DOM Inspector

Right now I am reading up on how to manage the DOM using JavaScript. My textbook referred me to a site where I can get a DOM Inspector. That is a tool which shows my HTML in a DOM-like graphic tree. I was expecting something free. However the textbook steered me to a commercial site.

I downloaded a product called IE WebDeveloper. It was previously called the IE DOM Inspector. They have a free 15 day trial period. I am glad I did the trial first. The thing does integrate with Internet Explorer. You see the tree in a toolbar that takes up the bottom half of the browser screen. However I was disappointed with the tree layout. I did not see nodes for my text.

Turns out Internet Explorer version 8 has a built-in DOM Explorer of sorts. You can access it by choosing the Developer Tools submenu under the Tools menu. This brings up a separate window with a better tree that represents the DOM tree I was expecting from the book.

Time to uninstall the IE WebDeveloper trial software. The thing costs $119 for a license. I think I will stick with IE Developer Tools. That's too bad because I liked the integrated interface.

Image Maps

I was finishing up a chapter in my textbook about images. Last example problem in the back of the chapter had us dealing with a image of the solar system. Each planet was to be clickable, generating a pop-up with some words about the planet clicked. I got a nice image of the solar system. Now I needed to come up with the coordinates for the planet areas. What is a developer to do?

The book mentioned some free software that would do the dirty work of coordinate mapping for me. I went to Image Maps. Uploaded my picture to their web site. Then it was time to get down to business. I had to define eight areas (we now only have eight planets in the solar system). I was a little disturbed when a warning came up that stated, "IE 7 will give a stack overflow error after 13 or 14 rectangle maps." I use Internet Explorer. Luckily I only had 8 areas to create.

I clicked a button and had the HTML generated for me. It was quite painless. Seems like the site is implemented using PHP. They ask for donations, links, or blog entries about them. Being a poor developer, I chose the latter. Thanks Image Maps.


I recently heard about Jetstap while browsing links from Hacker News. Watched a video demo. This is a tool that creates web pages using Twitter Bootsrap. Looks like is supposed to be a drag-and-drop type of page builder. The angle is that this saves you from figuring out how to manually code up the Boostrap code with JavaScript. I finally got around to trying out the free trial tonight.

I decided to log in with my Google ID. But it would not let me proceed to use Jetstrap until I allowed Jetstrap to view my email address and other Google account info. I reluctantly agreed. The I got to the page where I create a new screen. The place where you normally see an OK button had a button with no text on it. Umm is this a bug on the first screen? I use Internet Explorer 9. You would think this would work on this browser.

Getting back to page editing, I could not figure out how to add normal HTML onto my page. There was a strange read-only label button. Maybe that was Jetstrap's way of letting me know that I put a label on the screen? I found the generated HTML source for my page creation quickly enough. But I could not cut and paste the HTML. Apparently I need to download a zip file. Great. Not.

One good thing about the zip file Jetstrap produces is that it includes all the Bootstrap code in all the right directories for you. Another nice feature is the different views on the main Jetsrap design page. You can see what you page will look like on a mobile devide, a tablet, or a larger screen.

Jetstrap looks like it is blowing up pretty nicely. This is mainly due to being the number one link on Hacker News recently. I hear that already had 20k downloads. While the trial is free, they plan to charge monthly for usage. Intially they were thinking $10 a month. However it might be as high as $30 a month. This was a neat product to try out. However I don't see myself paying any amount of money for this right now.