Frequently Asked Questions

© 2000 Walt Howe
(Last updated July 6, 2000)
  1. What is the World Wide Web (see the Learning Tree)?
  2. What is HTML?
  3. How do I create a graphical signature on Delphi?
  4. How do I Add Graphics to my Start Page?
  5. How do I create my own web page?
  6. How do I post my web page to Delphi?
  7. I'm having trouble uploading graphics to my web page. What can I do?
  8. How do I create links to other pages or graphics?
  9. How do I link to pages or graphics on my Delphi home page from elsewhere?
  10. How can I attract members and promote my web pages?
  11. How can I make my page load faster?
  12. Where can I get help with graphics?
  13. Where can I get help with music and audio files?
  14. Where can I learn HTML coding?
  15. What HTML standard should I follow?
  16. How can I check my HTML coding?
  17. Can I use forms in my home page?
  18. Can I add a counter to my home page?
  19. Can I include a script in my page?
  20. Can I create subdirectories in my web workspace?
  21. How can I tell how much of my 10 meg limit I've used?
  22. Where can I get answers to other questions on personal Delphi home pages and Custom Forums?

  1. What is HTML?
    HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is a set of standard codes used to to control layout, fonts, colors, and provide links to other pages. You can also add artwork, pictures, audio, and video to the page with the appropriate added files and HTML codes. When others look at the page, the HTML tags are interpreted by browser software to show the page, fully formatted, on their screens. The most common browsers are Netscape, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and for text-only users, Lynx. Full graphical access is only available to those with 386 or better computers running Windows 3.1 Windows 95, Windows NT or O/S2; Macintosh, Amiga, or unix platforms with graphics capability. Older computers do not have the speed or memory to access graphical screens, but in most cases can browse the web in text-only form.

  2. How do I create my own web page?
    There are four basic ways to create a web page.

    • Home Page or Custom Forum Template. Delphi offers simple one-page templates that all members can use for both personal pages and Custom Forums. Both the basic Free Member Home Pages and the Free Custom Forums use a simple template set up for you to type in titles and text, select colors and styles, and upload your own graphics and links. This simple method requires no knowledge of HTML coding at all. The template provides the codes you need.

    • Word Processor Conversions. The second method is to create a page using a word processor like Word or Word Perfect and convert it to HTML form. Some software like HTML Transit will convert it directly; others like HTML Assistant Pro require a save in RTF (rich text format) and then run the conversion. The latest versions of Word and Word Perfect allow saving a page directly in HTML format. This method, like those that follow, give you much more control over page content than the templates do. To use it, you must have web page space where you can post your own HTML-code pages, such as Delphi's Premium account pages or a free service like ProHosting.

    • WYSIWYG Software. WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) software lets you create the page as you would on a word processor. You don't see the HTML codes that are generated, but they are there. See the Internet Software Guide for WYSIWYG software for your computer and operating system.

    • Writing in HTML. If you are serious about learning to design web pages, we encourage you to start by writing your own HTML coding. It is pretty easy to learn, and you don't have to master the whole language right away. You can produce effective pages with just a few simple codes. One of the easiest ways to get started is to look at existing pages that you like, and use the File/Save As function of your browser to save the HTML coded page to your own computer. Then you can load it into your editing software and modify it to suit your own needs. If you are a beginner, and want help in learning HTML coding, see our Learning HTML workshop. If you just need help with specific code formats and options, see our HTML Resources page or buy one of the many good books recently published on the subject. See our Publishing on the Web Bookstore for recommendations.

      Your main file should be named index.htm or index.html. When you first access your web workspace, Delphi automatically creates a simple template name index.html, which you can modify or replace with your own. Don't create a file named index.htm and keep the index.html file, also. The latter name takes precedence. Either delete the index.html file or rename the index.htm as index.html.

  3. How do I Post My Web Page to Delphi?
    If you use Delphi's template, the posting is part of the process.

    Your web page will not appear immediately in the Member Home Page directory. These are reviewed by staff before posting, and it may take a week or two before you appear in the directory.

  4. I'm having trouble uploading graphics. What can I do
    If you are having trouble putting graphics files in your webspace, you are most likely using an older MSIE browser or an AOL browser. Those browsers do not include the necessary support for binary uploads. Your options are to get Netscape or the latest MSIE browser or, for premium pages, FTP software.

  5. How do I create links to other pages and graphics in my web page?
    Page links take the form:
    <a href="http://the.web.address">Connect to Name of Web Site</a>

    Replace "the.web.address" and "Name of Web Site" with the appropriate address (URL) and text.

    Image links take the form:
    <img src="http://the.web.address/imagename.giforjpg" width=## height=## alt="description">

    Replace the address with the appropriate URL and the imagename with the appropriate filename, which must have a .gif or .jpg extension. The width and height ## values should be replaced with the appropriate dimensions in pixels. Without these parameters, page loading can be a lot slower. To determine width and height, view the graphic in Netscape using the URL as you type it in the img src tag, and select View Page Info to see the actual width and height (in that order) of the graphic. If you don't use Netscape, you will need to use a graphics program to find the width and height.

    To learn more about links and URLs and the different forms they can take, see our HTML Workshop's section on Anchors and Links.

  6. How do I link to pages or graphics on my Delphi home page from elsewhere?
    FREE MEMBER HOME PAGES: If you have a free member (not Forum) page, your page address is http://members.delphiforums.com/yourmembername/index.html and your link to that page using an anchor <a> tag would look like this:

    <a href=:"http://members.delphiforums.com/yourmembername/index.html"> Link to My Page</a>

    You can also link to a graphic on that page by replacing index.html with the name of the graphic you want to link to. For example, if your membername is johndoe and you want to link to a graphic named johnpic.jpg on that page and display it, the link using an img tag would be:

    <img src="http://members.delphiforums.com/johndoe/johnpic.jpg" width=## height=## alt="description>

    PREMIUM DELPHI MEMBERSHIPS HOME PAGES. If you have a Premium account, the basic address is http://people.delphiforums.com/yourmembername/index.html and you can link to files by replacing index.html with the name of the file you want to link to, as illustrated above, but with 'people' instead of 'members' as the first part of the address. If you are johndoe and want to link to page2.html or to the graphic johnpic.jpg on that page, the anchor and image tags would would be:

    <a href=:"http://people.delphiforums.com/yourmembername/page2.html"> Link to Page Two</a>
    <img src="http://people.delphiforums.com/johndoe/johnpic.jpg" width=## height=## alt="description>

    FREE CUSTOM FORUMS: If you have a free Forum on Delphi, your web page address is http://www0.delphiforums.com/forumname/index.html
    You will also see the forumname referred to as a webtag or a sigdir. The forumname/webtag/sigdir for this Forum is 'pubweb', for example. You can link to a graphic on your page from elsewhere by replacing index.html with the name of the file you want to link to. If your webtag is johndoeforum and you want to link to the page, the link anchor would be:

    <a href="http://www0.delphiforums.com/johndoeforum/index.html"> Link to My Forum Web Page</a>

    To display graphics in your page or in a message, use the IMG tag with the address, which is set up like this:

    <img src="http://www0.delphiforums.com/forumname/imagename.gif" width="size in pixels" height="size in pixels" alt="description">

  7. What HTML standard should I follow?
    The standard for web pages, supported by the older version 3.0 browsers is HTML 3.2. Current browsers support the HTML 4.0 Specification If you are interested in using Style Sheets or dynamic HTML, note that Netscape 3.0 does not support these features, although later versions do.

  8. How can I check my HTML coding?
    There are a number of HTML Page Validators that let you check your code online. We strongly recommend their use.

  9. Can I use forms in my home page?
    Yes, if you have a Premium account, but the only script available right now is one which gathers the responses entered by the user and sends e-mail to an address of your choosing with the response. Recent browsers also support MAILTO: forms without a need for scripting, but that technique is not covered here, although it is quite similar. Here is a sample comments form, which illustrates some of the options you can include. The comments in red are not part of the form.

    <center><h2>Send us your comments</h2></center>
    If you have comments or questions you would like to pass along, complete this form and press the Submit button. That will send your comments to us by e-mail.

    The text above appears over the top of the form.

    <form method="post"
    action="http://web.delphiforums.com/htbin/cgi-mailto/YourEmail
    Address/User/Comment">

    The form begins. Use your own e-mail address. The subject (User Comment) appears without the slashes
    <textarea name="User Comment:" cols=50 rows=3></textarea><br>
    This sets up a comments area of 3 rows by 50 columns.
    <b>Your e-mail address:</b>
    <input type="text" name="E-mail address:" size=55>

    This sets up a one-line block for the e-mail address of the sender.
    <input type="submit" value="Submit"> </form>
    This sets up a Submit button to send the comments along and completes the form.

    Other features such as radio buttons, check boxes, pull down selections, and Reset buttons can also be used with the form, if you are experienced in writing HTML for forms.

    If you specify a Delphi e-mail address, the e-mail is sent only if there is a file called .WWW_MAILABLE in the Web Workspace of that username. (Yes, the file name begins with a period, so you won't accidently confuse it with your other Web Site files.) Normally it is your own username, but you may be involved in a project with someone else, in which case another name can be used. The purpose of this is to prevent a someone from setting up a Form which sends e-mail to someone else who isn't expecting it.

    To make .WWW_MAILABLE, enter Delphi on text side, and type GO WORK WEB to get to the WEB-WS> prompt. Then type EDIT .WWW_MAILABLE and ignore the message "Input file does not exist". You will see an asterisk prompt. Type EXIT to complete the file. Finally, type PUBLISH to move it to your actual web directory.

    It is also possible to create the .WWW_MAILABLE on your system, if it will support such filenames, and FTP it to your web directory. Or you can FTP any empty file and RENAME it .WWW_MAILABLE

  10. Can I include a script in my page?
    You cannot provide your own scripts, such as perl scripts, that must run in a cgi-bin directory on Delphi's server. Client side scripts, such as JavaScript, will work for people who are using the latest browser versions from Netscape or Microsoft. Delphi currently provides cgi-bin support for forms and will probably include several other features like counters in the future.

  11. Can I add a counter to my home page?
    Delphi does offer a counter utility for the ftp.delphiforums.com pages, but not the people.delphiforums.com pages as yet. There are various ones available from other sites. Yahoo maintains a List of Counters. Some are for a fee; some are for free.

  12. Can I create subdirectories in my web workspace?
    No, if you are using Delphi's free web pages. If you have a Premium account, you can, and many other places offer this, too. If you are FTPing to your web directory, use your FTP software to create new subdirectories. If you are accessing your web workspace on textside Delphi, you can create a subdirectory with the MKDIR (MaKe DIRectory) command. You can Change Directories with the CD command. The command CD .. moves you back up one directory. These commands are very similar to msdos and unix subdirectory commands. You can reference files in these subdirectories with relative addressing. For example, if you have an images subdirectory, you can call it with your index.html file in this format:

    <img src="images/filename.gif" alt="descriptive name">

    There is more information on commands available to use in your textside directories by typing INFO DIRECT at the WS> or WEB-WS> prompt. INFO DIRECT explains the use of the following commands: MKDDIR, RMDIR, CD, MV, LS, LS -L and UNZIP.

  13. How can I tell how much of my Premium account 10 meg limit I've used?
    Your FTP software will usually show you how much is used in each directory and subdirectory. If you are accessing your web workspace from textside, type DIR at the WEB-WS> prompt in your web directory on Delphi. Note the first figure of the two that appear, separated by a slash (for example, 1027/1560). If you have more than one directory, CD to each of them and repeat the DIR command and make a note of each number before the slash. Add them all together.

    The numbers show the number of blocks of 512 bytes you have used of your total allowance. There are 20,000 blocks in 10 megabytes, so as long as your total is less than 20,000, you have not reached your total allowance.

    Unless you are using a lot of audio or video files, you are probably well below your total limit. If you are close, and want to go over the limit, send e-mail to SERVICE to discuss how it can be handled.


FEEDBACK FORM
Your feedback is important to improve the quality of these web pages. Was this information useful to you? Do you have any additions, comments, corrections or suggestions for improvement? Use the form below to mail it, and we will give your ideas prompt consideration.


Your e-mail address (optional):

Back to top
Back to Learning Tree
Go to Top Go to Learning Tree