the old JavaScript Section, 2001. I disabled the internal links since they reflect the old site structure.

21 December 2001: Timeout. I'm taking a break by going to the countryside for a few days. Mails will be answered only after Christmas. Count on 27 or 28 December.

20 December 2001: Finally updated my faithful getObj() function to handle nested layers in Netscape 4. I renamed it to the DHTML micro-API. It's my answer to the horrid bloatware for solving DOM problems that wanders around the Net in ghostly torment. You don't need a 40K script, just my API and basic knowledge of DHTML.

13 December 2001: Major edit of the About page: I added lots more stuff about myself and an updated portfolio.

27 November 2001: Added the Find position script which calculates the actual position of an HTML element on the page. Surprisingly this script works perfectly in Netscape 4 while all other browsers have problems ranging from annoying to severe.

25 November 2001: 'Webdesign in de praktijk', for which I have written the JavaScript chapters, has been published. At the moment it is only interesting for my Dutch readers.
(Lees verder)

12 November 2001: Added a short script that calculates the Internet Beat.

10 November 2001: An alert reader sent me some very important Explorer 6 information. If you use a DOCTYPE, all properties of document.body are reassigned to document.documentElement. See the Window manipulation page for more information.

8 November 2001: Added a short script to check for a valid email address.

6 November 2001: Some quick notes on Netscape 6.2 and Explorer 6.

31 October 2001: Added a page about using objects as associative arrays. You can create an array and refer to its elements by name instead of number (status['Home'] instead of status[0]). Very useful in many circumstances.

22 October 2001: I'd like to draw attention to my test directory in which I've gathered some random non-JavaScript tests. Today I added a short description of the FIELDSET, LEGEND and LABEL tags.

10 October 2001: Later than expected, but finally ready:

The W3C DOM Compatibility Table, Version 2.0 .

Includes information about Level 1 HTML (mainly playing with tables), CSS and some minor details that were absent from the first version. I also separated Explorer on Windows and Mac because it becomes ever more clear that they are two different browsers, not two versions of the same browser.
I also retested all older methods and properties and found some mistakes in the old table.

17 September 2001: Again a major update of the change style sheets script: the example script is now supposed to work in Explorer 5 and Netscape 6.

16 September 2001: Found out how changing style sheets works in Explorer on Windows. Needless to say, Microsoft uses different arrays and properties than W3C. Page updated.

9 September 2001: An alert reader found out how to add text to a newly created TEXTAREA in Netscape 6: set its value after the TEXTAREA has been inserted into the document.
Based on this information I updated the Edit text script.

I finished my Dutch chapters on JavaScript and the editing of Flanagan's chapters. This means I'm free to answer mail, update the DOM Compatibility Table and work on my own book proposal.

4 September 2001: Added a short test page about changing style sheets. No practical application yet, browser support is too patchy.

Still no time to reply to mails, expect an answer somewhere in the weekend or early next week.

30 August 2001: A new project: David Flanagan, writer of JavaScript, the Definitive Guide, has asked me to edit some of the chapters of the forthcoming 4th edition. Of course I accepted this very flattering request.

Due to the pressure of all these projects and some very nasty personal problems I cannot answer mails at the moment. You may still send them, but they'll get answered only next week or maybe even later.

27 August 2001: Added the Edit text script with which you can edit paragraphs in a page. This is very useful for content management systems.

20 August 2001: All technical problems seem to be solved. The wrong last modified date I noticed yesterday was a result of the computer crash: my computer itself thought it was 2023. Solved.

Now I can get back to writing. Don't expect this site to be updated much in the coming week, I'm to busy writing the JavaScript and DHTML chapters for Kentie's book (in Dutch) and the proposal for my own book.
When the proposal has been accepted I'll start up the feedback form again. If you want to help me and to make sure the book contains the information you need, please leave your email address and I'll send you a mail when the form is back online with new questions.

19 August 2001: Crash seems to be solved. I ran Norton, it didn't find any viruses but after that my computer worked fine again. I suppose it really was a psychological call for attention.
To keep us on our toes, the server this site is on thinks it's 2023 so the last modified dates of my pages are all wrong. I'll lodge a complaint.

17 August 2001: My computer at home has crashed horribly. For the moment I will not be able to react to mail. Please be patient.

9 August 2001: Major update of the Netscape 6 description on the Browsers page. Discussion of what I call Netscape 6.1 Provisional Final Release.

6 August 2001: Book news: I closed the feedback questionnaire because I now have enough information to decide what kind of book to write. The proposal is now in its final phase.
For my Dutch readers: I'm currently writing the JavaScript and DHTML chapters of Peter Kentie's popular book "Webdesign in de praktijk".
Lees verder (Page mainly in Dutch).

3 August 2001: Again an obscure browser: Espial Escape 4.7. Compatibility info updated where necessary.

27 July 2001: Added three scripts to manage your cookies. I didn't write them myself. Instead I copied them (with permission) from Scott Andrew's website because his functions are excellent and I don't see the need to reinvent them.

25 July 2001: Major update of the Flash detect script. It now also detects the version of the installed Flash player.

22 July 2001: Some changes to the Introduction to forms page. I added some notes on Explorer 5.0 Windows bugs and the code to change a form field.

21 July 2001: Back from holiday, to work again.
I added the Fixed table header and the Sticky menu scripts. Since the DHTML category now had 13 pages, I split it into a Theory and a Practice category.

13 July 2001: Jeff Howden pointed out I've made a quite dramatic mistake in the support detection for the focus method: Netscape 2 and Explorer 3 support focus on form fields, though not on windows. Not yet sure how to solve this one.
I took the opportunity to update the Support Detection page to reflect my new JavaScript/browser versioning system.
Now off to the countryside to celebrate my birthday. I'll be unavailable for the next few days. Mails will be answered later.

9 July 2001: In the continuing series "Obscure browsers" I proudly present QNX Voyager. Updated compatibility info where necessary.
To celebrate the discovery of a hitherto unknown browser and OS, I executed an old plan and split the Browsers page into five parts, an Introduction, and four pages for the Version 2, 3, 4 and 5 browsers. I made these five pages into the Browsers category.
I end this busy day with a brand new Netscape 6.1 bug: frame resizing by the user is not supported, even when the NORESIZE attribute is left out of the FRAME tag. Hurray, hurray.

28 June 2001: Updated the Book page. I've had 108 reactions so far. Added some interesting quotes of readers.
Or fill in my questionnaire: what kind of JavaScript book would you like me to write?

26 June 2001: Added a hack to the disabling form fields script that makes it Netscape 3/4 compatible for most form fields.

19 June 2001: Added a short page about disabling form fields.

13 June 2001: The Mac OS X workstation is operational, so I immediately tested the Omniweb browser. See the browsers page for details. I also updated compatibility info where necessary.

11 June 2001: The rumour of the week was "Netscape quits!". I've studied the article that started it all and found that there was in fact no hard evidence of Netscape quitting the browser business. Therefore I don't believe it. Read my reasoning in this article.

18 May 2001: Updated the Book page: 65 readers have now responded to my questionnaire. Thanks, all! You can still send me your remarks.
I haven't updated this site much because I'm busy creating a W3C DOM Test Suite. I find the existing ones far too complex, apart from which they don't pay much attention to browser compatibility. The Test Suite isn't ready yet, please have patience.

16 May 2001: Published a feature article on Nick Finck's Digital Web about the DOM in JavaScript.

Visitors from Digital Web: if you want to read everything about the Document Object Model, start with the Level 0 DOM page and read the whole trilogy. If you're only interested in the new W3C DOM, go to the Level 1 DOM page.
Also, if you want to delve deeply into the DOM, you might want to become a member of the W3C DOM Mailing List I founded.

1 May 2001: iCab 2.51 has been released. It supports CSS and a bit of DHTML. Also studied Opera 5 beta 8 Linux, seems OK.
Compatibility info updated where necessary.

29 April 2001: Frames are definitely out of fashion nowadays. Although I fully expect them to be rediscovered somewhere in 2002, I've still been rethinking my own site, the more since readers repeatedly asked to be allowed to open a page in a new window.
I removed the script that forces each content page into my frameset. This site is still meant to be viewed in frames but it's not required any more.
Please let me know whether you like this site best with or without frames. I'll make a final decision based on your answers.

The frames question is clearly not very important to readers of this site. I got 5 answers to the question above. 3 supported frames, one was against them and one didn't care. I continued using my old system.

27 April 2001: Added the scrolling layer script I used in the World Press Photo site.
A reader gave me some very interesting information about Netscape 2 on OS/2 that once again confirms that support detection is far superior to browser detection.

25 April 2001: The second phase of the World Press Photo site has gone online. For JavaScripters the most interesting page is the improved Stories page. I'll put the layer scrolling script on this site somewhere later this week.

Two minor points:
1) An alert reader pointed out that time in am/pm notation is illogical: it's 12:34 pm, not 0:34 pm, as my date and time script said until now. Script adjusted.
2) Another alert reader pointed out that the Mozilla 0.8.1 problems I experienced come from third-party themes that aren't yet compatible with the new chrome handling.

16 April 2001: Once again updated the Frame Busting page. An alert reader found out that it is possible to bust frames in Netscape 6. Unfortunately this possibility is very user-unfriendly, so I don't use it on this site.

14 April 2001: Published some results of the Book feedback form. What kind of book do the readers of my site want me to write? You can still add your comments.

11 April 2001: Some minor changes on the window manipulation page: added self.screenTop and -Left and finally found out exactly how pageYoffset works.

5 April 2001: Some minor changes on the browsers page and some other pages. Nothing huge, but I'm slowly starting up maintenance of this site again.

28 March 2001: Took a break from JavaScripting by doing some CSS 2 research. See the new CSS 2 Tests for the results and lots of browser fun.

26 March 2001: I'm seriously thinking of writing a JavaScript book. I'm currently working on a proposal and I would very much like to get your feedback to my plans. If you want me to write the book you want to read, please take the time to fill in the form.

16 March 2001: Timeout. I'm too tired to maintain this site at the moment. I will get back to it after some time, don't worry, but at the moment I ignore most mails and I don't update pages.

End of the stream of new scripts. I added only one script that I had to write for World Press Photo phase 2 anyway. Instead I did some other things and I got a lot of reader feedback, which led to interesting discoveries.

8 March 2001: Added two scripts that I wanted to standardize for ages: the print script to print out a page and the file size script to find out how large a page is.
I'm not yet content with the print script, I'll rewrite it later on and that's why I kept the explanation very short.

5 March 2001: Some small but important changes in the image protection script. It didn't work properly in Netscape 6 because that browser shows the special menu onMouseUp, not onMouseDown. Also I hadn't properly treated Ctrl+click on Mac.

4 March 2001: Added the CSS Disabling script with which you can dynamically enable or disable style sheets.

26 February 2001: Finally found the time to do some browser research. I studied Opera 5 on Mac and an Explorer 6 beta a colleague of mine found. Results are shown on the browsers page. I also added compatibility info where necessary.
At the same time I updated the W3C DOM methods and properties page with information about these browsers, Konqueror 2.1 and Opera 5.02 and Netscape 6.01 (no changes for the last two).

18 February 2001: Added a get styles script for reading out the default styles of HTML elements. Works only in Version 5, and it isn't perfect yet because of browser bugginess, but it's a start.

16 February 2001: Way behind with the browser research. I partially updated the browsers page with some info about Netscape 6.01, Opera 5.02 and Konqueror 2.1, but I haven't yet done any real testing. Also my Linux test station has trouble, so it might take a while before I catch up with Konqueror 2.1 and Opera 4 on Linux.

End of World Press Photo, phase 1. Started adding lots of stuff to this site.

13 February 2001: For once an external link on this place: I recently finished the World Press Photo site and I'm very proud of it.
This project also nets you, reader of my site, some nice scripts. They wanted a copyright warning when someone tries to copy the photos, so I wrote an image protection script for them. Also, I wrote the DHTML navigation script I released last week for this site.
As it seems now the second phase of this project will require me to write some more standard scripts, which I will publish here.

2 February 2001: Added a DHTML navigation script. This is the script users of this site request most and now I have finally written a version that's good enough to show. Enjoy.

21 January 2001: Major restructuring of the DHTML category. I completely rewrote the Introduction to DHTML and put the options for writing cross-browser DHTML on a separate page. Also updated the DHTML example so that it uses my favourite function getObj() and includes a script to change text colour.

19 January 2001: Added Mozilla 5 as a separate browser to the browsers page. Some minor changes in the description of other browsers.

11 January 2001: Just a short note to say that this site is still being maintained. In the past three weeks I made a lot of small changes in most pages and I'm working on a major restructuring of the DHTML category. So new content is coming up.

Here my research period ended and I started working on the World Press Photo site. This required me to write some standard scripts, which are published here.