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DR. WEBSITE: Multi-word Anchors; Back-Button Basics; Code Copyrights

By David Fiedler and Scott Clark

Dear Dr. Website®: Reference to an anchor within another page can be made by
 <A HREF="anotherpage.html# thisanchor"> 
but can the anchor name be more than one word: "this great anchor" instead of "thisanchor"?

An anchor may indeed be more than one word. In other words, it is perfectly okay to use:

 <A HREF="thispage.html#at the right place"> 
as an anchor, even with older browsers.

Dear Dr. Website®: When users click on the Back button in a browser toolbar, they are directed to the page that was previously on their screen. Is it possible to override this and direct users to a specifc page instead? In this case, it will be a page that they will have already viewed, but not necessarily the one immediately before. We only wish to override this facility for two pages out of approximately 40 that will make up our site.

While it is possible to use the JavaScript history object to control where the browser goes via a button or link, it is not possible to manipulate the actual Back button--at least, not yet.

Dear Dr. Website®: In the Dr. Website article that appeared in the Nov. 10 issue, it was suggested that an individual developing a Web page might just cut and paste code from an existing Web page into his own pages via a text editor. From there he could "do some editing" according to his tastes and then use the ensuing page(s) on his Web site.

I would strongly recommend against such behavior. Much of the material on the Web is copyrighted. What the article suggests amounts to condoning plagiarism. That's illegal, not to mention unethical.

It's true that we recommended looking at the source code from other people's Web pages, and even some judicious cutting and pasting. But we did say "put in your own content," and that makes all the difference. Nobody's advocating stealing copyrighted code, executables, or content of any kind.

When Dr. Website was going through his internship, there were no Laura LeMay books, no Netscape reference guides (no Netscape!), and of course, no Dr. Website columns. The only way to learn how to code and design Web pages was to read the HTML language specifications and reference guides that you could find online, and to look at other people's pages. It's much easier to use a working page as a guide, take out the old content, and use what's left as a template for your new pages. And if you like a particular page design, looking at the source code to learn how they did it is the best way to learn from it.

Of course, if everyone copies everyone else's pages, all pages will look the same and life would be boring. But on the other hand, if Tim Berners-Lee had copyrighted the line

and sued anyone who copied it (or any part of it), there wouldn't be any Web at all, would there?

Dear Dr. Website®: A past question asked how to find advertisers. I have gone to Web sites for companies that advertise, but I cannot find a way to communicate with them, or figure out who to contact. I know some of these people are advertising on the Web because I have seen their banners. What should I do?

On most corporate Web sites, you will find a link which will enable you to contact the company via their e-mail address. Usually, all that is required is for you to contact them and ask to be directed to their public relations person. Some companies, however, hire consulting firms to promote their site. This is not usually noted on their Web site, though, and you may have to actually give the company a telephone call to get this information.


Keywords: html
Date: 19971208

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