The Page Editor.

IMS Web Engine and IMS Web Spinner include a Page Editor. Setting the components of a Web Page is something that most of us do not often do. Most of our time is spent on the actual page content and design. It is consequently easy to forget about many of the operations that can be, and should be performed before the web page is actually published.

The Page Editor is comprised of four dialogs. The first dialog allows you to select the current page and to change its name and extension. The default "Page1.htm" will work but it hardly tells anyone what the page is about. More importantly, most web sites require a home page called "index.htm", "default.htm" or something like it.  Since the name can also be changed on the page Toolbar, It is the other 3 dialogs that provide the more interesting and unique features.

The Title dialog is the most valuable but probably the easiest to overlook since it does not add anything to the Page design. The title dialog however, provides the tools to allow your web page to be better indexed by the major search engines. In addition to a title, you can set the page Meta Tags. These include a Meta Description, Meta Keywords and a Copyright notice. The title dialog also allows you to set a custom Meta Tag.

How should the Title Meta Tags be used? Simple. Enter an appropriate title into the Title edit box, a brief description into the Meta Description box and a list of Keywords into the Met keyword box. When you Publish or Preview your project, you can see the Meta Tags at the top of the HTML page when you use the Browser 'View Source' command. For more detailed information take a look at our past article on Meta Tags: issue38top2.htm

The 3rd dialog is titled Links. It provides the ability to dynamically link to another page and to change the color of the visited, unvisited and active links on your page. Although a dynamic link can be extremely useful in some circumstances, you should be cautioned to avoid using a zero timed link. This will make it difficult or impossible for a user to use their Back button to return to a previous page. Many search engines and users consider this a form of Spam.

The final dialog is titled Special Effects and provides the most esoteric Page Setup capabilities. These include the ability to change the animation rate in IMS Web Engine or to create special page effects such as Fixed Backgrounds, Dynamic Scrolling, Fade Ins, Fade Outs and many other transition Effects.

As many of you know, IMS Web Engines provides interactive animation capabilities through the use of Dynamic HTML. If you have ever viewed complex DHTML on different systems with different Browsers, you will have noticed that not all systems are created equal. A recent Pentium III running IE 5 will perform significantly faster than a Pentium 60 running Netscape 4. In an attempt to equalize the performance on these different systems, the IMS Web Engine DHTML code will do a performance check on a visitor's machine and adjust the DHTML so that its animation is approximately equivalent across different platforms.

The Animation Frame Rate slider allows you to adjust this rate. When the Dynamic Rate box is unchecked, it will allow the visitors machine to play your animated Web Page at its peak performance. You can adjust this with the slider but keep in mind that this may appear significantly faster on some systems than on others. On faster machines however, the animation will appear smother.

The final set of options provides the ability to display special effects. An example of many of these effects was published in a recent article: issue26top1.htm . Keep in mind that many of these effects are dependent upon the visitor's Browser.

Version 2 when it becomes available will include several additional capabilities from within the Page Editor. I will discuss them in a future newsletter.

"IMS Web Tips" ISSN 1488-7088
© Copyright 2001 Virtual Mechanics

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