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Help! Any JavaScript gurus here?

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Steve Maskery

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Hi all,
I have spent almost every waking hour since Christmas on my PC - either trying to learn 3 new CAD packages or rebuilding my website.

This post concerns the latter. My Gallery is getting a bit unwieldy, so I've decided to split it up into rooms. The idea is to have a scrolling row of, say, Dining Room thumbnails across the top, and when the user does a mouseover, the appropriate bigger picture is displayed along with a text description.

I've found several DHTML and JavaScript scripts on the internet. I particularly like the AJScroller, if you are familiar with it.

Problem- I can get OnMouseOver to do what I want from a static thumbnail, but in the scroller the same line of code just gives errors. It happens with other scrollers I've downloaded too. Anyone done anything like this? I don't have enough programming expertise to tweak the code. I can't believe it's not possible, but I'm getting nowhere.

Any help received with embarassingly gushing gratitude.

Steve
 
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Anonymous

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I've done my fair share of javascript (used to be a pro web developer). But I don't feel I can offer advice with this particular query.

One suggestion I would offer - whilst all the flashy gizmo stuff looks nice and interesting from a development point of view, it can be very offputting for many people. It depends what the web site visitor is intending to see really. Some whizz-bang arrangements can be really annoying.

A couple of points worth noting. Firstly, all this javascript has to be downloaded in order to make your web site "work". That implies content, much of which is "hidden", as in the user won't see it. The downside of that is that if he is on a slow connection then your web site could look very sluggish - if the web page isn't in front of their eyes within 10 seconds then you may lose potential customers.

Secondly, be aware that many people still don't have javascript enabled for fear of virus attacks (often this is corporate policy which is imposed by server admin staff). If your web site won't work without Javascript then things could be very tricky. A good web designer will provide dual functionality - a web site that works with javascript, and also without. If you check out my own web site you will find that the buttons change colour when you hover over them with javascript enabled, or don't without javascript - same images, but different "stuff" is sent to the browser depending on whether the visitor has javascript enabled.

Sorry to give bad vibes, but javascript is something you need to be careful about implementing. Too many web sites are badly implemented because the designer thought the world would want to see how clever he was with javascript :)

Andrew
 

DaveL

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Steve,

Java is not in the default install of XP.

One thing to check what version of Java are the scrollers written for. The Java that MS where pushing is not the same as Java from Sun. In fact the MS one is different depending which version of IE you have and the service packs make a difference too. Bit of a mine field.
 

Steve Maskery

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Thank you both.

DAve, it's JavaScript I think I need, not Java. If I understand things correctly (by no means to be taken for granted) they have as much in common as bread and breadboard ends.

Cheers
Steve
 
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Anonymous

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Steve

I last programmed in Javascript in 1997 and so can't remember a damned thing. However, I can tell you that javascript and java have nothing to do with each other except the 3 common letters

(Java is very much like C (I could possibly have helped with Java) and Javascript is more like the VBA one finds in office applications)

Also, I think Adnrew's post is about right, flash is good for developer but may put people off if difficult to navigate
 

Chris Knight

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Steve,

On a site that I lost when the domain name got hijacked, I had implemented a number of DHTML javascript menus. While these worked well enough they did require more maintenance than a site without them. It got to the point where I had various .js files scattered around with names that meant little to me after a while and when I had to update things, it took an age to reconnect the menus properly - sometimes I just couldn't and had to redo the thing from scratch.

I also realised just how passé some of the menus looked after a while, these things have a rather short half life in fashion.

If you have a large number of pictures to post, a php database solution like Gallery ( http://gallery.menalto.com/ ) is useful, simplifying as it does the maintenance task considerably. For a different (actually Java based - not javascript) very professional looking answer straight out of the box, JAlbum is great ( http://jalbum.net/samples.jsp ) have a look at the "Banana Album" on that page, it looks close to what you want. Both Gallery and JAlbum are free.

Here is a horizontal mouseover version http://medlem.spray.se/erica59/jalbum.html Look under "Extra Skin" in the left hand column
 

Steve Maskery

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Thank you all. Good points well made - not put me off totally though :)

Chris, Banana is just what I need! Great! Created in a few minutes what it has taken me weeks of faffing about to try to get. Talk about re-inventing the wheel... Only one problem, I can't seem to apply a template. The gallery page works fine (although I can't for the life of me find where the references to the actual pictures or description are - I'd like to be able to edit manually for maintenance), but when I cut and paste the header info into an existing page, and the body too, of course, it stops working. I think it is a case of a little knowlege being a dangerous thing!

But I'll persevere. Thanks for all the input, guys.

Cheers
Steve
 
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