[Xerte] work in the engine ... help

Kemp Johnathan johnathan.kemp at ntlworld.com
Mon Oct 29 12:21:33 GMT 2012

Julian whilst you are talking about "work in the engine..."

Part of the recent discussion regarding the Connector page ID has been
about what information we make available to support the author in the use
of the page.

It seems to me that we have two possibly conflicting demands on Xerte / XOT

   1. Keep it simple
   2. Provide more complex page types e.g. Mapstraction, Connector Pages,
   to meet the demands of specific project needs, more experience users,
   learning technologists etc.

More features can be perceived as making a page type less intuitive or less
simple to use. But much of this could be resolved if some simple help
documentation could be made available to the page user, from the xwd form.

The current xwd forms are rather limited in the support you can provide
from within the form.

Ron Mitchell sent me a sample project based on work carried out prior to
the development of XOT which included support for help links either for
each field or from an info tag. However there appear to be issues with the
addressing of the files linked to depending whether you are in Xerte or

Ron wrote
"However from a quick test it seems the info tag link might only work with
a full url e.g. <info><![CDATA[<b>Help for plain text connector. <a href="
http://xerte.org.uk/someresourcelink/" target="_blank">Click
here</a></b>]]></info> also in XOT the local help links alongside each
option only seem to work in desktop even if a full url is used. XOT didn't
even exist when we first implemented this so it would probably need a
change to the engine code to allow the help links to work in XOT and local
info links to work in desktop. "

At present in both XOT and Xerte we have the ability to access an image for
a page type and a brief description. The engine manages the locating of
these files, which are stored in specific folders in the project folder or
XOT installation. Would it not be possible to utilise this same approach to
open from the page's xwd a help file. If this was a pdf we could have a
single file that could include graphics and text as well as links to
sections of the document if required. Help files could be created in Open
Office which is Open Source.

Kind regards

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