DHTML Lab: Creating a Web Application - dhtmlab.com | WebReference

DHTML Lab: Creating a Web Application - dhtmlab.com


Creating a Web Application



Wecome to a new DHTML Lab thread: Creating a Web Application.

All the techniques discussed arise out of my work at Meteor Inc. Yes, I do have a day job, and a very demanding one. For the last year, we have been preparing a major Web-based application, due for release spring of 2000.

Our product will be much talked about, not only for its prototype functionality, but also for its "look." It is a true Web Application. It is not a Web page or site. It is software. And it has been built with DHTML.

My associate, Giorgio Braga, a DHTML pioneer and co-founder of Meteor, has developed the Navigator version of our product. A true eye-popping piece of work, constantly soliciting comments on the line of "I didn't know you could do that. Do the Netscape people know?" English may be his second language, but DHTML is his first. To me fell the challenge of creating the Explorer version. We have taken the browsers to their limits, believe me.

So, some of the routines Giorgio and I have used will find their way into the pages of DHTML Lab, albeit the simpler ones. Sometimes, they will be full columns, other times DHTML Diner articles. They will, of course, be stand-alone entries, but they will have a common theme: making your Web page look and function like an OS application.

Special thanks to our intrepid leader at Meteor, Bill Barhydt, and my tireless WebReference editor, Andy King, for allowing me to miss deadlines to finish work the other was clamoring for.

Entry 7: Column 33
[33] Array Power, Part III
The final installment of our three-part series. We take a detailed look at the most powerful and complex array method available in the Navigator JavaScript core language and the ECMAScript Version 3 specification but missing from Internet Explorer: splice(). This versatile method is a must for Web Applications, and to facilitate its use, along with all the other prototyped methods, we create a use-everywhere external JS file, arrayprototype.js, that includes all the code we have created in this series.
Entry 6: Column 32
Array Power, Part II
In the second of our three-part series, we look at two more methods available in the Navigator JavaScript core language and the ECMAScript Version 3 specification but missing from Internet Explorer: push() and pop(). We make them available for Explorer using the Array.prototype object, but also standardize the behavior of push() across all Navigator versions, given that JavaScript 1.2 and JavaScript 1.3 define the method in different ways.
Entry 5: Column 31
Array Power, Part I
The Navigator JavaScript core language and the ECMAScript Version 3 specification contain several, powerful methods for the Array object not found in Explorer's JScript engine. These methods are essential in the creation of Web Applications and so far have been little used given the lack of cross-browser support. In the first of a three-parter, we create new array methods for Explorer using the Array.prototype object, allowing authors to finally use them in cross-browser applications.
Entry 4: Column 30
Identifying Installed Fonts
Be kind to your server, load pages faster for the user and give your Web applications a sleeker, more professional look. Use dingbat fonts already installed on user systems in place of downloaded images. In this tutorial, we use DHTML to identify installed fonts, with a single function. Your users will thank you.
Entry 3: Column 29
DHTML Application Toolbars
Using the techniques discussed in Column 24, we build application-like toolbars for Internet Explorer. Both text-only and more complex text-image toolbars with keyboard access are discussed.
Entry 2: DHTML Diner
The IE onBeforeUnload Event Handler
Don't let your users exit your Web applications inadvertently. Internet Explorer's powerful onbeforeunload event handler allows you to display a built-in dialog, with your custom message, alerting the user to reasons why they should not leave the application. We discuss the JavaScript syntax and give examples of when the handler should and should not be used.
Entry 1: Column 24
Accessing the User-Defined System Colors, Part I
The first step in the creation of web pages, that look and act like OS applications, is the correct use of the user-defined system colors. We'll look at how each of these colors is set by the user, what effect they have on browser rendering, and how they are reflected into Explorer DHTML. Then we'll create draggable OS-like popup dialogs, complete with active and inactive colored titlebars, that adapt to any color scheme the user has chosen.


Produced by Peter Belesis and

All Rights Reserved. Legal Notices.
Created: Feb 23, 1999
Revised: May 16, 2000

URL: http://www.webreference.com/dhtml/webapps/