Universal Related Popup Menus / Stability
Feature Highlights: Stability
Universal Related Popup Menus
We set a number of goals when designing these menus. Being a commercial site we wanted stability and universality. Being a webmaster obsessed by file size I wanted compact, fast-loading code that was generic. With the URPM we achieved all of these goals.
Long-time view sourcers will recall that the previous incarnation of the related menus had some peculiarities when the screen was resized. For pages with dynamically generated HTML using the document.write('') command, resizing the page caused two things:
wysiwyg://3/http://www.webreference.com code overwrite
The "wysiwyg" is actually Netscape using the cache to redisplay the page. This is merely annoying. The second problem (perhaps related) is more serious. When we did a view source on the cached wysiwyg page we found that it was corrupted. When this cache rewrite occurred we sometimes found that the end of our static HTML was overwritten by our dynamic HTML. This usually happened when the menus were towards the end of the document. We tried a number of fixes, including sacrificial tables (I called them prophylactic tables), adding document.open() and .close(), dummy single-line scripts, but nothing would rid us of the dreaded wysiwyg. Netscape claims that version 4 fixed the "wysiwyg" resize bug.
Explorer 3 and ActiveX
By choosing to generate our initial menus with static HTML, we were precluded from dynamically writing ActiveX menus. ActiveX is the only way to relate menus in Explorer 3, as JScript 1.1 does not support the "new Option" command. We decided to go with stability, and Explorer 3 users get non-related live popups, while the majority of users with modern browsers see related popups when they visit. More about ActiveX later.
Comments are welcome
Created: Mar. 9, 1997
Revised: Feb. 12, 1999