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maverik
02-06-2005, 05:59 PM
Hi,

Apologies firstly if you have seen this post before - a similar thread was posted in 'javascript' first as I felt it may be a related issue.

On a recent site I have built, the client has stated that some users have complained they have no left mouse function i.e the left mouse button does not operate any of the menu links, but the right button works okay. This seems completely bizarre to me.

I built the site using Dreamweaver 4 under Mac OS 9. I appreciate that all of you hardcore programmers will have just fallen off your chairs laughing! But bear with me, please. We are not all blessed with the ability to sit looking at a screen of code for 8 hours a day without Leonardo's 'Last Supper' beginning to appear (...its a creative brain thing).

I've tried to isolate details about the circumstances but this is difficult with less (even more than me) technical customers. The affected computers are Windows based and appear to be running XP in some form (probably the domestic version). I have checked the site on a 4 year old Intel 500mhz running 98c (my base machine - deliberately old to test compatibility) and it works fine. It also works fine on seven separate Apple Macs from OS 8.5 to the latest 10.3.7 with a single button mouse.

I've put a couple of javascripts in the pages - date/time and an image rotator with a simple fade. These are all operating fine with no dropped files. The applet is in the root directory on the server.

Anybody experienced anything like this - help or leads will be greatly appreciated.

simonf
02-07-2005, 07:14 AM
It would help to see the code, whats the URL

maverik
02-07-2005, 01:51 PM
Thanks simonf

the url is http://www.carteblanchecreations.co.uk

many thanks for looking. Appreciated

mwinter
02-07-2005, 02:36 PM
http://www.carteblanchecreations.co.ukFirst, either remove the splash page or at least put a link on it. Not all user agents support meta refreshes and those that do can have that support disabled. For example, IE in a high security zone will not follow that form of redirect.

As for the people that couldn't use your site, have you considered the fact that they don't have scripting enabled? As far as I can see, the vast majority of your navigation is based on client-side scripting for no apparent reason whatsoever. That is a huge mistake. Make those links, links. There is absolutely no reason not to.

Finally, in all likelihood your site breaks accessibility laws. These laws have been in effect in the UK since late 1999. A combination of script-driven navigation and a lack of alternative text on every single image would make it impossible to use. I'd suggest you use semantic mark-up not WYSIWYG tools like Dreamweaver.

Mike

maverik
02-09-2005, 03:09 PM
Thanks for your time and the feedback. But.......

Splash page - point taken - I don't think that removing it is an option though because, from an ergonomic point of view, I need to catch surfers imagination before I hit them with navigation and copy - on websites you get about 5 to 10 seconds for this, and going straight to the intro page is less effective from a psychological point of view. In this particular case we are also talking about a very emotional and visual subject matter - weddings, so there is a reason for the graphic approach. Black text on a white background isn't going to do it for this client.

I've covered scripting in the websites help files. If people really feel the need to disable this function then that is their choice and they must know that they run the risk of excluding themselves from many/most websites. Its not my fault that Windows/Explorer leaks like a bucket and wears a 'T' shirt shouting "open for business, come and hack me!"

In terms of 'No reason whatsoever' the reason is simple - its because this is the way I have been taught (at university) to build websites - through Dreamweaver and its WYSIWYG interface. As stated, I am NOT a programmer, I am a designer.... I went to design college for 5 years, not tech college. Dreamweaver has created the scripting, not I. That should be obvious to someone so technically proficient as yourself.

I appreciate that Dreamweaver does not always create html which conforms to the world standards you are trying to support. I also appreciate that programmers constantly rebuke it because they see it as a threat to their livelyhood. In an ideal world I would have six programmers sat at my side busily taking my ideas and graphic files to new levels of W3C ecstacy. Having said that, in an ideal world, we would all be using Apple Macs and then we wouldn't be having this conversation in the first place.

Unfortunately, I live in reality, working from a small office doing the best I can with the resources I have. I know what you are thinking.... stop building websites because you are messing in something you don't understand. I'd love to, believe me!

In terms of disability/accessibility laws, again you are not talking about the real world. I designed a site two years ago that cost 2million dollars to instigate and I used a team of 7 programmers full time for 5 months to build it code up. We covered every letter of the accessibility law? you mention and more - even the kiosk was specially designed (by me) for easy wheel chair access, so don't preach to me about the disabled like I don't know which way is up. That's fine when you have a budget that covers the time and expense - all that programming brain power isn't cheap is it? But it is absolutely not practical when you have a small budget for an entry level website, where your priority is to sell something and not to apply a set of detailed rules that may never be fully used or appreciated by the client in question. I apologise in advance to anyone who is disabled, but I don't get paid enough to do this generally in a competitive commercial environment. If I made this my priority I would be bankrupt inside a month.

So if we can get back to the point. Has Dreamweaver compiled any code that might remotely effect the mouse button on a Windows PC? Yes or no?

PS
- if you would like me to become more educated can you point me to a document that explains how to 'Make Links, Links' rather than employing Dreamweaver to apply the link action. Thanks

cr3ative
02-09-2005, 04:57 PM
Splash page - point taken - I don't think that removing it i[...]Well, at least put a link on it to the main page. "Skip Intro" is commonly accepted as the text used for a link like this.


Has Dreamweaver compiled any code that might remotely effect the mouse button on a Windows PC? Yes or no?Yes. If javascript is disabled, none of those links will work.

Also, I can pre-empt Mike's response to your post, and it's one which I will back up - don't use Dreamweaver, or Frontpage. They don't produce suitable markup.


If I made this my priority I would be bankrupt inside a month.You're likely to turn a lot of customers away if you can't let them navigate the site. These are simple problems easily rectified, and if you worked on a project as big as you stated before, it should be simple. If your website is company-based and you have a high enough turnover, employ a web guru for a day to sort the pages out and get you a decent template. It shouldn't take more than a couple of days to rectify.

cr3ative

mwinter
02-09-2005, 08:18 PM
Before I start, I'd like to mention that you seem to be taking my last post rather personally. Don't. I have no interest in attacking or insulting you, only the expression of my opinion. You're welcome to take it, or ignore it. Your choice.


Splash page [...] I don't think that removing it is an option though because, from an ergonomic point of view, I need to catch surfers imagination [...]However, you only need to do that once. On return visits, the splash page is nothing more than a hinderance. As I said, and cr3ative reiterated, at the very least place a link on it so that visitors (including search engines) can skip it.


Black text on a white background isn't going to do it for this client.Where did I say you should only resort to plain text?


I've covered scripting in the websites help files.Which is really very ironic: if a visitor has scripting disabled, how do you expect them to reach that document as they have to move through two script-only links to get there.


[...] they run the risk of excluding themselves from many/most websites.In general, only because of incompetance or ignorance on the part of the author. Client-side scripting always was, and still is, an optional feature in user agents. It should not be used for critical functionality.


Its not my fault that Windows/Explorer leaks like a bucketThat's not the only reason why scripting is disabled. People are tired of authors - malicious or otherwise - fooling around with their browser just to make something "cool". Moreover, a scripting engine is implemented in all user agents.


In terms of 'No reason whatsoever' the reason is simple - its because this is the way I have been taught (at university) to build websites That isn't a reason. If you were really taught to make a site dependent upon scripting, I'd ask for a refund of your tuition fees.


[...] I am NOT a programmer, I am a designerThat's fine. Authoring HTML documents isn't programming. Neither HTML nor CSS can be considered programming languages. The former describes the content of a document whilst the latter suggests how to display it.


I know what you are thinking.... stop building websites because you are messing in something you don't understand.Where did you get that idea from? Anyone can, and should, be able to build a site. However, there's a different target for someone doing it professionally and someone doing it just to write about their favourite hobby.


That's fine when you have a budget that covers the time and expense [...]What time and expense? There's a common misconception that creating accessible websites is far more time consuming than the "usual" way. This isn't true, as long as you know what you're aiming for. Two changes that would make your site instantly more accessible is the addition of alt attributes to your images, and removing the unnecessary scripting from your links.

With regard to alternative text, decorative images should specify an empty string. That is, alt="" Content-containing images, namely the images that contain text, should have alternative text that conveys that content. As for the links, change the
<a href="javascript:;" ...
><img ... onMouseDown="MM_goToURL('parent','contact.htm');
return document.MM_returnValue"
></a>pattern to
<a href="contact.htm" ...><img ...></a>In other words, replace the javascript:; href value with the second argument to the MM_goToURL function, and remove the onmousedown attribute from the images.


So if we can get back to the point. Has Dreamweaver compiled any code that might remotely effect the mouse button on a Windows PC? Yes or no?Yes: the dependence upon client-side scripting, though that affects any platform.


if you would like me to become more educated can you point me to a document that explains how to 'Make Links, Links' rather than employing Dreamweaver to apply the link action.The HTML Specification (http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/). That would be a good place to start. It's quite readable.

After that, I'd look at CSS (http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/) so you can do away with some of the HTML 3.2-like mark-up. The cited document contains some material for learning CSS as well as the specifications themselves.


[...] don't use Dreamweaver, or Frontpage.I'd like to qualify that, at least in part. Certainly I'd never advise someone to use Frontpage. That's just looking for failure. However, Dreamweaver isn't so bad provided you don't let it do the authoring for you. Don't use it's scripts and don't use WYSIWYG mode. However, do use its project management features.

Mike

maverik
02-09-2005, 09:19 PM
Thanks cr3ative

I got the point about the link from Mike thankyou. The splash page times out to the main navigation after 3 seconds - hardly enough time for a user to do anything but look and its certainly not worth a skip intro link as you suggest - there isn't any intro to skip - its just a simple (small file size) image to let the viewer know directly what the site is about...... and then they are inside.

I understand perfectly that if scripting is turned off the rollover links will not work. I made that clear and it wasn't my question. The orginal query at the top of this page was about a mouse problem on one button not both. I guess I should have re-iterated that. Apologies for not being specific. The links don't work on the left mouse button but do work on the right. Javascript is NOT disabled. Now is there anything in the code that would cause the left button to fail but the right to operate the link normally or am I just looking at an end user fault or an infected Windows system? Its a simple question really.

And by the way, I don't accept the point about 'user agent' settings i.e. they may turn java scripting off and then the site doesn't work. Fine. That's there problem. Why on this earth would you want to dumb down your application because a user might turn off a perfectly good browser function. That's the equivalent of someone turning off their headlights, driving into a ditch and blaming the car manufacturer because the world gets dark at night. I'm sorry, but if an end user decides to turn off functions that's their perogative and let them face the consequences. Whilst we are at it, why don't we turn off 'load images' and then we can all get to the pub early. We could also set up a Communist state and all drive round in grey Skodas. (laughs) You guys need to look up at the stars one night and see how random they look ... it'll knock you out.

I take your point about Front Page, its a Microsoft product and useless, but Dreamweaver? I guess that the 4 million or so end users of this product (and all the universities around the world that teach its use) are all barking mad like myself. You guys should get a petition up and send it to Macromedia - tell them that their billion dollar investment has got web design all wrong.

Your comment : 'If you worked on a project as big as you say it should be simple' Read my lips - I was the designer and project manager NOT THE PROGRAMMER. How can I make this clearer. Lets imagine it was a car.... I created the visual style, planned the build and laid down a specification.... I did NOT build the engine. Are we clear - I did not programme the html so I do not find it SIMPLE. I don't want to employ anyone - the website in question is too small. I want to learn for myself which is why I came to this forum and asked for some help or a link which might lead to a solution - you know - a little more 'detailed' instruction and a little less 'off the cuff' critiscism would be helpful. Comments like "this is a HUGE mistake" don't actually help anyone move forward.

regards

maverik

cr3ative
02-09-2005, 09:32 PM
I withdraw my previous statement about Dreamweaver. I have not used it since a very early version.

As for your comment "That's there problem[sic]" - well, we are only here to give advice. These people will simply not buy from your company.

As for your original question, is there any way you can describe to us how to recreate the fault? I can't think why a script would (or could) do what you have implied.

Regards
cr3ative

maverik
02-09-2005, 09:44 PM
Thanks Mike

thats more like it! Some information that I can build upon. Thankyou for taking the time to input this.

I think I had too much coffee today, but I didn't take the comments personally - I was frustrated at a critique rather than help which is what I was looking for.

By the way, client side scripting wasn't an issue when I learned Dreamweaver at uni - browsers weren't being hijacked five years ago and Dreamweaver was seen as a great move forward for designers and programmers... sorry 'authors' as you like to put it. You guys are really picky. So I wont be asking for any money back just yet.

And I don't add anything because it is 'Cool'. Thats a commen misconception from people who don't understand design enough to appreciate its value and input. The website in question is visually rich because that is what sells this product - horses for courses. If it were screw fixings the images would be thumbnails and the site would be database driven. Designers look at the whole picture objectively first and then design for purpose. They don't ever build two things the same because no client or problem is ever the same.

Your inference is clear with the 'Cool' statement and if I wasn't so easy going I would take that personally. So be careful with your opinion.

regards

maverik

maverik
02-09-2005, 09:50 PM
Thanks cr3ative

I think that you and Mike have answered my question. I appreciate that Dreamweaver adds a lot of crap to the code and employs client side scripts which can cause issues with user agents (can't I just say browsers?). But its what I have to work with right now.

I am of the opinion that although the website has accessibility issues with the image alt tabs and some scripting problems on the links which you have highlighted (I am grateful) this left mouse button isue is not down to the page code. For all I know it may be the mouse setup function under Windows - I know that you can manually deactivate the button or change its function.

I appreciate your time

Thanks again

mwinter
02-09-2005, 11:17 PM
The splash page times out to the main navigation after 3 seconds - hardly enough time for a user to do anythingYou seem to have missed the point about disabling meta refresh "commands" (for want of a better phrase) which can happen with IE in a high security zone, for example. That's possible in the workplace, or with a paranoid home user. There's also the issue of whether search engines will index past that splash page. Due to abuse by **** sites and the like, most bots treat meta refresh URLs with suspicion.


Why on this earth would you want to dumb down your application [...]How on Earth is creating a normal link, "dumbing down"? The function you're using provides the exact same operation, but in an unreliable fashion. That isn't providing an "advanced feature" (or whatever you think Dreamweaver is doing), that's stupidity.


Whilst we are at it, why don't we turn off 'load images'User's do. I do if a site is heavily laden with images and I can't be bothered to wait.

Both of these circumstances are perfectly reasonable and extremely easy to deal with. To shrug them off as simple inconvenience smacks of laziness.


I take your point about Front Page, [...] but Dreamweaver?The output I've seen direct from WYSIWYG mode is garbage. That's not just true of Dreamweaver, but all WYSIWYG software. A knowledgable developer will always produce better mark-up and style data.


Your inference is clear with the 'Cool' statement and if I wasn't so easy going I would take that personally. So be careful with your opinion.And again, you see a personal reference where there was none. When I use non-specific words like "authors", I am being intentionally generic. If I meant you, I wouldn't have skirted around the issue. I would have told you.


user agents (can't I just say browsers?)Maybe. They are actually distinct terms. User agent covers a wide range of software:


An HTML user agent is any device that interprets HTML documents. User agents include visual browsers (text-only and graphical), non-visual browsers (audio, Braille), search robots, proxies, etc.Mike