very new to java etc


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Thread: very new to java etc

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    very new to java etc

    I am building a web site for my volunteer fire station. It is the first time i have ever attempted to build a site. My question is - I want to put a moving flame object into the background of some of the pages - is java the way to go or should i use a moving GIF file. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Plainsboro, NJ
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    I'm on Plainsboro's Volunteer Department and although I did not create the site, I do like some of the layout (though I disagree with certain areas of the site). Check it out at www.plainsborofire.com

    In response to your question, I don't believe an animated background is the best way to go with your website. It can be extremely distracting (even if tastefully done), and will detract from the content on your pages. If you still want to do it, I would use Java or Flash to do it. GIFs will never give you your desired result. Hope this helps and good luck with the site.

    My Email: Jtangowski@jbtsoftware.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    New Jersey
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jtangowski
    I'm on Plainsboro's Volunteer Department and although I did not create the site, I do like some of the layout (though I disagree with certain areas of the site). Check it out at www.plainsborofire.com

    In response to your question, I don't believe an animated background is the best way to go with your website. It can be extremely distracting (even if tastefully done), and will detract from the content on your pages. If you still want to do it, I would use Java or Flash to do it. GIFs will never give you your desired result. Hope this helps and good luck with the site.

    My Email: Jtangowski@jbtsoftware.com
    I don't understand what you mean by using Java or Flash. I hope you realize that both have their different areas to fit in web applications, unless you are talking about applets. Personally, I always prefer using DTHML/JS stuff over stuffing applets in a page, and I dislike sites having Flash because most of my users work in a restricted environment where they cannot download Flash.
    Happiness is good health and a bad memory.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2005
    Location
    Plainsboro, NJ
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    For a fire department page, using applets shouldn't be a problem because most of the people viewing it will be on their own PC's (meaning they have full control over their environment). Being that the page will probably have a lot of graphics based content, flash or java is perfect. I would not recommend using any type of java applets, flash or even dhtml (not all browsers support it) on any business sites because of the client side limitations you mentioned. I limit my sites to javascript at the most.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    23
    Assuming your are going to build this web site in HTML, you should understand that the only thing you can have in your background is a color value (RGB or HEX) or and image. Although it may be (and thats a big maybe) possible to have a flash movie or applet appear to be in the background, it would be smoke and mirrors and probably prove to be incompatible with varying browser clients.

    For the sake of argument, I am going to assume you want to embed a background image using standard html background implementations. If this is the case, the only option you have for an animation is in the GIF image format. Once you create this animated image -- there is a very good chance that the animated GIF will work on only a few clients -- if any because I am almost positive animated GIFs only work when called via the <img src="..." /> tag (I could be wrong though - so you should test it out yourself.) I am fairly certain though that in many browsers the animated image will behave the same way it would behave if you were viewing it through windows explorer.

    If your bent on having background animation -- look at using a combination of having a layer with an embedded animation and another layer on top of that layer having a transparent background for your content. It is unlikely you will get the desired look using an animated GIF. You can however explore using other image formats that provide more depth and higher resolution -- but you will need to sequence the images and control frame rate yourself using javascript.

    I have been doing professional web development for 13 years now. In fact, my very first web site was for the Police Department I was on -- so I am no stranger to the public safety line of work. Having said that -- I appreciate the enthusiam you have and understand why you want to do this -- but I am compelled to offer you some advise seeing as how this is your first web site. If this project will officially represent your volunteer fire department, ask yourself what the official purpose of this web site is, not what your personal motivation and reverance for fire fighting is. Is this web site for the community or is this web site for you and other fire fighters? If its for the community, I would encourage you to rethink using flames in the same way I would encourage a cop not to put an animated shoot out or car chase or even flashing lights on thier department's official web site. Just because you can do something, doesn't always mean you should. Good luck and thanks for volunterring....
    Last edited by smcneill; 05-02-2006 at 09:43 AM. Reason: Clarification

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
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    @smcneill:
    This is a real good piece of advice. I have my doubts about the animated gif thing though. As far as I know, most of the modern browsers support animated gifs in the same way. Unless someone is using a very old browser, it is not likely to happen the way you mention. But in that case, it is likely that the browser does not support javascript as well.
    Happiness is good health and a bad memory.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    23
    @aniseed:
    You could be right - thats why I qualified it with try it yourself. There was a time not long ago that animated gifs would not animate as a background image. It would not surprise me if modern browsers played animations regardless of the implementation within the HTML.

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