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Web Design and Hosting by James A. Peden of Middlebury, Vermont - Award Winning Web Designers

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THE GINGERBREAD SHOP


Hope you didn't fall asleep waiting for this page to load.

First, let me confess that I really enjoy playing around with what I call "Gingerbread" - those little special effects that catch your eye on a web page.  OK, maybe those little bullets following your mouse pointer around is overkill, but occasionally there are times in which even the most serious site can be perked up with a little bit of glitz here and there.

The above is an example of a marquee  which can be made to scroll either direction or simply oscillate back and forth.  They're useful if you are running a hot news item, or announcing a really great new gizmo, or just plain want to draw attention to a few lines of text.

But marquees are just gingerbread; the only really critical element in a 21st Century web site is spam control.  Here's the short story:

As soon as you put up a web site, the spammers will send an evil beast called a "spyder" which crawls the web looking at your source code.  Whenever it spots the code for an email address, it "harvests" that address and then you end up on the next "30 million fresh addresses" they sell to their clients.

The only way to defeat these "robot spyders" is to NOT use a standard email address programming.  By the use of JavaScript, for example, instead of seeing your email address, the spyder sees something like this:

<script type="text/javascript">
//<![CDATA[
function hiveware_enkoder(){var i,j,x,y,x=
"x=\"783d223634366636333735366436353665373432653737373236393734363532383232" +
"33633631323036383732363536363364356332323664363136393663373436663361373036" +
"35363436353665343036643639363436343663363536323735373237393265366536353734" +
"33663533353534323461343534333534336434313665323036393665373137353639373237" +
"39323036363732366636643230373936663735373232303730363537323733366636653631" +
"36633230373336393734363532633230346136393664356332323365336337333734373236" +
"66366536373365336337333664363136633663336533633733366436313663366333653533" +
"34353465343435633732356336653230323032303230343134653230343534643431343934" +
"63336332663733366436313663366333653363326637333664363136633663336533633632" +
"37323365356337323563366532303230323032303363373336643631366336633365336337" +
"33366436313663366333653534346632303461343934643363326637333664363136633663" +
"33653363326637333664363136633663336533633266373337343732366636653637336533" +
"63326636313365356337323563366532323239336233303362223b793d27273b666f722869" +
"3d303b693c782e6c656e6774683b692b3d32297b792b3d756e657363617065282725272b78" +
"2e73756273747228692c3229293b7d79\";y='';for(i=0;i<x.length;i+=2){y+=unesca" +
"pe('%'+x.substr(i,2));}y";
while(x=eval(x));}hiveware_enkoder();
//]]>
</script>

Yes, this is my "real" email address, only it is encrypted using a special Java Script, and as you can see, nowhere does it contain my actual email address... and I am now offering this encryption service to all of my web clients.  If you already have a web site, I can send you the code to give to your webmaster so you can "robot-proof" your web site.


bogie.gif (16440 bytes)
Original Jim Peden design
This client had an "office dog"
named "Bogie".
He was a good puppy-
(usually)

Animated GIFs are really a series of separate images that run like movie frames.  I once created what was probably the world's largest animation - a golden blimp sailing across a moonlight sky - but it was well over a megabyte in size and took almost 10 minutes to load at 33.6 KBaud!  I still use small custom animations for things like email links, because it tells a visitor your site is custom-designed, and not just papered with clipart like most of them out there.

Sometimes I can work around the problem of large file size animated images by animating only a portion of the image.   One of my favorite clients is Barry Lane, an internationally known "Teacher of Teachers".  Barry's site caters to kids (and teachers) and he loves to use a lot of animations.  In the below example, I have combined two images:  The bottom (store) is actually a static JPEG image, while the upper one (the smoke) is an animated GIF.

Kinda slick, don't you think?


Pop-Up Alerts


Java Script

Some really awesome effects can be done by the use of Java Script, a programming language finding broad application on the web.  Although not all browsers are capable of viewing effects make with Java and it's variants, most modern versions will, and it is rapidly becoming the standard for many interesting applications.

Below is an example of what can be done with a Java Applet called Lake.class ( 1998 Clayton Roberts and used by permission) combined with a static image, "Moonscape" (original electronic art by Jim Peden 2000).  The upper half is the original image, the bottom half is generated by the script.

You don't have java! Why don't you get: Microsoft Internet Explorer


And so...

If it's gingerbread you need, we can supply it.  I recommend going easy in this department, unless you have a site devoted to kids (who love it), or rock music, or similar such stuff.  Feel free to surf on to my MOBILE PORTFOLIO.

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Design by James A. Peden
Copyright 2000-2004

Hosted by  Middlebury Networks. All rights reserved.
Revised: October 28, 2004

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Java, JavaScript, script, CGI.  Site description: Web Design by James A. Peden -
Jim is an award-winning web designer specializing in small businesses