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Archived Message:

Can Activ Script detect IE version?

Storyman For design purposes, I would like to prevent users with early versions of Internet Explorer (mainly IE 4) from accessing the ebook. The reason is IE 4 does not support a lot of features available in CSS2 and CSS2.1.

Can Activ Script detect the browser version?

I realize the @import hack can be used and that may be the only solution, but it would be nice to know if Activ Script accesses that information.

Posted on: 6:44 pm on January 1, 2005
Alaska  You could add the browser-sniffer to the index page...  

 If the user doesn't have the navigator app version you want, you'll still need to give them a user-friendly error message and an explanation.

best -

Posted on: 8:47 pm on January 1, 2005
Storyman Roger,

I had considered the javascript sniff solution. One thing that I've never seen referenced is what happens when javascript is turned off in the browser.

It seems that if javascript is turned off in the browser that so would be the javascript browser sniffer. What would be helpful is if Activ Script checked on the browser version so the page swap, that you mentioned, could be implemented.

(P.S. Hope you have a great New Year.)

(Edited by Storyman at 1:43 pm on Jan. 1, 2005)

Posted on: 9:41 pm on January 1, 2005
Alaska  What the reader does in their browser is different from what occurs in the ebook.  They might not even be using IE.

 This "JavaScript browser sniffer" is in the ebook index.htm page, and might look something like this:

if ((parseInt(navigator.appVersion) < 5)

 best -

Posted on: 5:43 am on January 2, 2005
Storyman Roger,

This isn't clear to me at all. Activ e-Book states that IE must be installed (version 4 or above). If IE is required aren't the settings inherited?

I hope Sunil will read this and provide some clarification as to if Activ e-Book can use javascript regardless if javascript is enabled or not in the IE browser.

Posted on: 7:10 am on January 2, 2005
Alaska Storyman -

 The simple answer is to try it; it takes 30 seconds to disable your JavaScript in IE, and open an Activ ebook that uses JavaScript.

 The ebook scripts work as intended....

 IE has to be installed because Activ uses some IE components.  They are still different applications.   Changing settings in one application won't affect settings of the other.

 G'wan, try it!

 (and a Happy MMV to you, yours, and everyone...!)

 best -

Posted on: 9:39 am on January 2, 2005
Storyman Roger,

I've gone down that path before. Sure, it works on my system, but out in the field quirky things happen. With that said you did provide the information I was seeking. Their are components of IE that Activ e-Book does use, but it appears javascript is not one of them.

It seems that the only solution for browser sniffing is javascript. Hopefully, Sunil will include it as part of the Activ Script language in future versions.

On another note are you using CSS or Tables in your ebooks? Just wondering.

Posted on: 7:04 pm on January 2, 2005
Alaska I'm not a purist, so I use frames, tables,  styles, whatever.  You can also use IE-specific extensions, e.g. transparency filters; here's a demo ebook that uses something from all of those:


best -

Posted on: 8:35 am on January 3, 2005
Storyman Alaska,

That is awesome. Very nice work.

What screen resolution is the ebook designed for? I've been thinking in terms of having the ebook expand to fill the screen, but the rounded corners on the display panel make for a great presentation.

I'm assuming that the content/search/index panel in the lower left quad is a frame as is the content area where the text displays.

The navigation arrows in the upper right of the content area are javascript. Right?

I'm glad to have seen it.


Posted on: 4:37 pm on January 3, 2005
Alaska yes.  and an IE filter fades in the Cheshire Cat on the start page.

Posted on: 9:15 pm on January 3, 2005
Storyman Roger,

When you design the ebook do you set the screen resolution to 800X600? Or? I haven't been setting the ebook size, but after looking at yours it appeals to me.

Posted on: 10:05 pm on January 3, 2005
Alaska  That ebook is close to 800x600, but not exactly.  I just chose that size as the lowest common denominator, 'cause the graphic frame can't be resized to be smaller, for those with lo-res screens...*

 Activ doesn't have the skin functionality, but I've requested it on the Version 5 wish list.  An expandable frame would be nice, but Sunil has higher priorities, I'm sure.

 *Speaking of which, now is a good time to drop by your local GSA clearinghouse (in you're in the US) and pick up on some used oversize monitors.  State and Federal offices have switched a lot of workstations over to the LCD flat screens with their end-of-the-year money, and surplussed their current bulky 19-21 inch monitors.

 Our Alaska outlet was swamped, and put everything up for $5 apiece (it's usually $50 for an oversize monitor, still a good deal).  We bought a few Pentium IIIs for friends and as print servers, and about 6 large screen monitors for about $55 US, total.

 Good deal if you're on a budget, and I don't know who isn't....

best -

Posted on: 12:58 am on January 4, 2005
Storyman Roger,

That is a cool tip about the GSA. I'm going to have to look into that (So. Calif.).

Speaking of version 5. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll see it before too long.

Posted on: 3:22 am on January 4, 2005
Alaska In California -  the Department of General Services Procurement Division:

Address: 1700 National Drive
Sacramento CA, 95834-1965
Phone: 916-928-4633
E-mail: dan.mcdonough@dgs.ca.gov
Fax: 916-928-4665

good luck!

Posted on: 6:24 am on January 4, 2005
Storyman Roger,

You lucky dog, you.

I phoned the GSA this morning and the number belongs to someone who used to manage the program, but is now retired. After phoning the referral number the guy left on his phone, I spoke with the person who has taken over the retired guys job, but was told his department didn't handle surplus anymore. He gave me another number to call.

Finally, I spoke with someone who handles the surplus program, but found out that private parties can no longer purchase surplus items through them. The only people who qualify are federal employees, schools, etc.

Apparently it all ended last year.

(Edited by Storyman at 9:17 am on Jan. 4, 2005)

(Edited by Storyman at 9:19 am on Jan. 4, 2005)

Posted on: 5:16 pm on January 4, 2005
Alaska Wow, sorry to hear that!  I wonder if that policy will spread here.  I hope not.  I think I'll check the GSA website to see what's up...

Posted on: 5:31 pm on January 4, 2005

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