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Amtrak Web Site

P: n/a
Take a look at the new www.amtrak.com site. It looks like all pages are
built dynamically using javascript. All of the page sources look the
same.

I used to have direct links to some of the pages but I have not been
able to figure out the new link format yet.

--
Dennis Marks
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Jul 23 '05 #1
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P: n/a
Ivo
"Dennis M. Marks" wrote
Take a look at the new www.amtrak.com site. It looks like all pages are
built dynamically using javascript. All of the page sources look the
same.


One word: View Source and Scroll Down.
Jul 23 '05 #2

P: n/a
"Dennis M. Marks" wrote:
Take a look at the new www.amtrak.com site. It looks like all pages are
built dynamically using javascript. All of the page sources look the
same.
They are built dynamically, but not by client-side JavaScript. The URL you
are redirected to hints at the technology being used:

http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?...

The term "servlet" is most closely associated with server-side Java. Just
because a site uses a "Fusebox" methodology <url: http://www.fusebox.org/
/> and all the pages resemble each other does not mean they are using any
particular client- or server-side technology. What they are doing could be
done with Perl, PHP, ASP, ColdFusion or any other server-side technology
you care to name. It could also be done using client-side JavaScript, but I
wouldn't recommend it.

In this particular case, it appears they are using something called
"FutureTenseContentServer:5.5.0". I'm sure you could look information about
the product up using Google.
I used to have direct links to some of the pages but I have not been
able to figure out the new link format yet.


http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer is a Java servlet that takes
the "pagename" parameter, reads and executes the resource from their server
and returns the results to the client. I'm not convinced it's a
particularly user friendly way to structure a site. It makes it difficult
to "back up a level" simply by chopping a bit off the URL and it prevents
people from knowing where they are easily within a site.
As for the topic of this newsgroup, the client-side JavaScript on the home
page does not seem particularly well-authored. It uses the LANGUAGE
attribute, which is deprecated. It uses HTML <!-- --> comments within
<SCRIPT> tags, which are unnecessary.

It uses <A HREF="javascript:..." ...> which is poor style and makes those
links completely inaccessible to anyone with a browser that does not
support JavaScript, or does not have JavaScript enabled. This is
particularly bad on a site like Amtrak's. Imagine a company that blocks
client-side JavaScript at their firewall due to security policies they have
put in place. Imagine employees of this company travel by Amtrak. They can
no longer use the Web site for self-service. They now have to contact
Amtrak by phone to obtain the information they require. Amtrak has turned
what is potentially a valuable customer resource and money saving device
into something which now costs them more money.

Oh well, at least they aren't using a dynamic client-side menuing system
with no alternative navigation like some "professional" sites I've seen.

--
Grant Wagner <gw*****@agricoreunited.com>
comp.lang.javascript FAQ - http://jibbering.com/faq

Jul 23 '05 #3

P: n/a
In article <41***********************@news.wanadoo.nl>, Ivo says...
"Dennis M. Marks" wrote
Take a look at the new www.amtrak.com site. It looks like all pages are
built dynamically using javascript. All of the page sources look the
same.


One word: View Source and Scroll Down.


How many words?

--
Hywel

http://sponsorhywel.org.uk/
Jul 23 '05 #4

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