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****************** WEBREFERENCE UPDATE NEWSLETTER ***************** APRIL 10, 1998 SPONSORED BY:

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Now with over 25000 subscribers

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New this week on WebReference.com and the Web:

1. FEATURED ARTICLE: Real-World E-Commerce 2. DYNAMIC HTML LAB: Hierarchical Menus in Frames 3. DOC JAVASCRIPT: Screen Properties - Rx #17 4. NEW FEATURE: PLWeb Search 5. NEW LINKS: ISPs, Backgrounds, VRML, Graphics FAQs 6. OTHER VOICES: Java IDE Demos, Photoshop 4.0 Review 7. NEW SERVICE: JPEG Wizard

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. FEATURED ARTICLE: Real-World E-Commerce

Before you head out the door on your way to the gold rush of the late 20th century (electronic commerce), make sure you know what basic provisions you will need. AdNet's own Fergal Byrne gives an insider's account and helps you avoid some of the pitfalls on the road to riches.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. DYNAMIC HTML LAB: Hierarchical Menus in Frames

You roared your approval when Peter Belesis showed you how to make Cross Browser Hierarchical Menus. But you asked for more! "Give us a frame-based version Peter," you implored. Paraphrasing the inimitable Jeeves: "We endeavor to give satisfaction." He did.

http://www.webreference.com/dhtml/column18/ http://www.webreference.com/dhtml/column14/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. DOC JAVASCRIPT: Screen Properties - Rx #17

Grab your user's monitor info with the new SCREEN object. With their bit depth and screen dimensions you can serve up exactly what they need. After all, that's just what the Doctor ordered. By Tomer Shiran.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 4. NEW FEATURE: PLWeb Search

We've installed a new search engine on WebReference to improve your searches of the site. PLWeb is a powerful full text search engine created by PLS Software, which was recently acquired by AOL, so there should be no worries about development funding.

http://www.webreference.com http://www.pls.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5. NEW LINKS: ISPs, Backgrounds, VRML, Graphics FAQs

>Internet Service Providers

Don't just surf the Internet, be a part of it! Whether you're looking for Web space, Internet access, or just an e-mail address, let our resource links be your guide. http://www.webreference.com/providers.html

>Background Images

Looking for that special texture to fill your Web page with? Look no further than these links to some of the largest archives on the Web. http://www.webreference.com/graphics/backgrounds.html

>VRML Tutorials

Does your home page leave you feeling a little flat? Well, don't dispair. Learn to add new dimensions to your Web space with these links to tutorials on VRML. http://www.webreference.com/vrml/tutorials.html

>Graphics FAQs

You're sitting in your chair...You've achieved perfect inner peace... Then suddenly, it hits you! A FAQ attack! Don't worry, we've got you covered. Check out our list of links to the best graphics FAQs out there. http://www.webreference.com/graphics/faqs.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 6. OTHER VOICES: Java IDE Demos, Photoshop 4.0 Review

>Java IDE Demos: JavaBoutique.com

Java Developers take note, our friend Scott Clark at the Java Boutique has a page of the latest and greatest demos, nine so far, of Java Integrated Development Enviroments (IDE). Try them out and find one just right for you. http://javaboutique.com/javademos.html

>Photoshop 4.0 Review: WebDeveloper.com

WebDeveloper.com looks at the most recent release of Adobe Photoshop, one of the best Web Graphics tools. If you've got a need for professional looking Web graphics, you'll want to read this special report. http://www.webdeveloper.com/categories/design/design_reviews_Photoshop4.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 7. NEW SERVICE: JPEG Wizard

JPEG Wizard is a new Web-based JPEG optimization service from Pegasus Imaging Corp. Like GIF Wizard did for GIFs (and JPEGs), JPEG Wizard lets you upload a JPEG from your hard drive and optimize it for faster downloads. Unlike GIF Wizard, it's free and has some unique technology under the hood.

Historically, the problem with JPEGs was when you recompressed one, you'd get generational artifacts caused by rounding/quantization errors. Artists are taught that when creating a JPEG, always start from the original for the best results. No more.

Unlike other JPEG optimization programs, Pegasus' technology optimizes compression by requantizing the JPEG data in place, without causing generational artifacts that are caused by uncompressing, then recompressing. These optimized JPEG images look exactly the same at their compressed file sizes as an image compressed from the original bitmap.

So you can take existing JPEGs and squish them down even further, with no more loss in quality than when going from the original. For perfectionists, I recommend uploading a "max-Q" JPEG saved at the highest quality setting you have. This effectively gives JPEG Wizard an original to work with.

Pegasus has added this new technology to their Netscape plugin and PICPress products, and in order to demonstrate it are offering it free for single images at:


There are a number of settings you can play with, to create the smallest acceptable image. For lossless transformations, set the "luminance" to 0 (see the help file online for details). You can rotate/mirror images with a 100% lossless transform to the JPEG data. Once you're happy with the results, just save the resulting images back to your hard drive.

I found the results to be very good indeed. Recommended.

That's it for this week, see you next time.

- Andrew King

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