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FAQ Centre > Technical questions

Frequently asked questions relating to technical matters at AbleStable

Why does your site use cookies?

What does .asp refer to?

Why am I required to enable JavaScript in my browser?

What are Cookies and Java Script?

Why is it not advisable to bookmark certain pages on your site?

What is a database-led web site?


Why does your site use cookies?

A cookie is a small data file that certain Web sites write to your hard drive when you visit them. A cookie file can contain information such as a user ID that the site uses to track the pages you have visited. The only personal information a cookie can contain is information you supply yourself. A cookie can't read data off your hard disk or read cookie files created by other sites.

AbleStable uses cookies to implement small applications like My Notes (a sophisticated notepad that assists in the search for creative professionals). No data is sent or received by our servers from these applications. Cookies are used when people register as a Client, Member, Graduate, or Partner at AbleStable. Cookies further enhance our service by enabling us to fast-track much of our User's browsing habits with the aim of improving our services.

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What does Asp refer to?

Our web pages come in a variety of flavours. Some are straightforward html pages, the standard language used to create web pages. Others end with the shorter suffix .htm, yet others with Asp (ASP stands for Active Server Page). When you request a page ending Asp from our hosting provider, it tells the host server you will be requiring database content for that page. A different server architecture is required to host Asp pages than standard html pages.

Standard ASP pages contain all the content the user might require for the page (every variable is contained within the page as it appears in your browser). These are 'client side' solutions and are useful for low level form filling and basic database needs. We however use SQL Server 2000, a Database Management System (DBMS) to deliver a premium server side service. The page suffix remains Asp but the technology delivers pages via an SQL server, and is far more sophisticated. Server side pages enable more complex data transactions and deliver your pages far more quickly than with a basic ASP.

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Why am I required to enable JavaScript in my browser?

In designing our site we try to ensure a smooth and immediate navigational flow. To that end we use JavaScript extensively. JavaScript is a cross-platform cross-browser compatible program language.

A second and equally important use of JavaScript is its use to validate forms. We use forms to request information from Clients, Members, and Partners, as well as from all potential users of our site when feedback forms are completed. Validation is the process of checking form entries against a variety of criteria. For instance, when someone enters their e-mail address in one of our forms, the validation process ensures the entry matches essential properties common to all e-mail addresses and helps ensure we gather accurate information.

Many of our navigational aids are visual 'buttons' (an 'off' and 'on' visual link to another web page), and their functions are described using JavaScript. We do not use drop down menus in our main navigational system as user research has shown most people coming to a web site for the first time will make decisions about where to go before moving their mouse. Our general principle therefore is to show where users may go on an immediate basis.

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What are Cookies and JavaScript?

A Cookie is a small data file that web sites write to your hard drive when you visit them. A Cookie file can contain information such as a user ID that the site uses to track the pages you have visited. The only personal information a Cookie can contain is information you supply yourself. A Cookie can't read data off your hard disk or read Cookie files created by other sites.

JavaScript is a scripting language which is used to embed small programs such as button rollovers and pop-up windows into the HTML code of a web page.

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Why is it not advisable to bookmark certain pages on your site?

Many of our pages contain a high level of dynamic database content. On these pages (you'll find the suffix Asp on these pages) much of the content will be generated by the users previous input, perhaps on a page from a completely different part of our site. If you bookmark Asp pages and arrive to them as a starting page, you will not view any content as no previous input has been requested: the content areas will be empty.

The most effective pages to bookmark would be any one of the main pages you can access from the top or bottom navigational bars (eg Home, Register, Log-in etc).

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What is a database-led web site?

You may have come across the term 'dynamic web site'. Dynamic refers to the way a page can alter depending on the users input. In it's simplest form you could say a JavaScript button is dynamic: as you pass your mouse over the button, the button 'changes' from one state to another. However, the phrase 'dynamic web site' has come to mean a database-led web site, that is: a site that delivers its content depending on the users previous input (the user requests information that is held on a database, and the requested information appears in the users browser). You'll find more and more web sites adopting a dynamic web site model.

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