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Expression Web 4 is messing up my eBay Editor Kit (javascript). RRS feed

  • Question

  • I started my website in 2000 using Frontpage. Over the years it has grown to over 14,000 pages so you can understand what a daunting task I have ahead of me to convert it to a website with clean code. I purchased Expression Web 4 on Saturday, and I've been going through the tutorials and learning how to use CSS to format my pages. I was making great progress today creating and formatting my first page copying the content from a page at my website.

    All was going well until I decided to add the eBay Editor Kit (which is a javascript that displays products available at eBay). When I preview the page in different browsers it messes up the javascript to the point that it is not recognizable. I don't even know where to begin to fix this problem. The javascript is a one line script that eBay provides for embedding in my page. Is it the CSS that's messing up the formatting. I have no idea?

    I've spent the last hour searching the Internet thinking surely somebody else ran into exactly the same problem as I am rather late starting the process of moving my website off of Frontpage. Why won't the script work correctly?

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 2:59 AM

Answers

  • First, good for you for getting away from all that obsolete, deprecated FP crap! It may take a while, but you'll be much better off and have a far more maintainable site when done.

    Now, as to your problem, EW has built-in support for root-relative links. So, if you have your include files in a folder named "includes," and it is located in the site root, you can refer to it simply by

    <?php include('/includes/topbanner.php'); ?>

    The leading slash refers to the site root, so that URL points to the "includes" folder located in the site root.

    Also, php includes do not have to have a "php" extension. You could call it "topbanner.inc," or "topbanner.html," or "topbanner.txt," whatever. The contents will still be included. BTW, good choice on using server-side includes for a site that size. A DWT or design-time ("webbot") includes would require republishing all pages every time an include was modified, instead of just the include file. Good move!

    <edit>
    Hmm... I just reread your post and realized that you're using subsites. Quite frankly, I do not and have not ever used subsites, so I am not certain that EW's support for root-relative links works with subsites. It may be that the method that you're using may be your only option. Anyway, try it the way I described, and if it doesn't work, try

    <?php include('/testsite/includes/topbanner.php'); ?>

    and if that doesn't work either, you may already have the best solution. Let us know what you find out. ;-)
    </edit>

    cheers,
    scott


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    • Edited by paladyn Saturday, November 24, 2012 5:17 AM
    Saturday, November 24, 2012 5:06 AM

All replies

  • We can't possibly know what's wrong without knowing more than just the fact that it's an EBay javascript. We have no idea what else is on your page that could be messing it up or whether it's something you did wrong or maybe a simple fix. People put javascript in EW pages all the time without a problem.

    We need to see the page in action.

    Read the Forum FAQ and then come back and post a link to the bad page so that we can see it in action. Describe exactly what is wrong and exactly what code to look for. "Not recognizable" doesn't mean anything specific. Throw it up on your site without a live link in your site so that only we can see it. Also, point us to the old page that apparently still works.


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    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 3:16 AM
  • Sorry. I didn't read the FAQ, and I just uploaded the pages to the a test web location.

    Here is the page as it currently looks using Frontpage 2003 (The eBay Editor Kit is at the bottom of the page):

    http://microwavecookingforone.com/sengWare/

    Here's the same page that I'm trying to redesign using Expression Web 4 at a test location:

    http://www.coyotecominc.com/testwebsite/

    I did find one person posting having the same problem at the eBay Forum:

    http://forums.ebay.com/db2/thread.jspa?threadID=5100059346&rw=true&anticache=1353380455689

    He seems to think it has something to do with CSS in HTML5. Another guy says the Editor Kit likes "quirks mode" ... whatever that is.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 3:28 AM
  • Well, I viewed it in IE7 and IE9, Quirks Mode, and it was still the same. I checked the source code, and although I didn't diff the scripts, they appear identical, and have the same character count (545 chars). The only thing that I can think of right off-hand is that the script may be keyed to the domain name. Have you tried publishing to the same domain as the first example? Do you get the same result?

    EW doesn't do anything that should cause that result. Have you tried copying the same page in FP, editing it, then publishing it, to see what happens?

    Hmm... just went and checked the doctypes of the two pages. The first has a doctype that doesn't appear to be well-formed, and the W3C validator agrees. That would indeed throw the browser into Quirks Mode. Try making the doctype of the second document (http://www.coyotecominc.com/testwebsite/) the same as the doctype of the first (http://microwavecookingforone.com/sengWare/}, which is <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML//EN">.

    If that resolves your issue, then the problem is indeed with the script, or one of the dependencies (CSS, HTML) generated or referenced by it, and you're going to have to talk to eBay about that. There's nothing that EW can do, and if you work in EW with a malformed doctype, AFAIK, none of EW's compatibility and syntax checking tools will work properly (just guessing; never tried it).

    cheers,
    scott


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.


    • Edited by paladyn Tuesday, November 20, 2012 7:22 AM
    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 7:09 AM
  • Thank you , Scott.

    I did try changing the doc type with several different ones, including the one at the original site made in Frontpage. It didn't change anything.

    I also deleted all the CSS formatting from the file and discovered that's where the problem is being caused. When I removed all the CSS the script displayed fine. I then went back and added the CSS slowly, starting with the Global Reset. It started messing up again after I started adding back the formatting for the different divisions. I was thinking that I'm going to have to make all formatting division specific, and put the script in its own division with limited formating (center the box?). Then I deleted all the CSS formatting again, and while it displayed somewhat, it added extra thick borders around the display box. So the script just seems to be unstable when CSS is involved.

    I was just too tired to try experimenting anymore tonight. I will start fresh tomorrow. I've also written an email to eBay telling them what kinds of problems I'm having with the script. They announced in November 2011 that they were going to replace it with something else on a newer platform and here it is a year later and they haven't done anything.

    Learning curves are so much fun. I still haven't figured out how to get PHP to recreate the webbot includes that I used in Frontpage. Fortunately, I never used shared borders.

    Tracy

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 9:06 AM
  • I can confirm the CSS issue. Using the WDT, I disabled all CSS for the page, and sure enough, the table appeared. Then I tried, in turn, disabling embedded, inline, and linked CSS. It turns out that any inline CSS there may be has nothing to do with it. Disabling embedded CSS, alone, will result in normal display, sometimes, although clicking a different browser tab, then clicking back to that tab causes it to revert. Clicking to disable linked CSS, alone, never causes a proper display. However, disabling both linked and embedded CSS always causes the table to display normally, so, clearly, there is some interaction between the embedded and linked CSS.

    Checking the page source, however, there is no embedded style block. Using the WDT's "Edit CSS," it does appear that there is an embedded block. It may be an artifact of the WDT, or Firebug, but they usually have identifying selectors.

    In any event, since you don't have any declared embedded style blocks in your source, it would appear that the CSS causing the problem is generated/linked by the script, and there's nothing you can do in EW to overcome that.

    BTW, according to the last entry in that eBay forum thread you linked to, the Editor Kit is going away (Dec. 21 was the date given), so you may want to look for another solution anyway.

    cheers,
    scott


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    • Edited by paladyn Tuesday, November 20, 2012 11:44 PM
    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 10:43 PM
  • FWIW, this is one reason I avoid CSS resets. Scott and some others I know like them but to me they are overkill and mean that you have to redefine everything. For example your css reset sets everything to normal text then you went in and specifically redefined both strong and em to their defaults. All headings were reset to normal in the css reset and you had to go in and set them back to bold. After you reset the body element you then redefined it not once but twice. Had you set the font in the body element you wouldn't need to set it again in all the rest of the elements. That is a waste of effort and bandwidth.

    I'm going to make a few comments on your stylesheet.

    1. Do not use Verdana with Geneva or Tahoma as alternate families. Verdana has a 20% larger x/y ratio so if you scale based on Verdana anyone who does not have either MS Office or Windows installed will see all the text 20% smaller than you designed it to be.
    2. Never use px for font sizes. IE will not scale text set to pixels and pixels do not honor large fonts on any OS. Think about modern displays and pixel density. There are devices out there with retina and other high resolution displays that have 120 to 270 pixels per physical inch. Traditional monitors had 96 pixels per physical inch for PCs and 72 ppi for Macs. So think how much smaller something would be on a screen like my 12" computer that is 144 ppi - aka 5-6 point printed text or the back of a medicine bottle. Use ems or percentages so that it scales with the visitor's system settings.
    3. Do not justify text on the web. Unlike word processors browsers do not kern or hyphenate. You can end up with large gaps between works as the browser attempts to make straight edges that are far more difficult to read. The web is not print and print conventions do not apply. Underlining on the web means something is a link, serif should not be used for anything under 1em are examples of things that you use in print but don't translate well to the web.
    4. Do not use font sizes smaller than .8em if you expect people to actually read it. Below that you get into accessibility issues even if it is just boilerplate.
    5. Do not use headings to just to get a specific font size. Your page should read like an outline. Do not put heading levels 4 and 5 before an h1. Either use a p or if it really should be the level 1 for the page then style it appropriately but remember HTML is semantic not presentational. That's what you use CSS for.
    6. If you are going to open links in new windows you need to put that notice before the links that will open in new windows and give a visible indication of which links will open in new windows. That's part of accessibility. Never open new windows without warning. Remember that many browsers will change the focus to the new window which can confuse visitors, especially if they try to use the back window to return to the previous page. Also, if someone is on a mobile device they may not realize how many windows are open which can shorten battery life. From a personal perspective I know how to open a new window, even my father knew how to do that and he's about the most computer illiterate person I knew. Let me decide or at least make it clear to me and other visitors what will and will not open in a new window/tab.
    7. Finally, setting your page to 1000px results in a horizontal scrollbar on a 1024px browser instance due to scrollbars and other chrome. Keep it to 980px or less.

    FWIW, I took the liberty of making a few changes to your stylesheet that will give your site a better chance of working on high resolution monitors at http://wizerways.net/sengware/ (which as you notice is a clickable link - I used the link button in the reply window to create it which makes it far easier for people to visit sites referenced in posts.) Notice that I do use a stylesheet, it looks like yours (though I added styling similar to that of your FP site for the menu) but the javascript still works.


    Free Expression Web Tutorials
    For an Expression Web forum with without the posting issues try expressionwebforum.com

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012 5:18 AM
  • Wow! Thank you, Cheryl, for your detailed response and all the suggestions of what I should avoid going forward. I will take it all to heart. I wish I had read it before I spent so much time on that one page today. But I am going through a learning curve, and it's all good experience. For instance, today I learned how to nest the images in divisions so I don't have to use tables to display them anymore. I love the way you did the navigation bar. I came up with something similar in the new color scheme (after 12 years, I'm tired of the gold/blue and wallpaper), but yours looks better so I will be studying it to try and duplicate the results.

    I did figure out that it was the CSS that was messing up the eBay script and worked around it. The one thing it does is add thick bars that look like 10px which should be 1px. Even with CSS removed, it continues to display incorrectly.

    Paladyn, that eBay post was from March, and we haven't heard a word from them since they announced last November that the Editor Kit is going away. The problem is that they have to have something to replace it with, and so far they have not introduced a single thing.  So I'm not counting on that December 21 date. I also haven't received a response to my email to my contact there. So I will have to wait and see. As I said, I have 14,000 pages to move and I just don't feel comfortable just calling up the old site from Frontpage and using it in EW. It's going to take me months, but I'd rather have clean code and go through the pain to avoid problems going forward.

    Thank you for the responses. It's nice to know that I have some place to come and ask questions when I get stuck.

    Tracy

    Thursday, November 22, 2012 3:12 AM
  • Tracy,

    Tables are for tabular data so it is fine to use a table for them. To change the color on the menu simply change the colors in the #menu a and #menu a:hover. May I suggest that you work through the Basic Website tutorial and the menus tutorials over on http://by-expression.com (some are in the blog and others in the tutorial section).

    When I need to migrate an old legacy site I start by creating a stylesheet that replicates the existing site look and feel. Then I go through and clean up one section at a time to get rid of all the old legacy code. Then I pop the new stylesheet in and a DWT though I'm not sure a DWT will be a good choice with a site of 1,400 pages. I'd suggest using the resources for migrating from FrontPage to Expression Web listed in the FAQ learning section. There are tools and techniques you can use to help with the clean up. Some of which work better in EW 1-2 or even FP 2003 than in the newer EW 3-4.

    Once everything is cleaned up you can then change look and feel by just changing the stylesheet in many cases.


    Free Expression Web Tutorials
    For an Expression Web forum with without the posting issues try expressionwebforum.com

    Thursday, November 22, 2012 1:40 PM
  • Hi Cheryl,

    Once again, thank you for your suggestions. As who doesn't know anybody else who does what I do, it's wonderful to have a sounding board and get valuable feedback.

    Actually, I like the div method better than the table method. I chose to work on the sengWare section first because the company went out of business. I knew that once I completed that little section, there would not be many changes to make to it in the future. So it was a good section to work on for setting up all the changes I was going to have to make to the entire site once the one section was set up. Other sections have current and discontinued areas. When something is discontinued, I have to move it. It will be much easier to move from one div list to another (just insert the newly discontinued div into the existing list in alphabetical order) as opposed to having to move everything down in the table to accommodate the new item.

    It's taken me a solid week, but I think I finally have a good handle on this, and I solved the initial problem with the eBay Editor Kit messing up as well. It turns out it was a combination of things: (1) As Paladyn suggested, choosing the correct Doctype. I went with "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN". (2) Two items in the reset at the top of the styles.css messed things up. First, the "b" bold tag; I just removed it from the reset, and everything was fine with the fonts which weren't displaying correctly. Second, the "vertical-align: baseline;" in the reset [I had used the Meyers CSS Reset (http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/css/reset/reset.css)] was increasing the lines between the items (which I tested with another search term since there is no sengWare available at eBay). The text descriptions were lower than the images making the boxes even bigger than they needed to be.

    I also understand the rationale behind keeping my color scheme the same as I transition and then make the changes after I finish the transition, but let's face it ... this is going to take me months. Also, I can't just take the pages made in Frontpage  and edit them. It's easier to just use the layout I've set up, and create new pages in a separate area and just pull the necessary data from the old pages. At this point the two versions are just too different. I tested both the new version: (http://www.coyotecominc.com/testwebsite/) and the old version (http://microwavecookingforone.com/sengWare/) with the W3C Markup Validation Service (http://validator.w3.org/).

    The old version of the index page returned 286 errors and 72 warnings. The new version returned 1 error and 1 warning. The 1 error is coming from ShareThis this so I have no control over that. The warning has to do with using UTF-8. I don't understand that warning at all as from what I've been able to find researching it, UTF-8 is the standard most web designers use.

    While I've known this is something I've needed to do for quite some time now, I was pretty much forced into it when some of the larger sections of my site (I use the subsite feature for each section of the site) were producing errors when I tried to upload them. The only way I could get them to load was by completely deleting the subsite folder from the Internet and then publishing the entire site again ... and it still gave me errors. I ruled out that it was the FPSE and narrowed it down to being something internal, but after a few weeks of trying to figure it where the corruption was, I realized just needed to get away from Frontpage. And if I wasn't so stubborn in putting it off so long, I would have realized that using Expression Web4 is so much easier than using Frontpage. Just had to spend a week going through the learning curve.

    The one thing that kept me from doing this sooner was the fact that I use so many webbot includes on my pages. I never did use shared borders, and because some sections of the site contain several hundred pages and two sections contain two thousand pages, I suspected it would not be wise to use the Dynamic Web Template feature.

    I am proud to say I figured how to use the php includes yesterday. I have only one remaining major problem. And that has to do with telling the program where to look for the php files. I finally got it to work by giving it the entire path:

    <?php include($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'] . '/testwebsite/php/topbanner.php'); ?>

    I just know there has to be a way to tell it to look in the php folder of the site I'm working on, but I just can't figure out how to do it. It will cause me a problem because as I work on each subsite, I want to publish it to a temporary site until I know it's working properly. Then once I'm sure it is, I want to publish it to the correct directory on my website. Right now, I will have to do a global search and replace to change testwebsite to sengWare for the section I have completed. That's just one extra step I don't need if there is a way to avoid it.

    Tracy

    P.S. Apologies for not including the hyperlinks to the sites. I tried, but the system came back and said: "Body text cannot contain images or links until we are able to verify your account." I have absolutely no idea how to become "verified" because I remember when I signed up receiving an email to verify me before I could finish creating an account here.

    • Edited by hungrycoyote Saturday, November 24, 2012 4:41 AM extra spaces at end
    Saturday, November 24, 2012 4:40 AM
  • First, good for you for getting away from all that obsolete, deprecated FP crap! It may take a while, but you'll be much better off and have a far more maintainable site when done.

    Now, as to your problem, EW has built-in support for root-relative links. So, if you have your include files in a folder named "includes," and it is located in the site root, you can refer to it simply by

    <?php include('/includes/topbanner.php'); ?>

    The leading slash refers to the site root, so that URL points to the "includes" folder located in the site root.

    Also, php includes do not have to have a "php" extension. You could call it "topbanner.inc," or "topbanner.html," or "topbanner.txt," whatever. The contents will still be included. BTW, good choice on using server-side includes for a site that size. A DWT or design-time ("webbot") includes would require republishing all pages every time an include was modified, instead of just the include file. Good move!

    <edit>
    Hmm... I just reread your post and realized that you're using subsites. Quite frankly, I do not and have not ever used subsites, so I am not certain that EW's support for root-relative links works with subsites. It may be that the method that you're using may be your only option. Anyway, try it the way I described, and if it doesn't work, try

    <?php include('/testsite/includes/topbanner.php'); ?>

    and if that doesn't work either, you may already have the best solution. Let us know what you find out. ;-)
    </edit>

    cheers,
    scott


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    • Edited by paladyn Saturday, November 24, 2012 5:17 AM
    Saturday, November 24, 2012 5:06 AM
  • Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! That fixed the problem, Paladyn!

    I thought I had already tried that, but I guess I didn't get it right. What worked was this without the first "/":

    <?php include('php/topintro.php'); ?>

    My father always used to tell me, "if all else fails, read the instructions." After I read your post, I went to the Help menu in Expression Web 4, and found the information that said all you have to do is use the "include" feature from the "insert" menu. So when I did that, it put the code in for me exactly the way it should be to work. Duh!

    I had been working from information I found at a site a few months ago when I first started thinking about converting from Frontpage. I'm so glad that I selected Expression Web instead of Dreamweaver. So much of what I'm doing mimics Frontpage. I think I might have had an even bigger learning curve to go over if I had gone the other way. It's all finally starting to making sense to me.

    Tracy


    P.S. I tried to mark your response as answer, but every time I click the button it says "Unexpected Error."
    • Edited by hungrycoyote Saturday, November 24, 2012 5:47 AM
    Saturday, November 24, 2012 5:46 AM
  • P.S. I tried to mark your response as answer, but every time I click the button it says "Unexpected Error."

    Well, thanks, anyway. ;-)

    That is a known issue (at least, for Firefox users, where it happens with distressing regularity—one to six times a day for me, probably more if the forum were more active). It also happens, with less frequency, in Chrome, and it may in other browsers, but, if so, I don't use any others (except for testing) enough to know.

    It's irritating as hell, and I started a thread over on the "Forum Issues" forum. It's been "logged as a bug and will be evaluated with the other bugs," which is apparently supposed to mean they're working on it. Of course, that was months ago, and the behavior is actually getting worse, so I think what it actually means is "This forum is a piece of shit, it has always been a piece of shit, and in all likelihood will continue to be a piece of shit into perpetuity, especially if we're expected to actually do anything about it other than 'log' it and 'evaluate' it. Live with it."

    Must be nice to draw a Microsoft-style salary for sitting on your hands and "logging and evaluating" bugs, without having to do a goddamned thing about them, eh?  ;-)

    Yeah, I agree that you made a good move going with EW instead of DW. I use, and have used, both programs for many years, and I can attest that you would have had a much tougher learning curve trying to convert to modern standards with DW. Not that it's a bad program, but IMO it suffers on the ease-of-use and productivity measures, and its paradigm is sufficiently different from FP's that you would, in all likelihood, have had a much tougher row to hoe doing the conversion there.

    Looks like you're well on your way. Good luck going forward, and if you run into any more problems, well, you know where we are... ;-)

    cheers,
    scott

    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    Saturday, November 24, 2012 9:24 PM
  • Heh, heh... talk about the ultimate in irony... ;-)

    Naturally, and appropriately, I got an "unexpected error" when I tried to post that last message. Here's the screen grab...

    ew-forum-unexpected-ff32-11-24-12

    And just to prove how often this is happening these days, here are four more that have happened in the last 22 hours...

    ew-forum-unexpected-ff-11-23-12

    and...ew-forum-unexpected-ff2-11-23-12

    and...ew-forum-unexpected-ff1-11-24-12

    and...ew-forum-unexpected-ff2-11-24-12

    What a rogue's gallery, eh? Now, imagine that the forum had the kind of traffic it has had in its heyday, or the kind we get when a new release comes out. The bloody forum would be basically unusable, although it's not terribly far from that at this point. What a piece of crap! If I was on this forum team, I would be ashamed to pick up my paycheck. What a bunch of lazy, incompetent jerks, who can't track down and fix a clearly reproducible issue like this after all this time. What kind of qualifications can they have to be so damned incapable of doing their jobs?

    Oh, well...

    cheers,
    scott

    Oh, this is too rich! Guess what happened when I tried to post this? You got it! Here ya go...

    What fun, eh? ;-) Moving over to Chrome; maybe I'll eventually get this posted...


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    Saturday, November 24, 2012 10:06 PM
  • Don't blame your browser.  :)  I've been getting that error on every post for a couple days.  It works on the second attempt, though (after copying it just in case).  Using IE9 on this machine; same with IE8 on my older machine.

    It should just say, "Error".  We expect it, by now.  :)

    • Edited by KathyW2 Saturday, November 24, 2012 10:26 PM
    Saturday, November 24, 2012 10:25 PM
  • Yep, its happening to everybody I've talked to. I've reported it but who knows if/when it will be fixed.

    Free Expression Web Tutorials
    For an Expression Web forum with without the posting issues try expressionwebforum.com

    Saturday, November 24, 2012 10:27 PM
  • Oh, crap! Now I can't even copy over to Chrome and post. Check this out...

    And, as you can see from the error dialog, Chrome is now throwing that same, asinine error message ("unexpected"? Really?).

    Sometimes, I can get it to work by trying again, but not always. Sometimes, by switching to Chrome (I absolutely refuse to use that POS IE-anything for real browsing), although now that option is foreclosed, too. Sometimes I return to the thread list and use the thread dropdown arrow. Sometimes... well, you know, this is effing ridiculous. I wish they would just bite the damned bullet and adopt a proven, open source, functional forum software, and quit pretending that they have anything even approaching programming skills on that team. Sheesh!


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    Saturday, November 24, 2012 11:03 PM
  • I think they need to change that error message to Expected Error. At this point, there's nothing unexpected about it!

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    Saturday, November 24, 2012 11:16 PM