While this web site is heavily tested and should be accessible with any browser there are a few things which might improve your surfing experience. The following Tips & Tricks are valid for many modern web sites.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Table xx shows the keyboard shortcuts of this website. Microsofts new notation for keyboard shortcuts is used because this seems to be the most commen nowadays. Mod ist a browser dependant modifier key. See table yy for modifier keys of popular browsers.

Mod + a About
Mod + c Changelog
Mod + m Miniviax
Mod + f Femap FAQ
Mod + h Help
Mod + o Colophon
Mod + n Contact
Modifier Key Bowser
 Alt Firefox, Internet Explorer
 Shift  +  EscOpera
 Ctrl Safari

Resize your browser window

This point is the most difficult one, but it is valid for most web sites. Modern web sites can be divided roughly into two groups: fixed and fluid design.

Fixed designs use a fixed width for their text columns. This has the advantage that every line of text has a certain length and line length is critical for legibility. The disadvantage is that this designs do only work well with the screen size and font size they were designed for. An example is Daring Fireball.

In fluid designs the width of the colums adapts to the chosen window and font size. Examples are this page or Wikipedia. As you can see, this can lead to very long lines which are not so easy to read.

There will be a solution to this problem. In the upcoming CSS3 Standard it will be possible to have your text arranged in multiple fixed width colums by your browser. Unfortunately CSS3 is supported by only a few browsers yet.

If you are on a web site with fluid design, don't hesitate to change the size of your browser window until the line length fits your needs.

Adapt the font size

You may have noticed that there are web sites where all text is ridiculously small or ridiculously large and you may have blamed its creator for that. But he has a good excuse. Unfortunatly currently there is no way for a webdesigner to have any control over the exact size fonts are displayed in the users browser. Text size depends on platform, browser model and browser version. This is a very sad situation, but that is the way it is.

Most modern web browsers allow you to change the font size with the some keyboard shortcuts. Use Ctrl + + to increase and Ctrl + - to decrease the font size in many browsers. There is a minor drawback with this. Some web sites, especially fixed width designs, may break if you change the font size.

Don t hesitate to adapt the font size to your needs.

Set the Language Preferences

Have you ever wondered why google is in your own language even when you visited If you are an English native speaker you may have not, but try It will still be in English. The reason for this is that many modern web pages use the language preferences you have set in your browser and do not advertise prominently that they are available in different languages as well.

Therefore it is important to set the language preferences in your webbrowser correctly.

Set the language preferences according to your needs.

URL Policy

The URL policy is simple for this web site.

  1. will be permanent as long as I own that domain.
  2. Every URL with a date or version indicator at the beginning of the path is a permanent one.
  3. Every other URL can and will change.

Examples: to change

I currently do not use version indicators but may do so in the future. If I decide to do so I will explain how they look on this page. What I have in mind for them is pretty self explanatory.

For bookmarking please use the permanent version of the respective URL.


I like javascript, really, and I was very tempted to use it for this web site. You can make amazing things with javascript and this whole AJAX craze is only part of it.

There is a major drawback however. Allowing javascrip execution is inherently insecure. One simple example for this is that it is possible for a web site like this one in many browsers with javascript enabled to read the contents of your clipboard. If you have any confidential information in your clipboard and there is a broserwindow with a harmful web site on your desktop, you have lost.

Therefore, many people, inlcuding myself, only allow javascript execution for certain sites. This means some extra effort to manage a list with allowed sites which is a hassle.

Not wanting to bug my visitors I decided against the use of javascript. Needless to say that I do no use any other form of client side scripting (JScript, ActiveX)

No scripting, whatsoever on this web site.


Much has been written about the danger of cookies. What is true is that cookies enable the owners of web sites to track your way on their sites. This tracking can occour across different web sites. It means, if you have been at and then go to with cookies enabled, it would be possible that the books recomended to you are mostly about cars. This is just an example. If you do not like this sort of thing, disable cookies and every sort of client side scripting.

In my opinion the dangers of cookies are much exaggerated. If you have any form of scripting enabled, and most people have, you can be tracked anyway.

Nevertheless, no cookies on this web site.