Click here for our complete list of Stupid Web Tricks.

One of the goofiest things
about Web-based questionnaires is that, on most of them, the questions are
totally unrelated to one another. One example of this goofiness is medical
questionnaires—how can they ask me my gender on question three and then on line
twenty-three, ask if I’m pregnant or might be pregnant? What these
questionnaires need is a way to base future questions on past results.

The solution that I came up
with uses a combination of Cascading Style Sheets, JavaScript, and the HTML
DOM. There is a style property called display, which can be used to change the
style display property of an HTML element. Set the display property to None and
the element disappears, leaving only a memory; set the property to Inline, and
it’s back.

The example in Listing A illustrates some of the ways
that the display property can be used to avoid those embarrassing questions. Elements
are displayed, or not, based upon the client’s input.

Click here
to see it in action.