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Wazillion Navbars Project: Yahoo! WebRing - - - A stack of "ABC" blocks symbolizes stacks of "navbars" - - - This graphic identifies pages of my website about the Wazillion Navbars Project - - - Original image copyright Jeff Allen Johnson - - - Licensed through iStockphoto.com

Yahoo! WebRing The Navbar Graphic Problem

In the spring of 2001, the Yahoo! WebRing system began having problems with navbar graphics.

Because I was being asked many questions about this problem in the Yahoo! experts forum, I developed this page to serve as a common answer.

This article is part of the Wazillion Navbars Project: a project to explore and write about the Yahoo! WebRing system. For a list of these articles click here or see the section menu at the bottom of this page.

Note that the Yahoo! WebRing system no longer exists. It has been spun off to the independent WebRing.com system. The Wazillion Navbars Project has been closed. These pages are thus, no longer accurate and do not apply to the new WebRing.com system. Instead, these pages are being maintained for a "historical record".

For current information on the WebRing.com system, see my webring subsection about the WebRing.com system.

 

What Is The Problem?

RingMasters within the Yahoo! WebRing system can use 50 pixel by 50 pixel graphics on their navbars.

There is functionality within the Yahoo! WebRing Management Pages to either upload these graphics or to reference them on another server.

either technique is supposed to result in the navbar graphic appearing on the navbar on member pages.

However, beginning in the Spring of 2001, this function began malfunctioning.

Instead of the graphic appearing, a graphic placeholder appears with the red "X" indicating that the graphic is unavailable.

When Will It Be Fixed?

. This is the WebRing.com system logo as of Oct.2006. This logo is shown ONLY to illustrate the logo for purposes of this article. The appearance of this logo in this article does not imply any endorsement or affiliation of any kind between this site or the author and the WebRing.com system.
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This is the new logo for the WebRing.com system, implemented in their changes of Oct.2006. It distinguishes this webring system from the other systems like Ringlink, RingSurf and Bravenet. See also my articles: WebRing.com Logos and Is Webring a Trademark?

It probably won't be fixed.

It is probable that it is an intentional bug.

Why would Yahoo! WebRing introduce such a bug?

Bandwidth.

You see, every request for navbars has to request the graphic. This request for a graphic imposes a bandwidth load on the server storing the navbar graphic. Not only that, these requests don't result from a visit to a Yahoo! page so they don't generate advertising revenue.

So, the suspicion in the ringmaster community is that Yahoo! put a stop to the ability to upload. This would eliminate the bandwidth load on the Yahoo! server for all the navbar graphics. This would force ringmasters to keep the graphic on their own server and tell Yahoo! to link to the graphic.

This raises two additional questions:

  1. Why does Yahoo! WebRing permit uploading the large graphic on the hub page?
     
  2. If the whole purpose was to force the ringmasters to link to the graphic on their own servers, why does the link function not work?

The first one is pretty simple. Whenever you go to a Yahoo! WebRing hub page, that visit enables Yahoo! WebRing to display an ad. That ad revenue more than makes up for the bandwidth load of that hub graphic. (At least it does unless you use ad blocker software like I do. Want to know about ad blocker software? Click here.)

So why does the link function not work either? Because unless Yahoo! "crippled" it too, a ringmaster could just upload the graphic to their Yahoo! Briefcase and link to the graphic in the Yahoo! Briefcase. This would still impose a significant bandwidth load on the Yahoo! servers without any "payback" from advertising.

So, Yahoo! crippled the link function in a way that "permits" a workaround like the one I'm going to describe but that prohibits linking to the Yahoo! Briefcase. It lets linking work (if you know the trick I'll show you) but saves them the bandwidth.

Isn't That explanation a Bit Cynical?

Not really. It has been discussed as a possibility in private emails by ringmasters for some time.

And recently, a ringmaster with insider contacts posted a description that is essentially the same on her help site. She notes that she does not have positive confirmation, but also that no one is issuing denials.

Is That the Only Problem?

No, there are others. Geocities has implemented blocking software to stop graphics from their system from appearing on web pages on other systems. It was done to stop people from using their free servers to host graphics without putting the actual pages on them.

So, even if you use the tricks I'm about to show you, if you put the graphic on Geocities, it still won't work. What will happen is that when the navbar is on a Geocities site the graphic will show, but when it is on a non-Geocities site, the graphic will fail.    

What Can Be Done?

There is an approach, a workaround that I have identified.

Here is what you do:

  1. There are two listed ways for Yahoo! WebRing to "handle" a navbar graphic. (a) You can upload it or (b) you can reference it on your site.
     
    As I have noted, option "a" is completely disabled. You must use "b".
     
    And, to use "b" you have to "trick it".
     
  2. Create a directory below the main directory of your site. Name the directory tn_ywr.
     
    (The tn_ is part of the trick; the ywr stands for Yahoo! WebRing.)
     
    For example, if your website is http://www.mysite.com create a subdirectory named http://www.mysite.com/tn_ywr/
     
  3. Put the graphic in the tn_ywr subdirectory on your site.
     
    For example, if your website is http://www.mysite.com and your graphic is mygraphic.gif, then do not put your graphic in http://www.mysite.com/mygraphic.gif. Instead, put it here http://www.mysite.com/tn_ywr/mygraphic.gif.
     
  4. When you set up the graphic, do not try to upload the graphic. You will tell the system to pull it off your website.
     
  5. Now, here is the trick: when you give the system the address of your graphic, leave off the "tn_" part.
     
    Again, in our example the graphic is actually at http://www.mysite.com/tn_ywr/mygraphic.gif. But the address you would give is http://www.mysite.com/ywr/mygraphic.gif.
     
    Again, this is very important. Leave off the "tn_" part.
     
  6. When you do this, Yahoo! will add the "tn_" part back. It will now find the graphic where it is. (If you put the "tn_" part there, the system will add it a second time and mess everything up.)
     
    Yahoo! WebRing inserts the "tn_" in front of the directory in front of the name of the graphic as a way to stop you from linking to graphics in the Yahoo! Briefcase.  
     
  7. Your navbar will now display the graphic.

    Why? Because instead of trying to get the Yahoo! WebRing system to recognize where you put your graphic, we just did the opposite: we put the graphic where it thinks it ought to be.

Again, this is a stupid thing to have to do. The Yahoo! WebRing system is very broken. And, worse, it appears that they broke it on purpose as a convoluted way to solve a bandwidth issue that was created by the very design of the navbar system that so many of us objected to in the first place.

What Can You Do?

If you experience this problem and use this workaround, please write me and let me know of your experience. I need the feedback from users like you to help me make this explanation as clear as possible.

You can email me.

 
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 Webring News and Announcements

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WebRing.com Changes Big Time ---  It was October 2001 that WebRing.com came into existence following the end of Yahoo! Webring. Now, 5 years later, WebRing.com is changing again. Moving from primarily a free service to primarily a paid service, the system is undergoing massive change. Stay tuned.

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This is the logo for the Ringlink system. This logo is shown ONLY to illustrate the logo for purposes of this article. The appearance of this logo in this article does not imply any endorsement or affiliation of any kind between this site or the author and the Ringlink system.  

Ringlink Activity  ---  While Ringlink has not released a new version since Version 3.2 on 21.Feb.2005, the system seems to be getting a lot of activity. Many people are discovering this great webring system and moving their webrings here. If you don't know about Ringlink, definitely check out this great webring system. I personally recommend it.

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This is the logo for the World of Webrings Community. This logo is shown ONLY to illustrate the logo for purposes of this article. The appearance of this logo in this article does not imply any endorsement or affiliation of any kind between this site or the author and the World of Webrings Community.  

WoW  ---  The World of Webrings features the World of Webrings discussion list. It offers a forum for both webring owners (ringmasters) and webring members to discuss the latest hot topics about all webrings, including WebRing.com, Ringlink , Alt-Webring, RingSurf, Bravenet and others. If you belong to any webring in any webring service, you should join this list.

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This is the logo for the RingSurf system. This logo is shown ONLY to illustrate the logo for purposes of this article. The appearance of this logo in this article does not imply any endorsement or affiliation of any kind between this site or the author and the RingSurf system.  

RingSurf Passes 3 Year Anniversary  ---  It was 3 years ago, on 16.Aug.2003 when the WoW list list noted that RingSurf's domain name registration had changed. Then the new owner came forward. A RingSurf Feature List was developed and debated. Then, on Thanksgiving day, 27.Nov.2003 the new owner posted on the WoW list that the new RingSurf is up! If you haven't checked it out lately, see what has happened in the last three years.

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James S. Huggins is interviewed and quoted in a new Salon.com article entitled: The Strange Saga of Yahoo and Webring (05.Dec.2001)  

Article About Webrings  ---  Check out this excellent Salon.com article about the history of Yahoo! and WebRing.com: The Strange Saga of Yahoo and Webring . For some, it will bring back memories. For others, it will explain the history. Now, I wonder if they will update it to talk about the latest WebRing.com changes.

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The Wazillion Navbars Project

WNP Table of Contents 
 
The August 2000 email: Text 
 
  Project Overview 
 
 The August 2000 email: Advice 
 
  Yahoo! WebRing Lite 
 
  The August 2000 email: Remarks 
 
  The Jan 2001 Changes 
 
  Webring System Hosts 
 
  Descriptions 
 
  Forums and email Lists 
 
  Validation 
 
  Comments Across the Net 
 
  JavaScript 
 
 Mirrors of My Wazillion Stack  
 
  Links and Pages 
 
 Other Large Navbar Stacks  
 
  Glossary 
 
 Letters from RingMasters  
 
  Problem: Split Stack 
 
  Webrings That Moved or Closed  
 
  Problem: Navbar Graphic 
 
  Media Articles 
 
  Personal/Unofficial List of Problems 
 
  Other Yahoo! Integration  
 
  Why You Should Not Delete 
 
  Other Yahoo! Issue Sites  
 
  Why You Can't See The Navbar? 
 
  My Yahoo! WebRing Memberships 
 
  Is "Webring" a Trademark? 
 
  Help With Yahoo! WebRing  
 
  The January 1999 email: Text 
 
 

Want to link to my Wazillion Navbars Project?
Want to suggest a link for me to add?
Please read my
Requests and Suggestions for Linking


Webring Sections and Subsections

The Webring Section is a large section of my website. I have divided it into four major "subsections".

  • General Information
  • The WebRing.com System
  • Webrings I Own and Belong To
  • The Wazillion Navbars Project

each "subsection" has it's own special "logo".

As you travel in the various subsections you will find, near the bottom of each page, links to pages within that subsection and also links to the other subsections. To go to any subsection, just click on the "logo" or on the text link for that subsection.

Webrings - - - A chainmail web of rings - - - This graphic identifies pages of my website about webrings in general - - - This graphic is by Dylon White. Graphic copyright 2001 by Dylon Whyte of artofchainmail.com and James S. Huggins

Webrings: General Information

This subsection includes general information about webrings. Webrings can be hosted by a variety of different services. This section deals with the overall concepts and issues, not with any one particular "brand" of webring.

It includes my Webring FAQ, links to articles about webrings, and general help information. Click here or on the graphic.

The WebRing.com System - - - An interlocking stack of gold rings symbolizes the system - - - This graphic identifies pages of my website about the Webring.com System - - - Original image copyright Jeff McIntosh - - - Licensed through iStockphoto.com

The WebRing.com System

This subsection includes specific information about the WebRing.com system.

While not the only webring system on the net, it is the best known and the most used. I own many webrings in this system and belong to many webrings in this system. (I also own and belong to many webrings in other systems as well.) Click here or on the graphic.

Webrings I Own and Webrings I Belong To - - - A floating stack of rings - - - This graphic identifies pages of my website showing webrings I own and webrings I belong to - - - Original image copyright Jeff McIntosh - - - Licensed through iStockphoto.com

Webrings I Own and Belong To

This subsection shows all the webrings I own and links to all the webrings to which I belong. This includes webrings in Ringlink, RingSurf, Bravenet and the WebRing.com system as well.

If you are looking to join one of my webrings, this is a good place to start. If you wonder about the webrings I belong to, this is the place to go. Click here or on the graphic.

The extra text menu links (previously here) are being removed in the site redesign.
Browser and search engine improvements have eliminated the motivation/necessity for them.

This page created:
before
Thu, 19.Jul.2001

Last updated:
16:18, Sat, 10.May.2014

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NOTICE --- SITE  UNDERGOING REWRITE - SEE LINK BELOW FOR DETAILS

 Explanation of the rewrite: New Page Layout.
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yahoo! webring navbar graphic problem; navbar graphic problem on yahoo! webring; qwerty . . . yahoo! webring navbar graphic problem; navbar graphic problem on yahoo! webring; qwerty