WPDFD Issue #37 - April 01, 2001

What's New

Pixel Fonts A page of tips and FAQs about using pixel fonts and cross-platform screen resolution. Mega List Got a Web design related link that you want to share with other WPDFD readers? This is surely the most comprehensive list of Web design links anywhere. Newly updated each month. Readers' Sites Want to tell the World about that cool new site you've done? Here's your chance - if we think it's good enough!.

Foundation ActionScript

Introduced with Flash 5, ActionScript is what you might call a "designer's programming language". Earlier versions of Flash were just glorified animation packages that let Web designers get some movement into their sites without hogging too much bandwidth but ActionScript gives them some real power. Learning any programming language can be a daunting task, especially of your talents are more artistic than mathematical.

Something that really annoys me about ActionScript is the way it aligns the scripts. Take this example from the 'Survey' movie above. This is the way Flash writes it. on (release) { if (result == "") { with (choices) { gotoAndPlay(6); } theVote = "No selection!"; } else { theVote = "You chose "+result+"!"; getURL ("mailto:you@youremailaddress?

A simple password protection script Something that crops up very frequently, is the need to password-protect a particular Web page, or site. Normally, this is done using .htaccess on the server, but that facility is not always available or convenient. Using JavaScript leaves the script and the password visible in the source code but Flash is more difficult to hack and allows you to do something a little more creative than the usual, grey, boring, 'server' form.

Hot New Products

News of the latest new products for Web designers - with a particular emphasis on Web graphics - as usual!. Z-Write One of the most useful programs I've found in a long time and I now use it to write WPDFD. Z-Write is a 'non-linear' word processor for creative writers that works the in way that they write - and it's only $20 - for Mac only. Adobe Atmosphere Public beta of a new program to make 3D virtual environments for the World Wide Wait.

ActionScript for designers I have always said that this site is not about programming but a little bit of scripting comes in useful, especially when it is used creatively. You will appreciate that much of the Web is driven by server-side applications written in a wide variety of programming languages - C++, Java, Perl etc. and there are many other solutions like ASP, JSP, PHP. Developing Web applications using these means that you have to hire skilled programmers but designers sometimes need simpler solutions, ones that they can produce and control themselves.