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Egidestr. 9
44892 Bochum


Random thoughts, bright ideas and interesting experiments. In short the ramblings of a fulltime nerd.


Activebar - A crossbrowser information bar

Jakob Westhoff

I have just finished my work on a small piece of javascript I am going to need for my new web presentation, which is currently under heavy construction.

So let's see what this little script can do. It is capable of dynamically creating and displaying a small bar on the top of your browser window to display some message to the user. You can customize it's appearance by modifying the included css. Its standard design was created to imitate the look and feel of the information bars, which could be found in modern browsers to show that a popup window has been blocked or that a special plugin is needed. Unfortunatly you can not trigger this functionallity in the browser directly. At least I don't know any way to do this. Because of this I rewrote the needed functionallity for this. I tried create a bar with a behaviour to be as close to the original as possible.

The bar is really simple to use. You just need to include the js file and the needed stylesheet. After the script has been loaded by the browser you can just create a new ActiveBar object and call the show() method on it. That's all. Everything else will be handled by the obect itself.

Let's take a look at a short example:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="activebar.css" />
<script language="javascript" src="activebar.js"></script>
<script language="javascript">
function init() {
var bar = new ActiveBar('<b>Hello World.</b>');;
<body onload="init()">

This is quite simple, huh?

I have tested the bar with firefox, opera and ie6. It works fine with any of these browsers. If someone could test this with safari on mac I would be glad to recieve a report if it is working correctly or not.

There are two simple example html files in the package. The first one will be displayed in every browser. The other one shows you how to create a bar which shows only in the internet explorer.

If you have any questions or problems with this javascript feel free to contact me at