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Use of Javascript and cookies by the Bioimages website

Use of Javascript
Warning messages
Firefox dialing modem

Uses of Javascript

There currently three uses of Javascript in the site:

1. Loading two frames at once. 

In the Vanderbilt Tree tour, Javascript is used to load the new map and species pictures when you click on the next tree.

2. Interactive maps

The interactive maps in the Ecoregion and Vanderbilt Tree Tour sections use Javascript to produce effects (such as "dropdowns" on mouseover and highlighting of tree locations). 

3. Web Tracking

Most pages (including this one) have a section of Javascript code that reports the viewing of the page to a web tracking site (http://www.statcounter.com/, which has technical information about how it works).  This information is used to find out which pages are being looked at the most and to try to figure out how people are using the website.  This helps me determine which parts of the website are the most useful and how the site could be improved.  It also runs the "hit counter" on the home page.

This process also uses a "cookie" that keeps track only of whether you are a new or repeat user.  Use of cookies is a common practice used by many websites (such as Amazon.com, Ask Jeeves, CNN.com, FedEx, Google, Microsoft, National Public Radio, World Wildlife Fund, Time, Target, Travelocity, WalMart, The Weather Channel, etc., etc.) to track use and customize your browsing experience and is not equivalent to "spyware".  If you find the use of cookies objectionable, you can go into your browser settings and disallow cookies. 

 Although this web tracking does report information about your computer (such  as what web browser you are using, your screen resolution, your IP address) and browsing history (such as the URL of the page that sent you to this particular web page), there is no way to identify you personally.  So the information is collected anonymously.  The Statcounter website also only stores the last 100 page views, so eventually the information becomes unavailable to me. 

If you find these uses of Javascript objectionable, you can disable Javascript on your web browser, but then many websites will not work properly. 

 

Warning messages

When running Bioimages from a CD or from a download on your hard drive, Internet Explorer may give you a warning message, such as "Are you sure that you want to allow CDs to run active content?".  It may also produce a message in the Information Bar such as "To protect your security, Internet Exploerer has restricted this file from showing active content that could access your computer".  In both of these situations, IE is noting the use of Javascript as described above.  If you choose not to allow the "active content" then the three features described above will not function. 

 

Why does Firefox keep trying to dial up my modem each time I look at a new page using the CD version (or download to the hard drive)?

Firefox is trying to connect to the Statcounter website (described under "Web tracking" above).  Internet Explorer doesn't do this, so if this becomes annoying, you might want to view the offline version of the website using Internet Explorer instead. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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