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Thread: New integrated app specific context-sensitive Help in RC4

  1. #1
    Lianja Development Team barrymavin's Avatar
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    New integrated app specific context-sensitive Help in RC4

    We've added a new method to the Lianja system object:

    Lianja.showHelp(title as character, filename as character [[, keyword as character[, showbuttons as logical]])

    e.g.

    Code:
    Lianja.showHelp("MyApp Help", "myhelptable")
    This will be tied into a new ? icon in the section header to provide context sensitive help about the section type in development mode and context sensitive app help at runtime mode.

    The filename can be an .rsp file, an http web request or the name of a table in the app with the structure of:

    category char(30)
    topic char(30)
    notes memo

    The table should be indexed on lower(topic) and also lower(category+topic).

    There is a new menuitem in the help menu "Tips and Tricks..." which displays the dialog against system!syslianja which will contain the tips and tricks.

    I will make a tool available that provides the ability to add/edit these tips and tricks using the Lianja HTML editing component.
    Last edited by barrymavin; 2013-02-19 at 20:36. Reason: revised the implementation to use the Lianja system object
    Principal developer of Lianja, Recital and other products

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  3. #3
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    The filename can be an .rsp file, an http web request or the name of a table in the app with the structure of:

    category char(30)
    topic char(30)
    notes memo

    The table should be indexed on lower(topic) and also lower(category+topic).
    Worth noting that the helpfile follows the database. So if you have a section that uses southwind, the <appname>_help table gets put in the southwind database directory. If another section uses the lianja database, another <appname>_help table gets built in the lianja database directory.

    I can see a potential disturbance in the force here: if I were to change the database on a section, I would lose the helpfile reference. And if I have multiple databases, I'll end up with multiple partial helpfiles, which makes putting together an ebook from the various section notes more tedious than necessary.

    Given that a single helptable may apply to sections that different databases (quite likely in legacy apps) perhaps it needs to be in a more central location.

    Also should be noted: the two fields mentioned in the original post now are 1 field called HELPTOPIC C(60), and the help information is stored in HELPTEXT M. My guess is that the change from category and keyword to 1 field, helptopic, is because Lianja will automatically index the one field for search purposes. Just a guess.

    thanks,

    Hank

    PS: all that said, this is a great system.

    PPS: it appears that the HTML editor is not set for inserting images. Is this by design? A picture is worth a thousand words for many of our users.

  4. #4
    Lianja Development Team barrymavin's Avatar
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    In fact the help table is per app not per section. So all ui elements in an app have a help topic which is looked up in the help table.

    The built in editor does not support inline images -- build a small app that uses an editable webview -- or just populate the help table programatically.

    you don't use multiple database containers in Lianja you use one per app.

    That aside, the app settings has an attribute to define the help file. As in most of Lianja you can specify database!table

    Hope that clarifies.
    Last edited by barrymavin; 2013-03-05 at 18:34.
    Principal developer of Lianja, Recital and other products

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  5. #5
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    Hope that clarifies.
    Yes indeed, thanks.

    Hank

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