Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

Product Reviews: Websuite 1.1

Product Reviews: Websuite 1.1

"Well, Jim, the Web pages look pretty good, but they remind me of a food line at a delicatessen. Lots of food, but nothing looks like it belongs with anything else." "But boss, I put in all the information that you wanted!" "Yes, but I want our pages to have a style that's recognizable throughout the whole site."

This conversation has been taking place in companies all over the world, and it's due to the inconsistent design of Web pages. In the corporate Web, consistency means a lot. Consistency can give your customers a sense of solidity, and will give them a good first impression of your company. The problem is that while there are a lot of decent graphics programs for Web design, there aren't many software packages that provide complete style groups for designing Web pages. In this issue, I'll tell you about one such package that's supposed to do just that- DigitalStyle's WebSuite, and I'll let you know if it can help you create a site that even the boss can be happy with.

DigitalStyle's WebSuite installed from the sixteen installation floppies with no problem, taking up 20 MB of hard drive space. It is also available on a CD ROM, which would have installed much faster, as the floppy disk installation took about twenty minutes. WebSuite comes with a forty-one page User Guide that covers the installation and basics of program operation, as well as a searchable online help system and index. The program doesn't take a lot of studying to use, as the User Interface is simple and intuitive. I jumped right into WebSuite without touching the manual, and the only operation that wasn't obvious was how to import the graphics into the Web page I was creating. WebSuite is actually made up of four parts:

  • The Component Catalog - This is where you are presented with the different Style Groups. It is also where you manage Style Groups and store, import and export components: rules, bullets, buttons, navigational tools, headings, icons, and backgrounds.
  • The Component Editor - This is where you create new Style Groups or edit the ones you already have.
  • The Image Editor - The Image Editor works behind the scenes on image size, transparency, and color quantization.
  • The Load Manager - This application, which is a part of the Component Editor, lets you determine exactly how long the graphic will take to download at various bandwidths.

    The Standard edition of WebSuite comes with ten Style Groups and all tools, and the Designer Edition comes with the same, as well as twenty additional Style Groups. As you browse through the Component Catalog (see Figure 1) you are presented with a window that features separate tabs for rules, buttons, navigational buttons, major headings, minor headings, icons and backgrounds. A Scrapbook tab is also included for storing files that you plan to use as components. As you click on each tab, you are presented with the different components for that style. By double-clicking on an image, the Component Editor is launched. Using the Component Editor to customize the images in the Style Groups, you are able to alter the image's text, shadow, font and color as well as add shapes and other images to the component to suit your tastes.

    After you close the Component Editor, you are able to use the image on your Web page by selecting the graphic with the mouse and doing one of four things: hitting Control-H, clicking on the Copy as HTML button on the tool bar, right mouse-clicking and using the pop-up menu, or going to the Edit menu and selecting Copy as HTML. Then you paste the HTML code into your HTML editor, (which WebSuite does not provide, but allows you to choose). WebSuite supports all Windows HTML editors including Netscape Gold and Microsoft FrontPage. When saving the HTML code, a dialog box comes up that enables you to specify either a Server path (an absolute path), Document path (relative path), or HTML Output path (local path) to reference the image. By right mouse-clicking on the graphic, you are also able to export the graphic to a directory on your hard drive for use elsewhere. Although I didn't have any problem doing any of this, I still would have preferred a drag and drop option along with the copy and paste method of adding HTML code to my Web pages.

    The creation of new Style Groups is easy; you just go to the File menu and click New. Then you enter the name for your new Style Group and add the components that you've created. You can create new components in your new Style Group or existing Style Groups by right mouse-clicking and selecting Create Component from the pop-up menu, which causes the empty Component Editor to appear. The Component Editor has a toolbar that allows the designer to add rectangles, ovals, insert text, import images, and remove colors from the new image (see Figure 2).The WebSuite Component Catalog can import many graphic formats including BMP, EPS, GIF, JPEG, MAC and PCX, among others. The Component Editor's ability to create transparent images, as well as the fact that WebSuite automatically compresses images down to 256 colors, decreasing download time, makes this a very versatile, efficient Web design tool. The Component Editor also has a location to put the alternate text for the image, as not every Web surfer surfs with their graphics turned on.

    . One of the most useful features of WebSuite is the Load Manager. The Load Manager isn't really a separate application, but is a function of the Component Editor. Located at the bottom of the Component Editor window (see Figure 3) the Load Manager is invoked by clicking the Get Size button. By clicking anywhere next to the Get Size button the Load Manager displays the size of the image, as well as the download time from 9600 baud all the way up to a full T3. The Load Manager works equally well with jpegs or gifs.

    As this was being written, DigitalStyle announced the Style Group Subscription Service, which, for $59, allows WebSuite users to subscribe to a year of Style Groups. One Style Group will be available monthly for download from DigitalStyle's Web site, adding to the Styles that WebSuite comes with.

    With WebSuite you've got a tool that allows you to create Web sites that have a consistent design and style throughout all the pages. You can create new styles, use existing graphics, manipulate text and colors to suit your needs, create transparent gifs, test for download time, and even automatically create the HTML code to put in your pages. Although an understanding of HTML is still necessary, WebSuite can help the Web designer create professional sites that are not only functional and consistent, but utilize the look and feel that your company has worked so hard to maintain.

  • More Stories By Scott Clark

    Scott Clark is the Webmaster for Phoenix Applied Technology, (http://www.phoenixat.com), an ISP in Kissimmee, Florida. Scott is the Product Review
    Editor for "Java Developer's Journal" and a Contributing Editor for "Web Developer Magazine." Scott hosts the Java Message Exchange (http://www.phoenixat.com/java), a Web based Java forum, and WebToolz, (http://www.webtoolz.com) the Webmaster's Resource.

    Comments (0)

    Share your thoughts on this story.

    Add your comment
    You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

    In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


    IoT & Smart Cities Stories
    IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Global Network has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The IoT Global Network is a platform where you can connect with industry experts and network across the IoT community to build the successful IoT business of the future.
    CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
    Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
    DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
    Disruption, Innovation, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Leadership and Management hear these words all day every day... lofty goals but how do we make it real? Add to that, that simply put, people don't like change. But what if we could implement and utilize these enterprise tools in a fast and "Non-Disruptive" way, enabling us to glean insights about our business, identify and reduce exposure, risk and liability, and secure business continuity?
    The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
    DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named "Media Sponsor" of CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York, which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
    To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
    The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...