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((((((((((((((((( WEBREFERENCE UPDATE NEWSLETTER ))))))))))))))))) January 31, 2000


This newsletter is sponsored by: Solution Central, Searchbutton.com and Thunder Lizard Productions __________________________________________________________________


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http://www.webreference.com http://www.webreference.com/new/ http://www.webreference.com/new/submit.html New this week on WebReference.com and the Web:

1. PRODUCTION GRAPHICS: Welcome Wendy!, Dingbats To Go, Graphics Greats: What's on the Web 2. OPEN PUBLISHING: Writing Friendly Code, Part 2 3. DHTML LAB: DHTML Application Toolbars 4. CONTESTS: Subscribe and Win! 5. SITE NEWS: Pardon our Dust! 6. INTERVIEWS: Andy King on Sean Murphy, Sean Murphy on Andy King 7. OTHER VOICES: * Secure That Server * RSS and You * Create a Menu-Drive Flash App * Why Does Everyone Want Favicon.ico? 8. NET NEWS: * Mozilla 5.0 Alpha Browser Launched * IBM Pushes XML Adoption with New Spec * Win2000 Security Hole a "Major Threat" * Register.com Debuts One-Step Domain Registration * Spy Agency Admits Computer Glitch * MP3.com Stirs Debate * PC Rage Hits UK

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. PRODUCTION GRAPHICS: Welcome Wendy!, Dingbats To Go, Graphics Greats: What's on the Web

>Welcome Wendy!

WebRef is proud to introduce our new Graphics columnist, Wendy Peck. Informative, witty and practical, her Production Graphics column is sure to help you make your site snazzier. Always the go-getter, Wendy hits the ground running with two new columns:

>Dingbats To Go

First off, a look at the sometimes maligned but ever-so-useful dingbat. Clip art to go, dingbats make great graphic templates in Web design.


>Graphics Greats: What's on the Web

Second up, a new recurring feature - Graphics Greats, a collection of great ideas from the Web graphics world. This time, a look at simple yet brilliant menu ideas.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. OPEN PUBLISHING: Writing Friendly Code, Part 2

Open publishing master Kenneth Tibbets is back again, tackling page positioning and future compatibility. Learn how to write code that will play nice today and still be back for next season.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. DHTML LAB: DHTML Application Toolbars

As part of our continuing series on building Web apps with DHTML we show how to build application-like toolbars with Internet Explorer, complete with rollovers and keyboard shortcuts. By Peter Belesis.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 4. CONTESTS: Subscribe and Win!

Sign up for the Webreference newsletter, and get a chance to win a super software bundle from SoftQuad Software Inc. and Ulead Systems Inc. Prizes include HoTMetaL PRO 6.0, PhotoImpact 5, and COOL 3D 2.5. Already subscribed to the newsletter, but still want to win? No problem! Just enter your name in the "Signup & Win" form, and you'll be automatically entered.

This week's winners include Vivian Jonas of South River, New Jersey; Garry Blackwell of Seymour, Tennesee; and John Wells of Boise, Idaho. Enjoy the software bundle winners!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5. SITE NEWS: Pardon our Dust!

Some of you may have noticed the occasional glitch in service at WebReference.com over the last week or so. Fear not, faithful readers, all is well. In fact, all is swell, or at least will soon be - we've been reorganizing and re-tooling our back-end operations. Once all the dust settles, we'll be faster than ever. There has been the occasional hiccup during the transition however, and for that we're sorry. If you've had any difficulties contacting us or making site suggestions, you can always write us directly at update@internet.com or ecook@internet.com.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 6. INTERVIEWS: Andy King on Sean Murphy, Sean Murphy on Andy King

This week we interview the interviewer himself, Sean Murphy of MasterDevelopers.com (MD). A new twist on Web development sites, MD interviews the developers behind successful sites to find out what makes them tick. Slated to launch this week (2/2/2000), MD interviewed our own Andy King and Sharky Ross (of SharkyExtreme.com) in preparation for the launch on Wednesday.

We turned the tables on Sean and interviewed the man behind this new site.

WR: Your site is an interesting twist on Web development sites, where did you get the idea for MasterDevelopers.com?

MURPHY: MasterDevelopers.com had such a modest beginning. Initially I thought it would be "cool" to interview a Webmaster whose work I particularly like for a tech site I was working on (I have sold the site so I won't plug it here). I contacted him (xdude.com) to see if he would be willing and he was. He had been running a site which had a lot of mention of the THX brand name and LucasFilm came in with threats and lawyers to make him take his site down. An interesting story to me, and I thought it might be to everybody else also. As I was writing the questions, I thought of another site to ask, and then another, and another. This led to the thought of building a small section of my site devoted to these interviews and next thing you know I am hunting for a domain name.

This snowball kept on rolling and growing as more and more masters agreed to do interviews and the resources and tutorials just sort of fell into place. It has been a wild ride. I made my first interview request less then 2 months ago and now MasterDevelopers.com is comprised of nearly 200 html pages including 13 interviews, lots of resources, and some basic tutorials. It has been a lot of fun, but we are just getting started, there is much more to come.

WR: How has the response been so far?

MURPHY: I have been absolutely blown away by the response from everyone so far. The people who I have contacted to interview have been very agreeable and I have gotten some great responses to questions. I have had a wide variety of people and sites joining me on this project and everyone has been very helpful.

The visitors on the site so far in the pre-official launch stage seem to be enjoying the content. MasterDevelopers.com "officially" goes live on 2/2/2000 but I have been getting quite a response from a few links here and there around the web. I have gotten some great feedback from my readers and a very high percentage of our visitors have been putting us in favorites and signing up for our newsletter.

WR: After interviewing all these master developers have you found any commonalities (traits, training, education,...) that helps explain their success?

MURPHY: You know there are an awful lot of mechanical engineers becoming Web developers, 4 of the interviewees and myself. The traits that make a successful developer are as varied as the Websites that they create. Artists, writers, programmers, and geeks like me make up the majority of the successful developers but about anyone with an Internet connection and a desire can be a success. I find that more often than not, successful Web developers are college educated but usually not in computer science or related fields. Also, almost every interview on the site includes the words "I am self taught," which surprised me. One thing not usually mentioned but crucial to the night developer is to have a greatly supportive family. Without my wife Melanie's support, I would not have been able to do this.


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WR: In the same vein, have you found any common elements among successful sites?

MURPHY: 1. A good idea: You need to have a good idea for a site, originality and uniqueness is good and often the key but even if you have head-to-head competition, you need to have a solid basis for a site to begin with.

2. Effort: All of the successful web developers that I have talked to have put in the effort and paid their dues. New content, a fresh and dynamic site and marketing, lots of marketing.

3. Time: More crucial then anything else. You need to stick with it. There are very few overnight success stories on the web, it is important to keep at it; the people who continually work on their sites will continually increase in traffic and success.

WR: Where do you find, and how do you select candidate sites to interview?

MURPHY: I started by asking the people behind some of my favorite sites and then started looking at sources like 100hot.com for leads. I generally am looking for people who are incredibly talented, incredibly popular, incredibly original, highly controversial, or just plain cool. I am always looking for a good story: how did they overcome incredible odds, how did they get to where they are now, what can others do to become as successful as they are?

I like to raise issues with my interviews; there is a lot of controversy in the development world. Flash? Trademarks? Bandwidth? Legalities? Wysiwyg? Conglomerates? There is a lot to talk about. There are a lot of people out there who need to be interviewed and I would like to do it.

If you have any ideas for future interviews, please let us know at suggestions@masterdevelopers.com

WR: What are your plans for the future of your site?

MURPHY: You can expect a dynamic site from MasterDevelopers.com. I intend to continue to do interviews, tutorials, and add resources on a continuous basis. We have 13 interviews online now and 10 lined up to be published soon. We will continue to focus on the interviews and make this section of the site grow. We are also hoping to develop the master tutorials section (http://masterdevelopers.com/tutorials/). This sections gives an opportunity for the masters that we interview (and anyone else for that matter) to give tutorials on some aspect of development and have it published.

We just signed a lease on a new Web server and when it goes online in early February we will be expanding the site with new features like polls, surveys, a message board, and a lot more content. The message board will be a great forum for many different topics of conversation but also we will have a section for posting and finding development jobs, tips and tricks, and resources for developers.

WR: Thanks for your time.

MURPHY: Thank you, it is interesting to be on the other end of the interview for a change.


MasterDevelopers.com interviewed our own Andy King of WebReference and Sharky Ross of Sharky Extreme for the inside story behind their sites, and the future of the Net.

http://masterdevelopers.com/interviews/webref/ http://masterdevelopers.com/interviews/sharky/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 7. OTHER VOICES: Secure That Server, RSS and You, Create a Menu- Drive Flash App, Why Does Everyone Want Favicon.ico?

>Secure That Server

Site developers often consider security to be somebody else's problem. But lack of faith in site security is cited as the most common reason why people don't shop online. http://www.webdevelopersjournal.com/articles/server_security.html WebDevelopersJournal.com, 000131

>RSS and You

Our own Perl columnist Jonathan Eisenzopf introduced you to using RSS data feeds with Perl scripts. Now Chris Nandor expands on those concepts, showing how to create portals based around RSS feeds. http://www.perl.com/pub/2000/01/rss.html Perl.com, 000125

>Create a Menu-Drive Flash App

Explore the flexibility of Flash while creating a DHTML-like menu driven application. http://www.flash4magic.com/samples/menuapp1.html Flash4Magic.com, 000130

>Why Does Everyone Want Favicon.ico?

So what is this "favicon.ico" file that keeps popping in your log files, and why are so many people looking for it? http://www.netmechanic.com/news/vol3/server_no1.htm NetMechanic.com, 000115

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 8. NET NEWS: Mozilla 5.0 Alpha Browser Launched, IBM Pushes XML Adoption with New Spec, Win2000 Security Hole a "Major Threat", Register.com Debuts One-Step Domain Registration, Spy Agency Admits Computer Glitch, MP3.com Stirs Debate, PC Rage Hits UK

>Mozilla 5.0 Alpha Browser Launched

Milestone 13 of the Netscape Seamonkey Project was released late week. This milestone is being announced as the first alpha release for the next major version of Netscape. http://cws.internet.com/netscape-netsource.html CWSApps, 000127

>IBM Pushes XML Adoption with New Spec

IBM is developing a new Extensible Markup Language-based technology that it hopes will speed adoption of the popular Web standard for exchanging information. The specification details a common way for companies to define and execute business contracts over the Web. http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-1537944.html News.com, 000131

>Win2000 Security Hole a "Major Threat"

It's not scheduled for release until Feb. 17, but Microsoft has already released the first patch affecting Windows 2000. The patch repairs two different security bugs in Microsoft Index Server, which has already affected six banks and three major PC makers. http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2429334,00.html ZDNet.com, 000128

>Register.com Debuts One-Step Domain Registration

Domain registrar Register.com Inc. launched their new Domain Manager 3.0 tool, designed to simplify domain name registration. The new tool aims to make name registration a quick, one-step process, as well as providing functions for real-time Whois database information manipulation. http://www.internetnews.com/prod-news/article/0,1087,9_295541,00.html Internetnews.com, 000126

>Spy Agency Admits Computer Glitch

The United States National Security Agency (NSA) has admitted that its computer systems suffered a "serious" breakdown last week, badly affecting the processing of intelligence data. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/americas/newsid_624000/624081.stm BBC.co.uk, 000130

>MP3.com's Move to Copy CDs Stirs Debate

MP3.com has made its David and Goliath struggle to shake up the recording industry the cornerstone of its business model. The company wants nothing less than to change the entire music industry through direct distribution of digital audio over the Internet. But legal analysts are wondering if MP3.com's finally gone too far. http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-1535035.html News.com, 000128

>PC Rage Hits UK

As the reliance on computers in the workplace continues to grow, people in the UK are resorting to violence when their PCs break down, say researchers. When faced with technical problems, most people shouted at colleagues, hit the PC or even threw parts of the computers. Technology rage is the latest rage to emerge in Britain and follows road rage, air rage, and trolley rage. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_623000/623341.stm BBC.co.uk, 000129

That's it for this week, see you next time.

Andrew King Managing Editor, WebReference.com update@webreference.com

Eric Cook Assistant Editor, WebReference.com ecook@internet.com


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