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Jastor
18 January 2003, 09:38 AM
ive been working a while on my SW-RPG's gaming groups homepage, and now its up for viewing :).

http://www.polarhome.com:713/~red_sun/

not sure whatever or not it works in Netscape (if someone would be nice and check it out for me i would be glad .. ive only tested it in MSIE 6.0 as for now).

currently me and my players havent had the time to upload much of our characters, or their stats to for that matter. well .. any comments :)

Nafai
18 January 2003, 10:04 AM
If there is any content, I sure can't access it.

Don't take any of this the wrong way, as it's only meant to help. ;)

Splash pages are generally a bad idea. It's one more click that your viewers have to get through to get to your content. Yours actually goes one step beyond that and doesn't define anything--there's no text or indication as to what that image is--and you don't have a title specified--so looking at the browser doesn't lend any clues either.

Second, popups are not very friendly either. More windows open not only takes up more memory and screen space, but the main thing is--what point does it serve? Popups are generally only useful if the user would have a reason to keep the requesting page open. As the requesting page is a completely undefined splash page, it's not that case.

Next, is there any content? The popup didn't even work in IE on a Mac, and I don't think it's doing what you want with Navigator, Mozilla, etc. either.

I get a very small popup window with a neat background image, and then a frame within that that instantly covers the left 80% of the window with the "muahaha" text. ;) On the right 20% it just says <loading>.

I've attached a screen cap so that you can see what mean. I did not go through your code, as I obviously can't access your php files or your javascript, but these should be very trivial things to adjust. One thing I did notice is that you are linking a stylesheet that is a PHP file. That's generally not a good idea as any file ending in ".php" is parsed by PHP on the server--and a CSS file should just be plain text and sent directly to the browser.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Again, I don't want to sound like I'm ripping your site up--but it basically doesn't work. ;)

Nafai
18 January 2003, 10:10 AM
here's the screen cap

dgswensen
18 January 2003, 10:49 AM
The popup worked for me, but there doesn't seem to be any content there.

So you have a splash page which is a link to another page which says you have no content. Like Nafai, I don't mean to rip on you, but I'm wondering why you would advertise a basically non-existent site.

Jastor
18 January 2003, 10:52 AM
well, the reason why i have STYLE.PHP instead of STYLE.CSS is because i have some code to parse before its sent to the user (in this case, pragma, and some security stuff, to keep annoying rippers away .. well, it cant stop everyone, and i know its useless :) but its an thing i made a long time ago ;) and i just keep them there as a habit)

hmm .. the thing looks like your browser didnt sent REFERER page as it should.

the same thing with SCRIPT.PHP .. otherwise <LOADING> would be replaced with a menu

the content, well, just some stats (non complete for now) for our characters :)

im including a image of how it looks on the machines ive tested it on (win 98, 2000 and XP with MSIE 6.0)

Nafai
18 January 2003, 11:55 AM
I don't know about you, but I'd be more worried about having a friendly and accessible site than worrying about people taking your code and styles. It's not like they can change YOUR site, so if they borrow some of your stylesheets or other code, you should be flattered and not incensed. You do realize that even though on your computers, a forgivable and incorrect browser like IE 6 might look ok, but you are not using valid coding at all.

The least you could do, if you're set firm in having the site setup and accessed like it is now would be to remove the document declaration, as you are nowhere near having valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional, as you specify. And add your site's name to the title tag.

Your site still won't work in any browser other than IE 6.0, but at least it will be friendly to search engine spiders and robots (well, not really, as they won't follow a javascript popup link and would still only catalog your titleless splash page.)

dgswensen
18 January 2003, 12:27 PM
Well, I can tell you right now that it doesn't work on Internet Explorer for the Mac at all. Not even the popup functions. So, sadly, at this point you have to recommend not only a specific browser, but a specific operating system, for this site?

Given those circumstances -- I'm sorry to sound cruel, but it seems to me like worrying about people stealing your code should be about the last thing on your mind. With the state of functionality it seems to be in, I don't think anyone could rip it off if they wanted to -- which I don't think they would.

I would love to give you a more in-depth critique on the pros and cons of your site, but sadly -- I can't!!!

Darklighter
18 January 2003, 12:31 PM
Well, I'm running MSIE 6 on Win 98, and the window opens up for me... blank. No info. I know nothing about coding, but I wish you the best on getting it in shape.

Jastor
18 January 2003, 01:28 PM
well, the page is XHTML 1.0 transitional :) but the javascript code sure aint ;) .. well i might have forgotten ALT for some IMG tags but thats all.

like i said earlier: im not affraid that ppl would steal code and such (since its impossible) its just a snippet that i usually have on my pages anyway, one of the reasons to keep people away from pages they arent supposed to access when i dont want em to (not HTML/CSS code, but other sensible material, that i parse through my scripts)

well :) .. i have no choice then to use more normal XHTML instead of JavaScript to load the pages then :).

do keep in mind, im a former HTML guru, the thing is only that im so utterly tired of it, that i simply dont care anymore :)

Darklighter: try and press CTRL+R when the window opens (sometimes it loads normal, sometimes you have to press CTRL+R.. no idea of why :P ..)

Grimace
18 January 2003, 01:53 PM
Okay, Jastor, this is what I did, as it's a standard I do for anyone that asks me to check their page out. I have three browsers I can use. My main usage, AOL, my backup, Netscape (7.0) and then the ubiquitous IE 6.0.

On AOL I got the splash page, clicked to enter, and got a blank while popup screen. Nothing else appeared.

Same thing applied on IE 6.0, but that's probably due to AOL and IE basically being the same browser.

On Netscape, I got everything that you mentioned. I got the splash page, I clicked, and it showed a popup window. After a couple 5 seconds text appeared (You have a spelling mistake on the page) and then after an even longer time (about a minute or so) the colored background on the popup appeared. Now I'm on a cable modem. 256K. If it takes that long for something like that to load for me, someone on a dial up will never get it. Or they will lose interest before they do and leave.

So my advice, make it viewable in more browsers. Take the time to test your page in AT LEAST 3 browsers. If it doesn't work for them, chances are you're not going to have a lot of people visiting.

You'll probably also want to add some sort of text on your splash page rather than just a clickable link. Someone just tripping through would be going "What the?" when they see that, and if they did click, chances are they wouldn't get anything because the page isn't viewable by very many browsers.

So if you want to keep it so that people can't take images, that's fine, just make sure that people can view it, otherwise you'll never have to worry about people trying to steal it, they just won't visit.

Hope this helps some.

dgswensen
18 January 2003, 01:57 PM
Well, if your goal is to keep people away from pages, you certainly succeeded.

And no offense... I have a hard time believing you were ever an HTML guru if you made a page this almost completely inaccessible. If you don't care, as you claim, it seems to me a page of bulleted links on a plain page would be much faster and easier to present than this.

I know this site is meant for you and your players, but as a stranger coming in (as you asked), I have to say that if I see a page that can only be viewed in a certain browser, especially one I don't have, I leave and never come back. In my mind there is no excuse for making a page so poorly that I'd have to switch programs to view it.

I am not being holier-than-thou here. I speak as a person who made this very same mistake at one point (actually, at several points). A person hunting through the archives of my personal site can find some "Netscape-only" sites AND some "IE only sites." But I do consider those mistakes, and I do my best these days to make my sites cross-platform. It isn't all that terribly hard.

In short, what Grimace said; as far as feedback is concerned, i would say accessibility is probably the main issue right now.

Cheers, dg

Jastor
18 January 2003, 02:12 PM
dgswensen:
well, the JavaScript errors some people have has nothing to do with HTML (i never said anything about me beeing a JavaScript guru now did i?)

the thing is:
i mae the page for me and my gaming group, and i asked if someone else was having problem seeing the pages (since all but one in our group can see the pages without any problem) so i asked here to try to find out what the problem could be.

this is a little bit amusing :)

since the pages is XHTML 1.0 transitional and (if checked each one of in their own window, there wouldnt be any problem), it more likely seems there is JavaScript errors. this is what amuses me, since its a 3rd party "product" and not Microsofts nor Netscapes. so therefore it "should" work perfectly in both browsers :).

for thoose few that some pages dont appear at all, is because some is protected with HTTP_REFERER checks (to see if this site actually refered to them, or if the user just simply put it on a line for itself).

the main reason for this is not that i dont want people to "steal code" as you call it, since i know of experience that its impossible, but mainly to keep people of some pages they arent supposed to view, actually i was going to use .HTPASSWD , but my members wanted something up and i put something up.

dgswensen:
you can doubt me how much as you wish, but i only say that ive worked with HTML since 1995, and have several hours spent as a helper/OP on HTML channels on irc.

grimace:
atleast 3 browsers. well, thats not as easy for me :/ since i havent got an internet connection at home for more than a year now, so all the time ive spent online has been at friends places, so i havent been able to get any other.

BUT do keep in mind: some years ago i was working furiously to have my pages look Identical in both MSIE and NetScape, where many others failed. but like i said earlier, i dont care anymore, since i know all of the members in redsun are all using MSIE anyway (poor bastards)

i know the backgrounds are large (312 and 260KB or something like that), but like earlier: i havent got the time to cut them down to a smaller filesize

dgswensen
18 January 2003, 02:34 PM
Well... I'll be the first person to stand up and agree that JavaScript very often doesn't work as advertised (which is why, in general, I don't use it). So I feel your pain in that regard.

As far as am-i-guru-or-not goes, I've been doing this stuff for a living for five years, and where I come from it doesn't matter what your excuse is, if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. Whether or not it "should" work is, in my experience, pretty meaningless too. (No employer I've worked for yet has let me off the hook when I say "it should work!")

Anyway. Not to get into a who's-bigger contest about it. That's not what I mean. I totally understand what it means to be lazy and not put a lot of work into your site because you just don't feel like sweating blood over meeting standards. I'm guilty of the same thing. All I'm saying is that if you really want to be lazy, it seems like popup windows and protective scripts would be the first things to go. For a lazy site this seems like an awful lot of work!

Anyway... you know the answer to your queries; I'll stop harping on it. I'm at work, I'm tired, I'm testy. Forgive me. :)

Nafai
18 January 2003, 02:54 PM
Jastor your page, the HTML is NOT XHTML 1.0 transitional. There is no "height" attribute for the table tag that is not vendor specific, and you don't even close your td tag. With the little code on your splashpage--that's not looking guru-ish.

splash page validation results (http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.polarhome.com%3A713%2F%7Ered_sun%2F)

As much time as it took to edit or create whatever backwards javascript you are using, protecting individual files would have been quicker and more correct just by setting the proper permissions for each file or directory. You don't even need to mess with .htaccess to do that (which is STILL easier and more browser-friendly than any javascript solution.)

Not everyone even has javascript turned on, Jastor, and even then, not every browser correctly supports the DOM. Javascript is very often proprietary to particular browsers. Your incorrect statement to the contrary is evidence that you should look for another solution--javascript is not your bag. And any "security" scripts that you are running should not be in your CSS. You still need to make your CSS something other than a php file, if for nothing else that it's a waste of the server's processor, and could potentially cause errors.

It's interesting that you don't want people to take your images, when your background image is a copyrighted image that you do not even credit. I can't figure out how you had time to come up with such an unusable javascript based design, but couldn't optimize a jpeg for your background image.

Again--I'm stating these things to be helpful. As dgswenson pointed out--you came to us for comments--we didn't go trolling on the net searching for bad code and org models.

Jastor
18 January 2003, 04:31 PM
WHEN have i EVER said that i dont want anyone to take the background?? if you read above about what i said about even the CSS and HTML .. bha.

the first page i have no excuse for, since most of it is taken from another page i made some time ago (just damn to lazy to make everything from the begining)

Nafai
18 January 2003, 04:41 PM
You just said that you wanted to protect various files from being accessed. Since you mentioned ripping--my first thoughts turned to media. If I mislead myself, I apologize.

Jastor
18 January 2003, 09:28 PM
i said that the first idea of it was "to prevent ripping" yes :) but like i said, i made it a long time ago, and that i just put it on top of pages since im just used to it, and to protect certain pages which are not supposed to be viewed, only parsed by php scripts (ie. i got some "documents" with password in them, and without this they would be out in the open .. i would much rather use a MYSQL database, but since its terrible slow (on the already slow web server :P the loading would just take much longer)

Nafai
18 January 2003, 10:08 PM
Again, why don't you just set the proper file permissions for those password files?

MassassiC
19 January 2003, 02:54 PM
Why not just put things inside flash files and password protect them?
I must say that I'm using Mozilla 1.1 and IE6SP1, and neither of them can view the page properly.
I cannot figure out why you bothered with XHTML since it really isn't a fully supported standard yet. From what you've been saying, just some imaginative HTML 4/DHTML should do all that you need.
I personally test all my pages in the following;
Mozilla 1.1
IE6SP1
Netscape 4
WebTV
Konqueror (Linux)
and occasionally IE3

But that's the way I do things... maximum compatibility :)

Nafai
19 January 2003, 04:04 PM
Using Flash is hardly a fully supported or cross browser solution. Anything that requires a plugin should be optional content. XHTML and CSS standards are supported (albiet some browsers with bugs, but those are known and workarounds are available) since 1995. DHTML requires scripting, which again, is going to greatly increase the risk of a page not working properly for everyone. There should always be a way of accessing the content without the need for javascript to be turned on, cookies to be enabled, or plugins installed. Graceful degredation is one of the major tenants of proper web design, and frankly, writing the code that does such is a lot easier than implementing scripted solutions.

evan hansen
20 January 2003, 06:03 AM
Nafai's right in that a good site design -- in the terms of planning and coding, I mean, not "look" -- should allow the content to be viewable no matter what.

I noticed at one point that you said this site is for your players only. The one thing I will say is that, from a user satisfaction standpoint, if you know exactly who your audience is and what they use, you can deviate from the standards a bit. If this site is really just for your gaming group for the most part, it doesn't really matter if anyone else can see it, does it? But since you posted it here looking for feedback, I assume that you'll want some. And I would tend to agree with Nafai's assessment.

I'm hardly as technically inclined as I used to be, so I don't usually design in CSS and follow the standards to the letter. But one thing I always do is test it on Mac IE, Mac Netscape, Win IE, Win Mozilla, and Win Netscape (4.7 and 6). That covers like 90% of most people's users at least. So I would listen to what Grimace and Nafai have been saying in terms of having browser difficulties and really think about how you get that done. Even if you don't want to follow the standards, which is your choice and one I will hardly criticize if you have your reasons, you should *definately* at least test the hell out of it to make sure people can view it. Regardless of what it *should* do, you need to know what it *will* do.