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((((((((((((((((( WEBREFERENCE UPDATE NEWSLETTER ))))))))))))))))) JULY 27, 1998

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New this week on WebReference.com and the Web:

1. INTERNET BUZZ: Mozilla Marries Alexa - The Brewster Kahle Interview 2. 3D ANIMATION WORKSHOP: VRML - Embers in the Ashes 3. E-COMMERCE WATCH: Book Excerpt: Building SET Applications For Secure Transactions 4. NEW LINKS: Design Tutorials, Promotion, Search Resources 5. NEW SOFTWARE: PhotoAnimator 1.0, UBB 5.0 6. NEW SITES: FreeDrive.com, eBLAST.com 7. OTHER VOICES: * Netscape's Action Sheets * Java on Your Site? * Drumbeat 2.0 Review * Flash and Aftershock * US Senate Hearing on Competition in the Digital Age

Spread the word! Feel free to send a copy of this newsletter to your friends and colleagues, and while you're at it, snap a link to WebReference.com.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1. INTERNET BUZZ: Mozilla Marries Alexa - The Brewster Kahle Interview

Netscape's new Navigator 4.5 offers "Smart Browsing." The Alexa component tells you about Web sites as you visit them. Alexa founder Brewster Kahle reveals why the Netscape tie-in is important, how Alexa plugs into Internet Explorer, why portals are the wrong answer, and much more. By Rich Wiggins.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2. 3D ANIMATION WORKSHOP: VRML - Embers in the Ashes

Now that we've mourned the passing of the best VRML browser who will offer us the solace our bereaved souls need? Microsoft tries to comfort us with World View, but will this turn out to be cold comfort indeed? By Robert Polevoi.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3. E-COMMERCE WATCH: Book Excerpt: Building SET Applications For Secure Transactions

Excerpts from Mark Merkow's new book on the Secure Electronic Transaction (SET) Standard. Over the next few weeks we'll be posting several chapters for your reading pleasure.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 4. NEW LINKS: Design Tutorials, Promotion, Search Resources

>Design Resources

"Oh dah-ling! That looks simply marvelous! How do you do it?" These and other raves can be yours after reviewing our design resources. They're absolutely *fab*ulous! http://www.webreference.com/authoring/design/tutorials.html

>Promotion Resources

Try our new and improved promotions section! Completely reorganized, this area is devoted to making it easy to find ways to make your site stand out. Promote it and they will come. http://www.webreference.com/promotion/

>Search Resources

Feeling a little lost on the waves of the Internet? Search before you surf using our handy list of guides and Webcrawlers. http://www.webreference.com/internet/search.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5. NEW SOFTWARE: PhotoAnimator 1.0, UBB 5.0

>PhotoAnimator 1.0

Extensis' new PhotoAnimator is more than a simple frame compiler it's an animation sequencer, plus GIF89a optimizer. There are no touch-up tools like WebPainter and GIFMation but there is a nice premier-like sequencer.

PhotoAnimator has a very clean interface, and is easy to use. The idea is to create your original static objects in PhotoShop and animate them in PhotoAnimator. It can import (and export) layered PhotoShop files and GIF89as, and has its own matching layers, plus cells (one or more frames), and frames (contains an image). You apply special effects (scale, rotate, flip, move [along a line], fade, etc., plus a unique gradient mask) to cells with frames. The effect is automatically spread across all the frames within a cell. Changing the number of frames in a cell takes just a mouse drag, and it has multiple undos, so tweaking is easy.

Unlike some other GIF animation tools, Extensis includes a set of 5 tutorials along with their PDF manual. The tutorials quickly get you up to speed and will have you creating compelling animations (including higher clickthrough banner ads) in no time.

GIF Optimization: PhotoAnimator includes efficient frame differencing for optimizing animated GIFs. On export, select "interframe transparency optimization" and PhotoAnimator performs a frame difference between frames saving only the pixels that change from frame to frame. It also automatically removes any comments. For the results see:

http://www.webreference.com/dev/gifanim/results.html http://www.extensis.com

>UBB 5.0

Ted O'Neill of Ultimate Bulletin Board fame will release UBB 5.0 sometime on Wednesday (July 29th). I normally don't chronicle every new program iteration but this is a major upgrade which includes a number of useful features. These include a new search engine, announcements, the ability to include custom headers and footers (useful for banner ads and copyrights), and more.

Ted must be doing something right, in addition to the Web development sites at Mecklermedia, Warner Brothers and Concentric Net recently switched over. Bravo Ted! Just goes to show that there's still room on the Net for the little guy with big ideas.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 6. NEW SITES: FreeDrive.com, eBLAST.com


Nextec has launched FreeDrive, a site where you can store any information you might otherwise keep on your hard drive for free. Sign on, and you receive a password-protected 7.5 megabytes of storage.

"FreeDrive is your own personal Web hard drive, a virtual drive that resides on the Internet," said Michael Rhodes, president and CEO of Nextec.

Nextec calls FreeDrive "the beginning of network computing" as it allows multiple people to view your files, and for a fee, modify them, all over the Web.



The Encyclopedia Britannica Internet Guide has been completely redesigned, and renamed. EBIG is now called "eBLAST" and the eBLAST site has moved to:


The site features reference material, and a select list of 125,000 rated sites in subject areas from arts and literature to world geography and culture. Sites are rated from "Noteworthy" (one star) to "Best of the Web" (five stars) by EB editors. Users can "drill down" from the broad categories to progressively more precise sub- categories, or they can view the expanded outline of sites from one page. Think of it as a selective Yahoo.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 7. OTHER VOICES: Netscape's Action Sheets, Java on Your Site?, Drumbeat 2.0 Review, Flash and Aftershock, US Senate Hearing on Competition in the Digital Age

>XML Gets Into Action (Sheets)

Everyone's heard of Microsoft's proposed Behaviors...but Netscape's Action Sheets have received less press. Which one is closer to what's currently a standard? By Nate Zelnick of WebDeveloper.com. http://webdeveloper.com/xml/xml_072498.html

>Java on Your Site?

Check out the Java Boutique's latest article to find out the how and why about using Java applets on your Web site. http://javaboutique.internet.com/article_javaonyoursite.html

>Software Review: Elemental's Drumbeat 2.0

Scott Clark reviews what might be the ultimate Web design, database, and authoring tool in one. http://www.webdeveloper.com/categories/html/html_reviews_drumbeat.html

>Flash and AfterShock: Soothing Relief for Plug-in Burnout

When Navigator 5.0 hits the Web, Flash will be bigger than ever - and none too soon. This new standard will be a balm to developers tired of grappling with plug-ins. http://www.iw.com/daily/tips/1998/07/0721-flash.html

>"Competition and Innovation in the Digital Age: Beyond the Browser Wars"--US Senate Committee on the Judiciary

"The US Senate Committee on the Judiciary held its latest hearing on competition in the computer age on July 23, 1998. At their site, users can read statements from Lawrence J. Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation; Mitchell Kertzman, CEO of Sybase Inc.; Jeff Papows, CEO of Lotus Development Corporation; Michael Jeffress, Vice President of Electronic TV Host; and Robert Glaser, CEO of Real Networks; as well as Committee members Orrin Hatch and Patrick Leahy. An earlier hearing concentrating on market power in the software industry was held in March 1998."

http://www.senate.gov/~judiciary/wlful723.htm http://wwwscout.cs.wisc.edu/scout/report/current/index.html From the July 24, 1998 Scout Report

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

Andrew King Managing Editor, WebReference.com update@webreference.com

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