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((((((((((((((((( WEBREFERENCE UPDATE NEWSLETTER )))))))))))))))))) MAY 22, 1998 SPONSORED BY:

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Now with over 29400 subscribers

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New this week on WebReference.com and the Web:

1. ANNOUNCING: E-Commerce Watch 2. FEATURED ARTICLE: XML: Old Whines in New Battles 3. DYNAMIC HTML LAB: Hierarchical Menus Version 2 4. DOC JAVASCRIPT: JavaScript Animations, Part II 5. NEW SERVICE: GIFCruncher 6. SITE REORGANIZATION: Make room for more content 7. NEW LINKS: HTML Style Guides, HTML Converters, Commerce Service Providers, ActiveX 8. PORTAL PARTY: Web hubs in play

Spread the word! Feel free to send a copy of this newsletter to your friends.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. ANNOUNCING E-COMMERCE WATCH

E-Commerce Watch is an ongoing summary of the most important issues in the area of electronic commerce for Web site developers. Its aim is to provide you with vital information to help you choose the best tools available for building e-commerce enterprises.

Mark Merkow will guide you through the rapidly changing ecommerce landscape, including the seemingly endless maze of three letter acronyms like SET and OBI, and give you the information you need to make the decisions necessary to accomplish your corporate goals.

Mr. Merkow, a Lead Systems Analyst in the Electronic Commerce Center of Excellence for a Fortune 100 financial services company, has worked in the field since 1975. He has authored "Breaking Through Technical Jargon" published by Van Nostrand Reinhold, and another book due out July 98 entitled "Building SET Applications for Secure Transactions", published by John Wiley and Sons. Cash in at:


First up, Electronic Keys For A Digital Tomorrow.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. FEATURED ARTICLE: XML: Old Whines in New Battles

In the rush to learn, implement, and profit from XML, many of the questions being asked are the same ones which came up when HTML was new. Can we learn from the lessons of HTML and make the Web a more productive and reliable resource for providers and users alike? You decide. By Peter Flynn.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. DYNAMIC HTML LAB: Hierarchical Menus Version 2

If you thought Peter Belesis did a great job creating cross browser hierarchical menus that went 3 levels deep, just wait until you see how to extend them to more levels (infinite) while improving compatibility and stability: knock your client's socks off!


Also in DHTML Lab:

>DHTML Diner: Element Page Coordinates

Today's special shows how to find the page x-y coordinates of any element, positioned or not. A must for overlaying DHTML over static content. By Chef Peter Belesis.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 4. DOC JAVASCRIPT: JavaScript Animations, Part II

Blast off into the universe of JavaScript animation. A vast cosmos of possiblities awaits. With you at your keyboard, and Doc JavaScript on board you'll explore new worlds and dare to code where no one has coded before. This week's second sequel sports our new, improved animation engine. By Tomer Shiran.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5. NEW SERVICE: GIFCruncher

Shrink your static and animated GIFs from your hard drive or the Web with GIFCruncher's HVS technology. Best of all, it's free for single images. Another free Web-based service for webmasters brought to you by Digital Frontiers and Mecklermedia.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 6. SITE REORGANIZATION

We reorganized the links database this week to make room for more expert columnists. We expanded our subject-oriented classification system to include the following major Web development topics:

Directory Name -------------- * authoring Covers the design and creation of Web sites. includes design, graphics, authoring languages (HTML, XML...), etc. * ecommerce Links and tutorials about the most important issues in the area of electronic commerce for Web site developers. * internet Covers information specific to the Internet, history, FAQs. * multimedia Audio, video, etc. * programming Perl, Java, ActiveX, Javascript...

To see an overview of the new site architecture see:


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 7. NEW LINKS: HTML Style Guides, HTML Converters, Commerce Service Providers, ActiveX

>HTML Style Guides

Is your HTML source code a little unreadable by the outside world? Get with the program and check out a style guide off our fresh list of links. http://www.webreference.com/authoring/style/htmlstyle.html

>HTML Converters

Convert your documents now and all the secrets of the Universe will be laid before you. http://www.webreference.com/authoring/languages/html/converters.html

>Commerce Service Providers

Still looking to outsource your e-commerce site? Take a look at our ever growing list of CSPs and join the gold rush of the 90's. http://www.webreference.com/ecommerce/csp.html

>ActiveX Resources

Pick a language, any language. That's the promise of ActiveX. ActiveX is Microsoft's loosely defined umbrella term for technologies that create third generation OLX controls that COMmunicate with each other.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 8. PORTAL PARTY

The growing importance of Web portals was in the news this week. Everyone from Newsweek to the New York Times to CNET was making portal predictions. Some of the stock and street euphoria we're seeing is hype, but there are signs that portals will become increasingly important as their traffic, and market share grows.

WHAT'S A PORTAL? A portal is an Internet gateway, or jumping off point for exploration. Portals evolved out of search engines and directories by adding useful services like stock quotes and free email. The idea is to offer so many useful services that you'll make one of them your home page. Instead of just being a gateway to other sites, they strive to become "sticky." Leading portals like Yahoo, get upwards of 32 million visitors a month, with over 35% market share, according to Relevant Knowledge.

Problem is, some analysts predict that a maximum of five portals will survive. The recent rash of mergers and acquisitions shows contenders are trying to get their Web sites into portalhood while the getting's good. Huge sums of money are being spent now for marketing (even Alta Vista is advertising on NPR) to establish precious market share, that they hope will pay off later. A good recognizable brand, like Yahoo!, is one of the keys to success in gaining mindshare.

Excite just cut a $70 million deal with competitor Netscape for a favored position on their search page. In the process Excite leapfrogged Infoseek and Lycos. Excite also turned down a $72 per share unsolicited bid from Zapata, a fish-oil and food services company. Yahoo announced today that they it will discontinue its Netscape Guide service, in part because Netscape signed everyone else except Yahoo to be "premier" search providers.

NEW PLAYERS New portal players are about to emerge. Disney's Michael Eisner has hinted that he wants Disney to become a major Net player, and Microsoft will launch their new Start portal later this year. Both have plenty of content to supplement a directory/search engine. Another way companies are aggregating eyeballs is through acquisitions. A large company can simply buy a search engine, and use that customer base as a starting point. Time Warner and Gannett are looking seriously at the portal business.

I think we'll see a number of major acquisitions this year and next, with high traffic sites the main prize. HotBot, Excite, Lycos, Infoseek, LookSmart, and some meta-search engines are some candidates being circulated for possible buyouts.

Net Companies in Demand http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,22388,00.html News.com, May 22, 1998

Netscape Signs New Netcenter Search Deals http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/1998/05/2102-netscape.html

Yahoo! Pulls Plug on Netscape Presence http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/1998/05/2201-yahoo.html

Snap! Joins Growing List of Portals Offering Free E-Mail http://www.internetnews.com/isp-news/1998/05/2101-snap.html

http://www.relevantknowledge.com http://www.start.com (coming soon)

That's it for this week, have a great holiday weekend.

- Andrew King

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