View Full Version : Escaping Dreamweaver - Dynamic Drive Legal Notices

09-12-2013, 01:21 PM
Script: Smoothmenu (and many more)

http://www.dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex1/ddsmoothmenu.htm (and many more)

I am looking for advice or guidance on keeping the legal notices for Dynamic Drive code usage properly in place and visible without using Dreamweaver's library function whilst retaining the ability to create one relevant file and import it into many web pages.

Purpose of change is to get out of Dreamweaver's library functions and make editing the source code possible and updatable using any convenient editor package. There are two reasons for this - one is to avoid any successor webmaster from having to purchase Dreamweaver for editing, and the other is Dreamweaver's handling of links that start "href="about.html" (or similar). Dreamweaver's programmers insist that "href="/about.html" is the correct form but this is contrary to W3 standards and doesn't work. If you load the file into the source code using the library function you get "href="library/about.html" instead of "href="about.html" which, of course, doesn't work because the relevant file isn't in the library directory.

I should mention at this stage that my work as a webmaster is unpaid and funds are not available for purchasing expensive, bespoke, software packages.

One solution is to make the common file into a javascript one and wrap all the relevant items in document.write constructs and then call the file in this way: <script type="text/javascript" src="Includes/credits.js"></script>
This will certainly import the relevant information and Smoothmenu will read relevant HTML menu entries and function correctly. The problem remains of how to make these instructions visible to anyone viewing the page source as simply selecting view source in the browser just shows <script type="text/javascript" src="Includes/credits.js"></script> and not the contents of credits.js.

The situation is just the same if I call up the credits file inside an iframe, all that shows up in the viewed source is the iframe instruction itself, not the content.

The pages of the web site have file names ending in HTML or, occasionally, HTM. The web site runs on a windows server platform.

The only way I can think of at present is to place an extra line of code inviting viewers of the source code to click on the relevant credits file to view the legal notices thus:
<!-- DYNAMIC DRIVE LEGAL NOTICES - click on the filename in the next line to view these and discover how to obtain the source code -->
followed by <script type="text/javascript" src="Includes/credits.js"></script> that contains the notices in full detail.

This would allow me the freedom to update the credits file as necessary when additional Dynamic Drive scripts are put into use without having to amend several hundred pages individually. BUT, is that way of doing it acceptable to Dynamic Drive?

If it isn't acceptable, can you suggest any alternative ways please.

09-12-2013, 04:43 PM
The intention of the rules here is that a user can view the source code on your page and then immediately see the copyright information for the script. It doesn't need to be visible on the page itself, and it shouldn't only be in an external .js file.

I'm not so familiar with exactly what DW allows and doesn't allow in terms of templates and so forth. Try a few things to see if you can get that information to show up in the source code of the page.

I don't think, for example, it would be a problem if it appeared in an HTML comment adjacent to the script tag rather than within the script tags as long as it had the same information. If you're doing this in good faith, we can be somewhat flexible.

For an exception, you can contact ddadmin (the site's administrator) for special permission. For example, he could determine whether it would be ok to just have the credit notice within the external .js file. That's on a case by case basis, and it's always helpful to ask first here, of course.

But on a more technical level, are you certain that it's not possible to insert any text within the <script>....</script> tags? If that's possible, then you shouldn't need to do anything exceptional at all. You could even try to do that with a second set of <script> tags if you can't do an external script and internal code at the same time. And as I said above, it's probably fine with just an HTML comment. Does any of that work for you?

09-13-2013, 08:50 AM
Thank you for the early response.

If I can take your last paragraph first, I have tried using the <script></script> to load files containing executable javascript, plain html and a mix of these. If the file contains executable javascript instructions the browser carries them out. But, if it doesn't, the browser does nothing with the content. Either way a look at 'page source' in the browser simply shows the <script></script> entry as originally edited in and not the content of the external file. It is true, of course, that the person viewing the source code can click on the file name enclosed in the <script></script> construct and this will then reveal to true contents of the file which can contain the relevant notices and links to the DD site. Another limitation is that using the document.write method in javascript will not write comment lines to the page, only viewable lines such as the menu or other pieces of information standard to multiple pages.

I also tried this using an <iframe></iframe> construct with the same results - the relevant notices are not readily viewable in the source code when viewed. Thus both methods fail to meet the expectation of immediately being able to view the notices and links and, on the face of it, do not comply with your first paragraph.

This isn't really a case of trying to see what Dreamweaver can and can't do - the objective is not to be reliant on Dreamweaver at all, but be able to use any HTML or source code editor that comes to hand. This will ensure that any successor webmaster can avoid having to pay out a 'joining fee' in respect of purchase of expensive software - Dreamweaver currently costs 15.88 per calendar moth (if you qualify as a student - but the link on the Adobe site to the relevant terms is broken) or 38.11 per month on Adobe's UK site. Such expenditure cannot be justified even if it could be afforded when there are free or cheaper alternatives available. Hence the need to be able to dump Dreamweaver and switch to one of these alternatives.

I fully agree that the notices are important, and not just to legitimise the use of the code. If such notices didn't exist I would not have found the Dynamic Drive site easily myself. And it is certainly my intent to keep the usage of Dynamic Drive code fully legal as well as to give credit where credit is due. So far, therefore, I have these alternatives:

1. Put a single comment line in the source code immediately ahead of the <script></script> construct in which the reader is strongly invited to read the contents of the external file; or
2. Convert (rename) all the pages to SHTML and use the <!--#include file="includes/credits.inc" --> construct which will deliver the requirement albeit by grouping the various legal notices together in a single block rather than adjacent to the relevant script name.
3. Convert (rename) all the pages to PHP and use the <?php include("Includes/credits.inc"); ?> construct to give the same effect as (2).

There is a very good explanation of server side processing and what does and does not work here: http://www.boutell.com/newfaq/creating/include.html. It's a pity that W3 Schools doesn't have an equivalent page instead of leaving you to trawl the various language guides one by one.

I would appreciate any further advice or suggestions you can give - and also the views of the DD Admin team - on the best (or your preferred) way forward given these limitations.