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Contextual Menus
Personal Web Sharing
HTML Color Picker

So I was looking through yet another summary of the many cool features which are new or improved in MacOS 8, and I realized that several of them are very useful. Specifically, they are useful to users of Claris Home Page. A few are not as obvious as they could be, so I decided to write up this list of ways in which MacOS 8 will help CHP user's create better HTML pages more efficiently.


Contextual menu for an image in
Claris Home Page 2.0

Contextual Menus

CHP has supported contextual menus since version 2.0. All you need to do was to hold down the Command key, and click on a selected object. You then get a menu with several ways you can change the object. For example, the screenshot here is an image of a contextual menu for an image. It is more convenient to use the contextual menu than it is to open up the Object Editor and click the appropriate buttons. This menu also reveals an option not available anywhere else in the program (except by going into source code) to change the source of the image.

Contextual menu for a file
Mac OS 8
The new contextual menus in Mac OS 8 provide a similar feature to the Finder. The interface is in fact exactly the same. You hold down the Control key, and click-and-hold on an icon. up pops a menu with all sort of commands, including Open, Move to Trash, Make Alias. It allows you to do less mousing around. Pretty neat. But what is really neat is that it is extensible. That's right, Mac OS 8 introduces the Contextual Menu Manager (CMM), which allows users to add contextual menu features just by dropping new modules into the Contextual Menu Items folder in the system folder.

Already, add-on modules are available, and some of them are specifically useful for CHP users. Trygve's CMM Plug-Ins is a collection of plug-ins for the CMM. Amoung the many useful ones:

Now, you might be thinking, this works only in the Finder. But other applications can add support for contextual menus. By doing so, they plug in to the system-wide architecture, including the add-on modules. Since CHP already has an identical system of contextual menus, it seems only natural that the next version should also support MacOS 8's menus, and that opens up ways in which to extend CHP's contextual menus.


Personal Web Sharing

For the first time ever, the Mac OS has a built-in web server. If you have the proper set-up, you can just run your web site off of you Mac, and edit your pages with CHP. Save to your web-shared folder, and you're instantly on-line.

Actually, Personal Web Sharing has enough limitations as a server to not be of much use for running a web site. (You need a static IP address, visitors will slow down your Mac, and its features are not very curretn) But it does make an excellent testing server. Keep the site you are working on in your web-shared folder, then when you want to see how it runs off a web server, just find your current IP address (check in the Web Sharing control panal) and type it in to Netscape URL field. You can now check your site as if you were accessing a server.


 

HTML Color Picker

Finally, you don't have to worry about using "web-safe" colors or consult any vast color charts for a specific hexedecimal code. By using the new built-in HTML color picker, you can use standard RGB sliders to determine the colors to use on a web page.

The Illustrious HTML Color Picker
Mac OS 8

MORE TO COME . . .


Created by: Marcin Jeske (jeskem@ee.pdx.edu)

 Made with Macintosh and Claris Home Page