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Rethinking Structural Design with New Elements in HTML 5

HTML 5, also known as Web Applications 1.0, provides new markup elements that will change the way you design your web pages. The new elements replace commonly used divisions in web documents, facilitating an even greater degree of separation between structure (HTML) and presentation (CSS). Indeed, in many documents, the new elements will structure the document while providing enough hooks to render obsolete previously required divisions, classes, and identifiers. Let’s take a look.. New Structural and Semantic Elements in HTML 5 Structural Elements The new structural elements in HTML 5 consist of the following: header section article nav footer Read more »

Unicode Character Reference for Bloggers

Virtually every article written here at Perishable Press requires at least one or two “special” characters. Some of these characters — such as quotation marks, hyphens, and dashes — are very common, while others — such as the copyright symbol, bullet, and arrow — happen less frequently. As a blogger, I find myself repeatedly using a select handful of very common special characters. Very rarely do I ever find myself blogging a latin “Ä” (i.e., capital letter “A” with a diaeresis). To save time and effort, I need a quick reference that targets only the characters I find useful as […] Read more »

Computer Flashback: Windows 98 Run Commands

Even with all the fancy-pants new features found in Windows XP and now Vista, Microsoft Windows 98 (Second Edition) remains our favorite Windows-flavored operating system. We love it so much, we still use it on one of our trusty laptops. Over the years, we have discovered several very useful functions available via the command line or even the “Run” prompt (Start → Run…). Anyway, without spending too much time researching or explaining these wonderful tools, we figured posting the information online may prove beneficial at some point in the future. So, without further ado, we present this working repository of helpful MS […] Read more »

The Friendliest Link Targets in the Neighborhood

The target attribute for anchor elements (<a></a>) specifies the location in which the referenced document should load. For example, to open a link in a new window, we would use a target value of _blank. Although this is a commonly employed technique, the target attribute has been deprecated by the W3C and is not valid (X)HTML. Regardless, the target element remains a useful tool for practicing designers and developers. Here, we present the attribute values for the target element: Read more »

URL Character Codes

URL’s frequently employ potentially conflicting characters such as question marks, ampersands, and pound signs. Fortunately, it is possible to encode such characters via their escaped hexadecimal ASCII representations. For example, we would write "?" as "%3F". Here are a few more URL character codes (case-insensitive): Read more »

Fun with the DOS Command Prompt

Note: This article assumes a basic familiarity with the DOS command prompt, and is somewhat of a continuation of our previous article on DOS, Basic DOS Commands. Here, we are exploring a few of the more interesting commands available via the DOS command prompt. For a more complete reference please consult the Windows Help file (Windows XP) by entering hh.exe ms-its:C:\WINDOWS\Help\ntcmds.chm::/ntcmds.htm at the command line prompt (or via the Start > Run… dialogue box). For a brief overview of essential DOS commands, characters, devices, and variables, check out DOS Fundamentals. Read more »

DOS Fundamentals

A brief overview of essential DOS commands, characters, devices, and variables Ahh, the fun I have at work while experimenting with the command line. I will be the first to admit that I understand very little of DOS, especially when considering the scope of its functional capacity. Nonetheless, I am taking the time to chronicle a few interesting DOScoveries here in this article, as well as in at least a couple of others (see related articles section at the end of this article). The first thing that I should mention is that there are at least several different entities commonly […] Read more »

Embed Flash and Video via the object Tag

Embed Windows Media Player via the object tag Here is the general format for including .wmv files in web pages: <object type=”video/x-ms-wmv” data=”http://www.domain.com/path/to/winmovie.wmv” width=”340″ height=”280″> <param name=”src” value=”http://www.domain.com/path/to/winmovie.wmv” /> <param name=”controller” value=”true” /> <param name=”autostart” value=”true” /> </object> Read more »

Auto-Focus Form Elements with JavaScript

After digging through the WordPress source code, I stumbled upon this very useful JavaScript method for auto-focusing form elements upon page load. Here is the JavaScript code (place within the document head): <script type=”text/javascript”> function formfocus() { document.getElementById(‘element’).focus(); } window.onload = formfocus; </script> …and corresponding (X)HTML markup (abbreviated for clarity): <form> <input id=”element” /> <input /> <input /> </form> In this example, the first form element (identified by id=”element”) will be automatically focused when the document loads, thus facilitating the process of entering data in the form. This technique would serve users well on login pages (wink, wink;), or anywhere […] Read more »

Basic DOS Commands

DOS (Disk Operation System) is a tool which allows you to control the operation of the IBM PC. DOS is software which was written to control hardware. Here is a summary of some essential DOS commands. Read more »

One Link to Open Them All

Welcome to Perishable Press! This article explains several methods for opening multiple frames with a single link. For more excellent (X)HTML information, check out the (X)HTML tag archive. If you like what you see, I encourage you to subscribe to Perishable Press for a periodic dose of online enlightenment ;) Opening Multiple Frames with One Link Method 1: The first method of targeting multiple frames involves replacing either the entire frameset (via target="_top") or a subset of frames (via target="subset"). For example, any number of frames may be updated with a single link if that link targets a new frameset containing […] Read more »

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) Formats

There are currently three formats for expressing date/time in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). All examples represent the date, "July 04, 2050". The time for all three formats is expressed as "hour:minutes:seconds". Here is the preferred, standard format1 for the Internet. This format is defined by RFC 1123 (updated from RFC 822): # RFC 1123 Standard GMT Format Mon, 04 Jul 2050 07:07:07 GMT The programming language C uses the ANSI standard format1 in its asctime(): # ANSI Standard GMT Format Mon Jul 4 07:07:07 2050 The RFC 850 format2 is now obsolete (RFC 1036) and should not be used: # […] Read more »

Optimize Convoluted Code via JavaScript

Search engines loathe crawling through convoluted lines of code. Oceans of complex JavaScript scare away the priceless indexing and archiving efforts of most major search engines, which will generally abort a crawl upon encountering such mess. The good news is that search engines actually do not deploy JavaScript, so it is possible to use JavaScript to hide those miles of messy code by using the fundamental document.write function. Place this function in an external JavaScript file, “navmenu.js”: function navMenu() { document.open(); document.write(“<div>Convoluted code goes here.</div>”); document.close(); } Link to the external JavaScript file by placing this code in the document […] Read more »

Execute External WordPress Functions

To execute WordPress functions in an external directory (i.e., outside of the WordPress install directory), it is necessary to include a call to “wp-blog-header.php” at the top of the external file. For example, if your WordPress-powered blog is located in a subdirectory called “blog” and the external file is in the domain root (e.g., the external file is located directly in http://domain.com/), add the following code to the top of the external file: <?php require_once(“./blog/wp-blog-header.php”); ?> This may be generalized by writing: <?php require($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'].’/blog/wp-blog-header.php’); ?> Read more »

A Complete CSS Template File

To help maintain consistency when developing new CSS-styled websites, we have created a complete CSS template file. The file contains every HTML/XHTML tag known to man. This includes tags such as BASEFONT and CENTER, which have been deprecated; tags such as COMMENT and MARQUEE, which are exclusive to Internet Explorer; tags such as SPACER and SERVER, which are exclusive to Netscape Navigator; and even tags such as !DOCTYPE and BASE, which are included merely for the sake of completeness. As CSS selectors, the tags are (almost all) empty, just waiting to be filled with declarations, properties, and values. Tags that […] Read more »

Geek Code Nonsense

I found this interesting: Enlighten Encode Decode (2012/05/19: 404 link removed) Apparently, I am defined as: GFA d-@ s:- a C++ U@ P@ L@ E@ W+++ !N !o K–? w@ O@ M@ !V PS@ PE@ Y@ PGP@ t !5 !X R@ tv– b+ DI !D G@ e+ h@ r+++ y+++ Read more »

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