Welcome to the Help section of the Hagen Software web site. We feel that this web site is one of the most advanced in the world due to its leading edge standards support, sophisticated features, and fluid design. We also realize, however, that many of our more advanced features may be unfamiliar to you, as you may have never seen them on a web site before.
Therefore, we have put together this help section in order to help you navigate the site and make the most of these features. We have also included documentation regarding the accessibility features that we have built into this site, as well as some notes regarding web browser support. Finally, we have also tried to provide some background information on what makes this web site so advanced, what some of the advantages of these features are, and how you can adopt and deploy these techniques if you are a web developer.
To learn more, please click on any of the topics that interest you in the folder tree that you see on the left hand side of this page.
Navigating This Web Site
Primary Navigation Menu
The Primary Navigation Menu is located near the top of the page, just under the logo area. It lists all of the main sections of the web site. When you hover your mouse over this menu, a dropdown menu will appear that contains links to the pages within that section.
"Order Now!" area
The "Order Now!" area is located in the upper right hand corner of every page and consists of the "Order Now!" link and the credit card icons. Any time that you decide to purchase Hagen Software products or services, you can do so by clicking on the "Order Now!" link or the credit card icons.
The Guidebar is located just below the Primary Navigation Menu on the upper left hand side of the page. The Guidebar always tells you where you are located within the web site, by starting with our home page on the left and then displaying the sections and subpages, if any, that you have traversed to get to the current page.
The Section Links area is located along the left hand side of the page. This area contains links to the other pages that are located within the section of the web site that you are currently in.
The main body area displays the content of whatever page you are on.
We have included a number of accessibility features in our web site, including the following.
Many web browsers support jumping to specific links by typing special access keys (actually, combinations of keys) that are defined on the web site. To activate an access key on Windows, you would press ALT + the access key. To activate an access key on a Macintosh, press Control + the access key. If you are using Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape, or Safari, this key combination is sufficient to take you to the desired page. If you are using Internet Explorer, you need to hit the "Enter" or "Return" key afterwards in order to go to the desired page. These access keys are not available in other browsers such as Opera or Konqueror.
We have defined the following access keys for all pages on this site (other than this popup window).
- Access key 1 - Home page
- Access key 2 - Site map
- Access key 3 - Contact Us page
- Access key 4 - Shopping cart
- All pages make extensive use of the "link rel" method of providing links to the home page, table of contents, major site sections, copyright information, and more. These links aid navigation in text-only browsers. Users of Netscape 6.x, Netscape 7.x, and Mozilla can also take advantage of this feature by selecting the View menu-->Show/Hide-->Site Navigation Bar-->Show Only As Needed (or Show Always). Opera 7 has this feature enabled by default, although it does not support the "chapters" method of labeling major site sections. Unfortunately, Internet Explorer does not yet include this feature, even in version 6.
- The guidebar located just underneath the primary navigation menu always show you exactly where you are located within our site, starting with our home page on the left, and then displaying the sections and subpages that you have traversed to reach the current page.
- The button menu located in the upper right corner of the page contains additional links to our home page, a site map, a contact information page, and this help window.
- The left hand side of every page lists all of the subpages contained within the primary section of our site that you are currently located in.
- This site uses Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for its layout. This allows us to separate our content from its presentation, decrease page load times, increase readability on all browsers and devices (such as PDAs, mobile phones, etc.) and make the site easier to maintain.
- Even if your browser or browsing device does not support stylesheets, the content of each page is still readable.
- Font size customization: In the upper right corner of each page is a series of buttons that we call the "Options Menu". The fourth button from the left contains the "A" symbol. Hovering your mouse over this button will cause a dropdown menu to appear that allows you to increase or decrease the text size up to a maximum of 26 pixels or a minimum of 6 pixels. You can "grab" the slider by hovering your mouse over it, clicking on it, and continuing to hold the mouse button down. While continuing to hold the mouse button, you can move the slider to the left to decrease the font size, or to the right to increase the font size. Let go of the mouse button when you have reached your desired font size. The currently selected value is displayed in the "Value" box located beneath the slider. The recommended default size is 13 px (pixels). For your convenience, your settings are stored in a cookie on your web browser so that they are remembered as you navigate throughout our site, and even when you come back to our site again in the future.
- Font style customization: In the upper right corner of each page is a series of buttons that we call the "Options Menu". The fifth button from the left contains the "T" symbol. Hovering your mouse over this button will cause a dropdown menu to appear that allows you to choose from among 17 different fonts. Even though your system may not support all of these fonts, it very likely will support many of them, and the fonts have been chosen to include a number of popular fonts from Windows, Macintosh, and Unix systems. Each font in this menu is displayed in that particular font face, so that you can see how it would be displayed on your system. Even if a particular font is not supported on your system, clicking on it won't hurt anything, as the system will fall back to a generic font family type that is supported on all systems, such as "serif", "sans-serif", or "monospace", or to your default system font. The last item on the menu allows you to restore the defaults. These have also been chosen to include a number of fallbacks that work on all major computer platforms. For your convenience, your settings are stored in a cookie on your web browser so that they are remembered as you navigate throughout our site, and even when you come back to our site again in the future.
- Themes: In the upper right corner of each page is a series of buttons that we call the "Options Menu". The seventh button from the left (which is also the second from the right) contains a template symbol. Hovering your mouse over this button will cause a dropdown menu to appear that allows you to choose from a number of different themes (also known as "templates" or "skins"). These themes employ differing color schemes. That way, if a particular theme is more visually appealing or easier to read on your system, you can use that theme instead of the default. For your convenience, your settings are stored in a cookie on your web browser so that they are remembered as you navigate throughout our site, and even when you come back to our site again in the future.
RSS News Feed
We provide the latest news from Hagen Software through an RSS feed. RSS is a standard, XML-based syndication format that is becoming a popular way of providing news and updates.
Web Browser Support
Our web site is designed to work well with any modern web browser or browsing device that properly supports web standards, including the following:
- Internet Explorer 10+
- Firefox 3.6+
- Safari 4.1+
- Opera 12.1+
- Konqueror 4.5+ (when using the Webkit engine)
- Other Gecko-based browsers (Seamonkey, Flock, K-Meleon, Camino, Galeon, Epiphany)
- Other Webkit-based browsers (Chromium, Flock 3+, Rockmelt, Iron, Epiphany 2.28+, iCab 4+, Arora, Rekonq, Midori, Omniweb)
- Mobile Gecko-based browsers (Fennec, Skyfire)
- Mobile Webkit-based browsers (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Palm WebOS, Blackberry 6+, Nokia S60, Meego/Tizen)
- Mobile Opera-based browsers (Opera Mobile, Opera Mini)
Browsers listed in bold above have been specifically tested. The other browsers have not been specifically tested, but should work based upon their rendering engines.
Our web site also supports Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8, and 9 for Windows, despite the fact that these versions of Internet Explorer were released many years ago and have only moderate to poor support for modern web standards such as HTML 5 and CSS 3, resulting in a degraded user experience with this and many other web sites. Altogether, the above browsers are used by more than 99.6% of our visitors, so few people should encounter any significant problems.
It is worth noting that we have included a number of advanced CSS features that work in newer, more standards-compliant web browsers but that also degrade gracefully for older browsers. These include hover effects over form fields and buttons, which work in all supported browsers except for Internet Explorer 6. Unfortunately, the CSS support in versions of Internet Explorer prior to version 7 is not advanced enough to support these. We also use the position:fixed feature of CSS to maintain persistence for certain menus or navigation items. Again, although Internet Explorer 6 does not support this feature, it does allow these navigation items to be viewable, but they will scroll with the rest of the page instead of maintaining their position. We use border-radius for some rounded corners, which is supported by at least the latest version of every browser (Internet Explorer versions 6 through 8 do not support this feature). We also use box-shadow for drop shadow effects, which again is supported by at least the latest version of every browser (Internet Explorer versions 6 through 8 do not support this feature either).
Really old and/or rare web browsers, such as Internet Explorer 5.5 and below, Firefox 3.5 and below, Netscape 9 and below, Safari 4.0 and below, Opera 12.0 and below, or Konqueror 4.4 and below, have not been tested. They may not work very well, if at all, with this web site. Most of those browsers were released many years ago, however, and collectively they make up less than three tenths of one percent of browser usage share nowadays. Moreover, due to their lack of support for modern web design standards, techniques, and languages, they do not work very well or at all with many other current web sites either. They also have major, unpatched security holes and are no longer supported by their makers, so anyone who is still using one of these ancient browsers is strongly advised to upgrade to a modern web browser.
The Hagen Software web site is one of the most advanced in the world in its usage of leading edge technology. Why do we say this? Well, to the best of our knowledge, this is the only web site in the world that allows the user to customize the font style, the text size, and the theme. There are a handful of web sites that allow users to customize one or more of these items, but we have yet to find another web site that allows the user to customize all of them. In addition, we offer a number of handy tools for printing the page, e-mailing it to someone, bookmarking it, and more. We even offer an XML-based RSS feed of the latest news from our company. For those who are interested in the technology at work behind the scenes, our web site uses the following advanced standards and technologies:
- XHTML 1.0 Strict
- CSS 2.1
- DOM Level 1
- Portable Network Graphics (PNG)
- UTF-8 character encoding
- XML prolog for all XHTML pages
- Completely external stylesheets
- Absolutely no HTML tables used for layout
- Modern, cross-browser, standards-compliant code
- Favicon support
- Navigation toolbar support for text browsers and for graphical browsers that support it (such as Mozilla and Opera)
Of course, technology in and of itself doesn't really mean much if it isn't able to make the user's experience easier or more productive. That's why we've deployed the above technologies not just for the sake of deploying them, but in order to give you, our user, more power and flexibility in the way that you use this web site, as well as to make it easier and more pleasant for you to find the information that you are looking for.
Advantages of the New Design
By developing a modern, standards-based web site, we achieved the following goals and benefits for ourselves and for our customers:
- Smaller and lighter pages that use less bandwidth
- Liquid design that is flexible across different web browsers, operating systems, screen resolutions, and devices, including PCs, Macs, PDAs, mobile phones, kiosks, TVs, and more
- A web site that is easy to maintain and update through stylesheets
- A web site that is customizable by end users (theme, font size, font type)
- A web site that is more accessible even by those who are disabled in some way
- Modern, slick appearance
- Faster page loading performance due to clean, modern code that avoids HTML "tag soup" and nested tables that must be disentangled by browsers before they can display the page
- Experience with modern design techniques that we can use in our web applications and web hosting interfaces
- Better search engine optimization due to less "junk code" and higher content-to-code ratio
We would encourage anyone who is reading this and who develops web sites to learn about and use standards-based web techniques, if you aren't already. You can find out more about building a modern, standards-based web site from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at http://www.w3c.org. The W3C is an international, industry wide group consisting of many different companies and organizations that sets uniform and globally recognized standards for web development. Following these standards ensures that the web will work in a consistent and reliable way for everyone, whether you are trying to design a web site that will work for everyone, trying to create or improve a web browser, or simply viewing web sites, no matter what type of device, operating system, screen size, or web browser you happen to be using.