Netscape Composer:  An Introduction

Tutorial 7:  What about the Rest?


OK, so Netscape Composer can't do forms.  So what do you do if you want to use a form?  You have several options.  First, you can do forms the old-fashioned way--code them yourself.  If you want to learn how to code forms from scratch, you can take a look at my forms tutorial.  Or, you can switch to an editor that does do forms.  You might want to take a look at HTML Assistant Pro 97 (which you can download from the web for a trial period) or Microsoft Front Page (retail price is about $100).  If you are doing surveys or practice quizzes, my all-time favorite is QuizCenter.  At this site, you can create your own surveys and quizzes automatically.  Your quizzes will reside on a server at the University of Hawaii (free of charge!).  This is a great site -- we'll take a look at it soon.

HTML Source Code

Although Netscape Composer can handle all the basics, some people will want to add more advanced features such as forms or javascript applets.  In order to add such features, you will have to get into the source code of your page and add the HTML at the code level.  You can always access your source code from within Composer by clicking on "EDIT" then "HTML Source."  The first time you do this, a dialogue box will pop up asking you what program you want to use to edit your source code.  Choose "Notepad," the application you started out with.  Notepad is a simple text editor that will allow you to make any changes you wish to your source code.

Gee, how'd they do that?

As you are surfing the Net, you will undoubtedly see things other people have done on their web pages and you may wonder, "Gee, how'd they do that?"  It's easy to find out -- you can read their source code!  To view the source code of any page, from within Navigator, click on "VIEW" then "Page Source."  The entire source code for the page will pop up.  You can copy and paste any code you need.  If you are viewing a page that has frames, instead of clicking on "View" then "Page Source," position your cursor in the frame that has the feature you want to learn about, then click the RIGHT mouse button and select "VIEW FRAME SOURCE."

Goodies and Freebies

Ok, you've got a basic web page.  But you want more.  For example, you might want to add a webcounter (my personal favorite is WebTracker - see example on the home page for MFL 195) to your page to watch how many hits you get.  Or, you may want to add a free chat room (my personal favorite is ParaChat - see example here).  Or, for an advanced class, you may want a threaded discussion group.  For all these and more, Free Index lists all kinds of freebies and goodies for your web page.   Almost all of these are free and few require much technical expertise.

Where do I go from here?

You have now learned the basics of web page development.  But there's still a lot more to learn.  For example, you may want to use frames on your web page.  I have a personal aversion to frames, but not everyone does.  You may want to know how to do them.  My all-time favorite source of web page tutorials is HTML Goodies.  When you get to this page, click on the "Master List" to see the complete selection of tutorials available.  Whenever I want to learn how to do something, this is where I go.  The tutorials are short, sweet, and to the point.  They are clearly written and easy to follow.  I recommend them highly.

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© 2000 by Pat Pecoy
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