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 About  the  Davar  Web  Site

Davar Web Site presents information that I consider to be interesting to myself, and which may also comprise some interest for others.  It is a good place to sort out and organize data in order to make it accessible from anywhere, and to anyone interested in it.

This site is basically incomplete, and hardly ever will get "completed."    However, it is not "under construction" either.  In contrast to "constructing," I am trying to "grow" it, starting from a small seed, and proceeding on as new branches and leaves evolve (often quite unpredictably).

The way of "growing" things rather than "constructing" provides a lot of flexibility that is vital for any system with complex internal links.  I practice this for most things I do, including my career of a professional programmer, which spans over several decades.  It is one of the major lessons that I have learned from Zen (and that is one of the reasons that Davar Web Site has a Zen section).

No effort is made here to give an exhaustive or an extensive coverage of any presented subject.  Rather, this site is devoted to pointing toward some interesting directions, and to showing compact representative examples to illustrate it's topics.

Entire site is organized on most part as a book, and is meant primarily for reading.  It has contents, list of main sections (chapters), and an index.  For access to it's data site provides three types of navigation:

Since this site covers quite a number of topics, it's contents and index take some time to load, so hierarchical access is the quickest one.  However, contents and index offer an overall view of the entire site from a single page, which might be helpful, especially for global navigation within the site, and for searches using the regular Find command [Ctrl]+[F].

All HTML texts on this site were developed using the medium (800x600) screen resolution for the best available palette.  The choice of basic screen resolution has to be made, since on the most part content requires formatting that inevitably depends on the viewable field size, which is determined by screen resolution.  800x600 seems to be a sort of "golden middle" for me high enough to yield a decent image quality, yet not too high to strain eyes by reading fine print, or take too much time to load images.  It is not recommended to use resolution lower than 800x600, since presentation of this site heavily relies on HTML tables that get distorted when there is not enough room to accommodate for the necessary minimum column widths.  Using resolutions higher than 800x600 is OK (it will result only in smaller text, but alignment will be preserved).

So if page layout looks distorted, it is necessary either to switch to the higher screen resolution or to decrease font size via [View] pull-down menu.

It is advisable to have screen font edges smoothed.  To achieve that check Smooth edges of screen fonts (Start Settings Control Panel Display Effects).  For earlier versions of Windows that don't have this setting, get the Font Smoother installed.

Site dynamics was programmed with the client-side JavaScript.  I can't avoid using the full power of programming, since reducing the complexity of content to the simplicity of it's plain text description is the only way I can even dare to think of approaching certain tasks.  If your JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser, site appearance would be static.  This won't effect the capability to retrieve the bulk of the site's data, which is embedded within static HTML.  However, dynamic pages won't be able to properly display their content, and a message suggesting to enable JavaScript or to exit will be displayed. 

To enable JavaScript in Netscape Communicator do the following:

Edit Preferences Advanced
[v] Enable JavaScript

I've tried to find the similar options in Microsoft Internet Explorer, but failed (View Internet Options Advanced leads nowhere; help search doesn't bring anything for the term "script").  Anyway, if you are using IE, you must know better how to handle it :o)

My browser preference is the Netscape Communicator for an obvious reason that it came first, and I've got accustomed to it before Internet Explorer hit the road.  Less obvious (but much more important and well known to any user of Microsoft software) is IE's lack of stability, absence of full compliance with JavaScript standard, and notorious neglect for backward compatibility.  Microsoft either creates it's own standards (which it never bothers to follow consistently), or tries to destroy other's standards by developing products that are non-compliant, but are forced to become popular by aggressive marketing, and squeezing out any other opportunities.  Please pardon my cynicism towards this company it is rooted deeply in my personal experience of endless frustration from unavoidable dealing with Microsoft software.  Despite all the noisy hype about changing the ways of the Universe, the only Microsoft product that I know to be really perfect, and would in full confidence and without any reservations recommend to others is the Microsoft mouse.

It was more than once that I've spent a tremendous amount of effort and time in attempts to adjust for the Internet Explorer my JavaScripts that worked flawlessly with Netscape, but couldn't be interpreted by IE without errors.  Unfortunately any successful resolution turned out to be only a temporary relief yet another Windows "service pack" would come, and would bring problems back again (old or new it doesn't matter much).  At least Netscape is not integrated with Windows, and thus doesn't depend on Windows service updates this fact alone makes it a clear choice over Internet Explorer, IMHO.

Finally, after what I believed to be an honest effort to adapt my site content for the Internet Explorer, I've decided to stop wasting my time in searching the ways to compensate for the IE JavaScript deficiencies, and to concentrate on the site content instead.  As much as I hate to participate in the browser wars, I've suddenly found myself dragged into the conflict of the big guys fighting for the big bucks, conflict in which I have no interest whatsoever, and yet was forced by the circumstances to take sides.  I had no other reasonable choice except placing at the entry points to strongly JavaScript-dependent pages of my web site (comparatively small in number) warnings about potential problems, which might result in the use of Internet Explorer (or another browser), and recommendations to use Netscape instead.  After all, both browsers are available for free, and can be both installed simultaneously without causing conflicts (to the best of my experience using multiple browsers with all flavors of Windows), so general preference of Internet Explorer doesn't exclude the possibility to use Netscape for content that IE is not capable to interpret properly.  (Note: I'm using the term "Netscape" as a brand name in it's broad and original sense.  In 2006 the real "Netscape" is Mozilla Firefox, of course.  But even with that I still keep the latest version of classical Netscape 4.8 as my HTML development and verification tool to ensure the bottom-line backward compatibility of my site.)

Programming in some server-side script might be a more user-friendly approach, but, if the site hosting provider goes out of the business (and without a word of warning, as it had happened to me), it becomes necessary to move the site to another host.  If the new host doesn't support the same server-side script, the task of reprogramming the entire site is overwhelming.  I had to do this once, and realized that I can't afford to take chances again.  So I had switched from the server-side HTMLScript to the client-side JavaScript that is supported both by Netscape Communicator and (presumably) by Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE offers only a partial support, which makes it unusable in some cases most interesting, unfortunately).  After all, the nature of this site suggests that it makes more sense to provide a good content for it, than to waste time on anyway futile attempts to be always abreast with the latest language fads.

Usage of client-side script ensures as well that the site presentation is identical both for remote and for local browsing.  This is essential here, because Davar Web Site has explicit provisions for an easy downloading as a whole.  Download files are always up to date, and are compressed so that relatively small time of on-line downloading can provide many hours of off-line browsing of the site content.

I have faithfully tried to follow the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle in order to make the presentation of my site platform-independent.  Since this is not always achievable, I can only offer my apology to those who will see this site as somewhat messy.

Site appearance was developed using Netscape Communicator with the following settings:

View Encoding Western (ISO-88591)
Edit Preferences Appearance Fonts
Variable width font:
Fixed width font:
Times New Roman  
Courier New
Size: 12
Size: 10

In order for the texts to be printed the way they are displayed, it is necessary to check that Print True Type as graphics is selected (Print Properties Fonts).

To achieve the quickest possible loading of site pages usage of graphics here is limited strictly to illustrative functions, and only when it is required by content.  I have no time to waste on flashes and noises, nor do I want to waste the time of a visitor by forcing him to watch it all loading for minutes, and then explode into sparkling nothingness.  Same consideration applies equally to the frames their usage is limited to inevitable minimum that is required by functionality.

Some items on the site are marked by a double date.  The first date shows when the item was initiated, and the second shows when it was last modified.  If an item on a certain level of hierarchy is updated, it's modification date is changed to the current date, along with modification dates of all parent items up through the hierarchy.

Page modification dates are colored to serve as an eye-catcher for pages that have been changed.  Different colors are used to indicate how recently the page has been modified (brighter colors indicate newer pages):

        Fuchsia    Modified within the last    week.
Red   Modified within the last    month, but before the last week.
Brown   Modified within the last 3 months, but before the last month.
Black   Modified before the last 3 months.

I've got a lot of information on this site from BBSs and the Web (often in the form of conference and news postings or even cross-postings), and in many instances, I have no idea who the author of the text is, nor the date of it's origin.  So the absence of an author is equivalent to "author unknown," and the same applies to the date.  The year in square brackets stands for the year when the piece was found.  A "?"  after the year shows that the date is an approximation.

Many interesting pieces placed here have been dug out by my brother Victor, who is also my friend and colleague in programming, and with whom I share many interests and life views.

My children Daniel, Natalia and Michael helped me to get on terms with "Windoze" (which I strongly dislike for it's instability), from showing the examples of system crash survival to helping me with installation and configuration.  They are my graphic designers, proofreaders, testers, consultants, and guides through the Web.

Most of the information presented here comes with little or no explanations.  I have to rely on a "sapienti sat" presumption, because I am squeezing time out of a very busy schedule to maintain this site.  I also feel that I am better at developing new things than at describing the existing (which is typical for most programmers).  However, a balance is always desirable, and I am willing to answer questions if they would arise.

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