Ben Langhinrichs

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Genii Weblog

Better, tighter website integration

Thu 16 Oct 2003, 11:45 PM



by Ben Langhinrichs
Way back in August when I launched this website, I decided to do something a bit different and integrate my weblog right into the website design itself (see my post about this).  I wasn't sure how well it would work, and I wasn't sure whether it was a good idea, but I have to say it seems to have been successful.  Feel free to disagree if you like <grin>.

Anyway, in the same vein, I am working at integrating more into the website to make it both more dynamic and more informative.  I am starting to "get" the idea that a website is not just a place for people to stop and find out how to order your products.  It is an information source, a support center, an educational tool, and, last but not least, a marketing vehicle.  The first step is my on-line Help database for Midas.  Rather than leaving the site and going into the "help database world", I am moving the Midas Help database into this world.  Try the new version here. There may be a few kinks at first, so please let me know if you run into any problems, but also let me know if you like the approach.  If this works out, I'll actually add it to the menus in a day or so, and if it works there, the Support Forum is next!

By the way, does anybody know how to turn off the view applet?  I have had  few complaints from people who can't get the applet to work, so I decided to turn it off.  I went to every view that displays and unchecked the "Use view applet", but it doesn't seem to make any difference.  The view applet just launches anyway.  The server is running R5.0.10CF1, and so I save all this in a 5.0.11 client, if any of that makes any difference.  I might buy you a donut at Lotusphere if you can help figure it out.

Copyright 2003 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:


57.1. Ben Langhinrichs
(10/17/2003 05:42 AM)

Thanks. I thought I was going crazy, but I guess it makes sense that you might want to handle an embedded view differently than the full view.


57.2. Jens-Christian Fischer
(10/17/2003 06:50 AM)

I like the idea of integrating more of your stuff onto the website. Two comments:

* Why is the vertical size of the help limited? I have a big display (1600x1200) and only half of it is used

* Please get a new support forum software ;-)


57.3. Ben Langhinrichs
(10/17/2003 07:34 AM)

I use an iframe and can set the width to 100%, but if I set the height to 100% it only takes up half of even my 800x600 display. I made it a bit longer, but unless I can figure out how to dynamically size it, it is going to be inconvenient to someone.

I definitely plan to go with a new forum design, and no sign in. I think it would be more convenient to most people without the log in requirement. What forum software would you suggest (bearing in mind that I have six years of posts I plan to blend in to the new design)?


57.4. Stan Rogers
(10/17/2003 03:23 PM)

function setFrameHeight() {

var clientHeight;

if (navigator.appName.indexOf('Microsoft')>-1) {

clientHeight = document.body.clientHeight;

} else {

clientHeight = window.innerHeight;

}

frameHeight = clientHeight - <offset amount>;

document.FrameName.height = frameHeight;

}

Call that from the onload and onresize objects of the <body>. (I'm hoping that you're converting the angle brackets rather than eliminating them.)


57.5. Ben Langhinrichs
(10/20/2003 09:43 PM)

Thanks, Stan. I'll give it a whirl when I get a chance.


57.6. John Head
(10/21/2003 08:14 AM)

Ben, as someone who just completed a major documentation task using the Help database for our framework, I just wanted to say nice job. Plus, I love how your blog is so well integrated into your website. Wouldnt make sense for me to do at PSCListens.com of course, but works great for you


57.7. Ben Langhinrichs
(10/21/2003 08:30 AM)

Thanks, John. The integrated blog makes the most sense for a "business blog" that is specifically oriented towards being the voice of the company. I like how Ed Brill manages to have both a "voice of the company" blog and a "personal" blog. He can then says things on the "personal" blog that he can't in the other. In my case, as a more casual and much smaller company, I can integrate both.

Anyway, I appreciate your stopping by.