Community Feature
This Neo Helps Newbies


By Bill Johnson aka Le Fantome
(January 2, 2000)

[Net4TV welcomes a new writer...LeFantome, who chose a friend of his to write about who enjoys helping others learn HTML. Meet Karl who also is working with a friend on providing a webpage where WebTV users can find all that they need at one site to build a homepage!--ck]


What impressed me about this young man from the sunny shores of Pensacola, Florida, was when I went to his website and read, "I live for helping people with webpages!" And indeed, his pages were impressive, using "typewriter script" to welcome his visitors and special effects of JavaScript to hold their interest. Helpful tips I have seen no other place on WebTV were found within his site. I e-mailed him and found him to actually be a great helper to all who write.

His name is Karl or Kain in real life and Neo-_-_- or Soul Reava which he found in the movie, "The Matrix" and his favorite Playstation game. He has only been on WebTV classic a year having started out as a Christmas gift in 1998. In that year, he has spent his time on the web unit learning HTML, JavaScript, cgi, PERL and other computer languages through the tutorials and helpful sites on the net, all the while learning as he helped others develop their own websites as his knowledge increased. He helped others develop IRC's that actually work. Point being is that when he first logged on, he knew nothing of HTML and began his quest, as do so many with the good Doctor Dracc who gave him the basics in HTML and signatures for WebTV.

Karl's first site was erased in error by Tripod in May, but undaunted, he pressed on with a new "Neo's Helpful Website." Tripod error was blamed and although it returned briefly, much was lost on the original site. His experience with Tripod was only a stepping stone forward into JavaScript as the former page was used to experiment with, which it essential to learn how to do things. Given the basics, more interactive pages can be built. Karl did this while helping many others in the newsgroups he posted to. All the while helping others whom he met, he received helpful tips and always thanked the users and gave them credit on his pages which is good net etiquette.

On JavaScript and WebTV, Karl tells us that, "Some of the newer stuff that WebTV can't do is understandable and would bog down WebTV a lot, so I guess the JavaScript limitations are ok. But I still feel WebTV needs to do something about the bug in the system." It is a long overdue fix needed by WebTV and this author agrees!

Karl has found by using other servers such as Hypermart in utilizing Perl and cgi to do other things in pages and e-mail, neat things can be done. Easiest way is to use Hypermart. They offer a site manager that is already set up for you and you can "chmod" and such using it. Karl found himself learning mostly from sites such as Cliff's Cgi Scripts archive and Matt's Script archive. "My friend Zach has helped me so much and some of the newsgroup members such as alt.discuss.irc.vbirc, and they were a great help (even though they are mainly for Irc building). They would also tackle questions on perl and cgi."

Karl's newest site is in combination with his great friend, Zacharia, who with Karl is developing a tremendous resource for WebTV called WebTV Resources. With ideas culled from his time on the web, Karl wants to share with many others through this site with Zach. The site combines HTML, PERL (a programming language sometimes known as cgi), JavaScript and other tools to bring together a master site and reference source. Developing such things as random images in e-mail and free forms for f-keys and scripts for use on webpages, it brings together the best of the knowledge of these young men.

Karl foresees that it would be great to have a tool to detect JavaScript errors. Since he is now on both computer and WebTV, he has fixed many WebTV pages that show JavaScript errors on a computer. In addition, he suggests a way for WebTV to upload as users need it badly and he feels that WIN has the capacity to give us one.

In the future, Karl hopes for an upgraded browser so WebTV can see how webpages were meant to be seen. Karl specifies, "I couldn't believe all the stuff I have missed on a WebTV once I got on a computer! Maybe if they give us some more active languages that webmasters now are using which I have been studying very closely on computer lately, ie., Vbscript, java, and DHTML. Most WebTV users don't know that frame attributes help a lot and the ability to resize is great on a computer. Table borders are much smaller on computer which makes them look more presentable."

Karl tells us in his own words, "I always will be a helper when I can. If you need help, you can always contact me through e-mail or SoulReava. It really helped with about everything from new upgrades when I understood what was going on with them (WNI) from JavaScripts in IRCs and homepages. I have helped people start from scratch with no knowledge of HTML as well as seasoned folks that know about HTML. I guess I just really enjoy helping. That is why I joined FantomeHelp@onelist.com and I enjoy that list and WTVPals@onelist.com. Both are great lists and I'm proud to be a moderator at WTVPals@onelist.com. And this writer is proud to have him aboard as he has been a great help to me and to my 200+ members on my lists.

Karl's favorite quote? "Let me know if I can help..."