One of the great aspects of using a Drag and Drop editor is the
ability to avoid having to deal with extensive data bases with many
components that are often hard to identify or remember. In addition
to the convenience of simply selecting an element with your mouse,
many components can be identified by name. Whenever you create a
new Page, Object or component, IMS will automatically create a
unique name for it. Pages are named "Page1", "Page2", "Page3" etc.
Objects are also named in sequence from "Obj1". Other naming
conventions are "Geo1" for Geometry Components, "Shade1",
"Sound1" for Sound Components, "Act1" for Action components
and "Evt1" for Event/Behavior components.

If you are new to using an IMS application, you may be wondering
how to distinguish between Object "Obj68" and "Obj75". It's simple,
with an Object selected, change the name in the edit box to
something more descriptive. Instead of "Obj68" change the name to
"RedCar" if that is what the Object is a picture of. Objects and
components can contain up to 10 characters in their name. If you
attempt to enter a name that is already in use, the program will warn
you to change it to something unique.

Using a descriptive name can be particularly useful when you need
to select an Object or Component in a Dialog. Although your IMS
application will usually display a picture of the selected item, if you
have 20 rectangles named Obj10 through Obj30, this may not be
helpful. Having a unique name will enable you to select the correct
component with little trouble.

In addition to identifying an Object in a dialog, using a unique
descriptive name can help you to quickly find an Object or
component in your published HTML files. This can be helpful if an
Object is not being displayed as expected and you wish to examine
the code. Your "RedCar" Object can be found by searching for
"ORedCar" in the HTML source file. Similarly, geometry
components will use the name you set in the project with a "G"
prefix. By pre-appending an "O" to Objects and a "G" to Geometry
you can use the same name for Objects and Components in your
project without conflict and still distinguish between each in the
HTML file.

If you have been wondering how to create web pages with names
that are a little more descriptive than "Page1.htm", "Page2.htm",
"Page3.htm" etc., simply change the name in the Page Edit box.
Unlike Objects and components, pages can use up to 48 characters.
In case you do not know, the entry page to you web site is usually
called "index.htm", "default.htm" or something similar. This is the
page that will be displayed when someone types in the URL of your
site without a file name. Check with your service provider to find the
name of this page if you do not already know it. If the default entry
page is "index.htm" for example, change the name of the main page
in your IMS project to "index".

You should take care when naming an Object or Page not to use
none standard characters. Characters such as "*&^%$#@!" or a
space, can cause problems that generate an error or an unexpected
result in a Browser. Netscape in particular does not like names that
start with a number. If you stick with the 26 character alphabet and
the nine digits (provided the name does not start with them), you
should not have any problems with naming your Pages, Objects and

"IMS Web Tips" ISSN 1488-7088
© Copyright 1999 Virtual Mechanics

"IMS Web Tips" is a weekly news letter for all web site managers regardless of experience who are looking for detailed information on
creating, maintaining and promoting their web sites.

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