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Copyright © 1996 by Sams.net Publishing
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Writing this book has been a process that has involved many people. I particularly would like to thank the staff at Sams.net who worked with me in developing the manuscript: Kelly Murdock, Marla Reece, and Mark Taber and many others I am sure were involved.
I would also like to thank Gautam Das at the Bahá'í World Centre in Haifa, Israel, for reading sections of the book as I was writing it.
Arman Danesh works as the Web Development Specialist at the Bahá'í World Centre in Haifa. He is also Editorial Director of Juxta Publishing Limited, based in Hong Kong. He received his Masters of Science in Mass Communication from Boston University in 1990. He has also worked as a technology journalist and is a regular contributor and Internet columnist for the South China Morning Post and The Dataphile. Arman lives with his wife, Tahirih, in Haifa, Israel.
Arman may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The World Wide Web has come a long way since its days as a modest hypertext system used by a few scientists to share information on the Internet.
Today the World Wide Web is the medium of information exchange for millions of people. They are sharing text, video, sound, and data, and increasingly, they are trying to make their Web pages interactive. Businesses are trying to sell their products, artists are producing new forms of interactive art, and programmers are producing program development aids-all delivered via the World Wide Web and accessed from inside everyday Web browser applications.
In many ways, we are in the midst of an information revolution with a move away from document-centric computing to a network-centric paradigm. Right at the center of this shift is Netscape Communications and its immensely popular Web browser, Netscape Navigator.
Throughout the book, you will have the opportunity to develop several small scripts that you can immediately use in your own Web pages.
This book is clearly of interest to Web developers and authors with experience using HTML and designing Web sites, including using Netscape extensions. Although basic knowledge of HTML is assumed throughout the book, any advanced or complicated HTML tags being used are introduced and described as needed.
In order to take full advantage of this book, you will need several tools. A copy of the latest version of Netscape 2.0 or 3.0 is essential to develop and test program code. In addition, a good editing program that you will feel comfortable using will make the program development process easier.
In order to take full advantage of the lessons in this book, it is necessary to have access to a copy of Navigator 3.0 to try the examples and exercises for yourself. Navigator 3.0 is available for most computer platforms, including all versions of Windows, MacOS, and a wide range of UNIX variants including Sun OS, Solaris, and Linux. At the present time, there is no native OS/2 version of Netscape Navigator available.
If you need to download a copy of the current version of Navigator 3.0, you can get it from Netscape's home page at http://home.netscape.com/ or from Netscape's numerous FTP servers or their many mirrors:
ftp://sunsite.ust.hk/pub/WWW/netscape/ (Hong Kong)
ftp://sunsite.doc.ic.ac.uk/computing/information-systems/www/Netscape/ (United Kingdom)
This book uses certain conventions to aid you, the reader, in
your learning process.
A new term is highlighted in italics or with this icon to clarify its meaning.
Note boxes highlight important or explanatory information in the surrounding text.
These helpful nuggets offer insight or short cuts to programming puzzles.
Pay special attention to warnings. They may just save your system!
This icon appears next to a listing that you should enter to follow along with the author's lesson. A listing without an Input icon is for illustration or explanation only.
This arrow at the beginning of a line of code means that a single line of code requires multiple lines on the page. Many lines of code contain a large number of characters, which might normally wrap on your screen. However, printing limitations require a break when lines reach a maximum number of characters. Continue typing all characters after the as though they are part of the previous line.
Besides on-screen output, this icon is often used, in this book, to point to a figure that results from the preceding code listing.
The author offers detailed explanations regarding the parts and purposes of the code. (Hint: If you think you might not understand what the code is meant to perform, skip to this section before you input the listings!)