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 Clicked a link? Wrong message? Wait until the page has finished loading, click in the address bar and then press the Enter key. This is a timing bug in some browsers.
1st message | this message only posted: 1 Sep 2017 13:26
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Dear all,

In preparing the next program update for release, it has dawned on me that I have made a big rod for my own back with the multiple formats for the Templot Companion. At present we have:

1. An online version in the responsive web format. This was intended to be better suited to mobile devices, but I can't say I found it easy to use on them, especially the clunky format for the A-Z Index.

2. An embedded version in Templot itself in EWriter format, with content updated from the server every time Templot starts up. When it works I like it, and it provides additional interactive program functions not possible on the web version. But there are problems with the zoom settings and window size on different monitors. It can be very frustrating to get it just right for system you are using.

3. A simplified basic interactive viewer in the program which can't be updated between program versions, mainly for Linux/CrossOver/Wine systems which don't support the EWriter format.

On top of that we have the internal Help notes in the program with PHP redirection options which have never yet gone anywhere, and two video formats.

It won't have escaped your notice that despite all the above options, or maybe because of them, the actual content in the new Templot Companion is still very sparse, and for most information it is still necessary to refer back to the long out-of-date old Companion pages.

I have come to the conclusion that there is no way I can support all the above in the coming years and progress the Companion a bit more quickly.

So in the next program update I have removed options 2. and 3. above, and the Templot Companion will revert to an online web version only.

But not in the responsive format. It's important, to me at least, that the A-Z Index is easy to use and browsable as the main entry point to the content.

So I have devised a new format for the online Companion: :)



The two columns on the left provide the Contents List and A-Z Index, and on smaller screens this is all you will see. Clicking items on either of those opens the relevant information page in a separate browser tab. This has pros and cons, but the big advantage is that on mobile devices the full screen area is available for screenshots and diagrams. You can also choose to have several pages open at the same time in different tabs if you wish.

On larger screens, some or all of this Templot Club web site will fill the remainder of the screen on the right, so that all Templot information is available in one place. On a wide enough screen Templot Club will be usable there. If all you can see of it is the signal in the picture, clicking on it will open Templot Club in a separate browser tab.

This is available now at:

 http://templot.com/companion

if you would like to try it. Comments welcome.

If you don't see the above, press CTRL+F5.

Having just the one format to support makes it much easier for me to update and add fresh content, and I'm hoping the result of these changes is that it progresses a bit faster in future.

And I want to get the PHP redirection working. It's silly having links to "more information online" if none of them go anywhere. Having just the one Companion format simplifies that a lot.

regards,

Martin.

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message ref: 21828

 
 Clicked a link? Wrong message? Wait until the page has finished loading, click in the address bar and then press the Enter key. This is a timing bug in some browsers.
2nd message | this message only posted: 1 Sep 2017 15:34
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from:
Nigel Brown
 

 

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Looks fine to me (on an old XP laptop; main PC is currently stuck in a Repair loop, which I am slowly getting to grips with :(). Reckon sticking to one approach is much the best way forward.

Nigel
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3rd message | this message only posted: 1 Sep 2017 15:52
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from:
Charles Orr
Leicester, United Kingdom

 

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Looks great on my ultra wide monitor (3440x1440)  :)

Charles

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message ref: 21835

 
 Clicked a link? Wrong message? Wait until the page has finished loading, click in the address bar and then press the Enter key. This is a timing bug in some browsers.
4th message | this message only posted: 1 Sep 2017 20:39
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from:
Rob Manchester
 

 

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Hi Martin,

Looks very good to me, contents, A-Z and Templot club all display together on my 1920x1080 monitor.

Nothing to do with Templot but the 'hold CTRL to open in an additional tab' will often produce the same as not holding it depending on browser settings.

Good luck with the 'documentation'.

Rob


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message ref: 21837

 
 Clicked a link? Wrong message? Wait until the page has finished loading, click in the address bar and then press the Enter key. This is a timing bug in some browsers.
5th message | this message only posted: 2 Sep 2017 08:27
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Thanks for the favourable comments. :)

Rob Manchester wrote: Nothing to do with Templot but the 'hold CTRL to open in an additional tab' will often produce the same as not holding it depending on browser settings.Hi Rob,

In this case pages open in a named tab, so without CTRL they should always open in the same tab. It seems to work in several browsers in my tests, but of course ultimately I have no control over a user's browser settings. Whether the browser actually switches to the tab is another user setting.

All I can say is that using Firefox on my systems everything always works as I expect and intend. Other browsers, maybe not.

That's the problem with relying solely on a web-based format -- browsers are a minefield to keep track of. I have enough to do with Templot without getting into extreme web design.

For example, in the FlashbackConnect videos, why does the Android browser not support the interactive pauses? Whereas Google Chrome on the same device does? They are essentially the same browser.

regards,

Martin.

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message ref: 21838

 
 Clicked a link? Wrong message? Wait until the page has finished loading, click in the address bar and then press the Enter key. This is a timing bug in some browsers.
6th message | this message only posted: 2 Sep 2017 19:46
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from:
Phil O
Plymouth, United Kingdom



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I can see most of it on my tablet and by panning across I can see the rest. Samsung tab 6 10.1 screen and Firefox.
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message ref: 21839

 
 Clicked a link? Wrong message? Wait until the page has finished loading, click in the address bar and then press the Enter key. This is a timing bug in some browsers.
7th message | this message only posted: 3 Sep 2017 07:55
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from:
FraserSmith
Dundee, United Kingdom



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Hi Martin

I was reading this this morning whilst eating my porridge so was active with it at times and leaving it for a while while eating. On my laptop all was as expected. I then tried it on my Android powered MotoG4 and got much as you described. I had the two left hand columns and a sliver of the rest of the screen, the bit with the signal, that I could scroll left and right and up and down behind the two columns. When leaving it for a while whilst the signal bit was scrolled to the left, the sliver broke out on top and it did not seem to be possible to scroll it as I could before. I could access items from that page but it wan't obvious how to get back to the two columns. I found that refresh would put it back OK. It was also interesting that trying to scroll the part with the signal if it was over the first or second column would scroll either the first or second second column underneath it. It had this behaviour in both landscape and portrait modes. I've just discovered that touching where the sliver was will make it go behind the first two columns again. If you want pictures of this I will try and capture some as it appears possible to do so without affecting what's on the screen.

HTH

edit this was with Firefox on the Android

Fraser

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8th message | this message only posted: 3 Sep 2017 13:01
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from:
Mark Zagrodney
Ontario Canada

 

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Hello Martin,
Anything that makes documentation easier for you to keep up with (or pursue, as it were) is a good thing!

Because you need another technology to manage :), I have a suggestion for you future consideration.

The problem you are facing with producing documentation for a software product in multiple formats is a common one and I have past experience one solution: the Darwin Information Typing Architecture(DITA).  It is an XML standard for marking up technical documentation source text and is supported by at least one robust open source toolchain for generating different output formats(HTML, PDF, etc) DITA Open Toolkit.

Mark



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message ref: 21841

 
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9th message | this message only posted: 3 Sep 2017 21:17
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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FraserSmith wrote: I was reading this this morning whilst eating my porridge ...Hi Fraser,

Thanks for your report.

I'm finding the same with Firefox on my Android tablet -- but only when in landscape mode. When turned to portrait format it seems to work normally. That's not the only app which doesn't like landscape mode, the OS Maps app is the same, and others don't use the whole screen properly in landscape. I assume it's a bug in Android.

In landscape mode Firefox randomly rearranges the frames on the screen at intervals, for no obvious reason. I found that by tapping the right-hand edge of the Templot Club frame it restores the normal view for a while.

That page is a bog-standard "HTML4.01 Frameset" DTD, so Firefox should know what it's doing. If I change to the latest HTML5 and iframes, the tabs don't work as intended.

I have updated the page so that clicking the Contents List and A-Z Index headings opens them in a separate tab if necessary, to make life easier. It's not intended that Templot Club should be usable on there if you can't see all of it, clicking the top image opens it in a separate tab.

The native Android browser seems to work fine, apart from the problem with pauses in the FlashbackConnect videos.

The solution for now seems to be use Firefox in portrait format, and zoom in if the text is too small.

p.s. September seems a bit early in the year for porridge, but I thought about it this morning as the weather here has been so miserable all day today. :)

regards,

Martin.

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10th message | this message only posted: 3 Sep 2017 21:46
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FraserSmith
Dundee, United Kingdom



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Hi Martin

Porridge with flaked almonds nearly every day. After seeing a Michael Mosely program about the cholesterol clearing potential of the combination I started taking them so I can have my porridge  blue milk and the occasional leftover of clotted cream!

I do hope this consolidation to one version of the web resources will do as you hope and reduce the time you expend making it available. It's very, very much appreciated. I really don't know how you manage to do much on the program and the web especially when there are test matches going on.

My brother uses RapidWeaver for making and maintaining web pages that he says are optimised to cope with all the different formats people use today but it's only available for the mac and it costs £70. Whether there is anything else like it that runs on another platform I don't know.

Thanks again

Fraser

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message ref: 21843

 
 Clicked a link? Wrong message? Wait until the page has finished loading, click in the address bar and then press the Enter key. This is a timing bug in some browsers.
11th message | this message only posted: 3 Sep 2017 21:49
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Mark Zagrodney wrote:The problem you are facing with producing documentation for a software product in multiple formats is a common one and I have past experience one solution: the Darwin Information Typing Architecture(DITA).Hi Mark,

Thanks for that.

I do have suitable software for creating the docs in multiple formats:

 http://www.helpandmanual.com

which I have been using for years, not only for Templot.

The problem is not so much compiling the content in the different formats, but delivering it and more importantly updating it in between Templot program versions. For example at present I have a new program version almost ready for release. If I delay it until I have also updated the docs, it could be many months before it gets released. I can't do both at once. If I create PDFs or CHMs now and include them with an immediate release, they will be out-of-date very soon as I work on the updated docs.

I had hoped that the EWriter format with content updated from the server was the answer, especially with its ability to integrate directly with the program: "click here to see this happen now". But getting it to appear crisp dpi-aware at a suitable size on everything from a tablet to a widescreen monitor is too much of a headache. It's no good if it appears all fuzzy with no way for the user to correct it. If Alex Halser at EC-Software ever makes the source available, so that I can force it dpi-aware and scale it to match the Templot program sizing, I will look at going back to it.

So the web format seems the best option, and using an old-style frameset I can link context help from the program to a specific tab. At least that's the plan for now -- I have had grand plans in the past which came to nothing. :?

regards,

Martin.

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message ref: 21844

 
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12th message | this message only posted: 3 Sep 2017 22:12
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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FraserSmith wrote:My brother uses RapidWeaver for making and maintaining web pages that he says are optimised to cope with all the different formats people use today but it's only available for the mac and it costs £70. Whether there is anything else like it that runs on another platform I don't know.Hi Fraser,

Thanks. There are several programs which do much the same to create "responsive" web pages for different formats.

The previous online version of the Templot Companion was supposed to be exactly that. It's still on the server if you want to see it again:

 http://templot.com/companion_old/index.html?kwindex=$hmindex

But I didn't find it easy to use on any device, and especially the awful A-Z Index panel. That's the essential entry point to the Templot Companion in my view (perhaps not everyone agrees?), but it is not a feature required on most web sites.

p.s. I found some flaked almonds in the cupboard and sprinkled them on various stuff. I didn't know they were doing me good. The only thing I know about my blood is that it's red.

regards,

Martin.

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message ref: 21845

 
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13th message | this message only posted: 24 Oct 2017 15:57
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Well the removal of the embedded Templot Companion from version 215 led to questions in the House no reaction at all, so I'm minded now to do the same with the embedded video player.

Despite originally spending many hours configuring it and creating the internal downloading and updating mechanisms.

Two reasons. It's high time I made some progress with the Companion, and I need to make the least amount of work. Creating multiple formats of things just takes too long.

And secondly despite numerous rants about it over the years, I'm throwing in the towel on the issue of the unsuitability of HTML5 MP4 encoding for line graphics. The social media sites have won, and the near-death of Flash means that most folks don't realise just how much better a lossless codec would be for screen capture video. Even the top software supplier sites have given in and are now using MP4 for their tutorial videos.

Also the embedded Templot FBR video player is not dpi-aware, and I don't have access to the manifest settings to make it so. It is down to individual users to make that change in the file compatibility properties, and of course hardly anyone is going to do that. Which means that on the modern hi-res monitors it is displayed using Windows virtualisation, producing results not much better or in some cases worse than MP4.

At the same time FlashBackConnect have improved their MP4 image quality, and now implement the full FBR interactive functions on their MP4 player.

So that is the only format I shall be using for Templot videos for the future. I have spent a bit of time embedding the full FlashBackConnect web page, rather than their offered embedded version, because at present that doesn't provide the same image quality or full interactive functions.

So I would welcome some feedback on the video on this page:

 http://templot.com/companion/4_where_do_i_start.html

Not about the video content (it's unchanged beginner stuff), but about how it looks/fits on your screen, how easy to access, click/tap for stop/start, text size for reading the notes, etc. I know some folks like to watch the videos on a tablet while running Templot on their main computer.

For the best image quality, try zooming in or out on your device/browser until it is displaying dot-for-dot, which means the actual video area will be 1024 pixels wide.

At present I'm seeing the best results on Microsoft Edge -- which has to be admitted through gritted teeth, and also on Opera which always performs well.

On Android devices you will probably need to use Google Chrome rather than the native Browser, otherwise it won't pause to read the notes.

thanks,

Martin.

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message ref: 22544

 
 Clicked a link? Wrong message? Wait until the page has finished loading, click in the address bar and then press the Enter key. This is a timing bug in some browsers.
14th message | this message only posted: 24 Oct 2017 16:22
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from:
Paul Boyd
Loughborough, United Kingdom

 

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Hi Martin
It's a shame that MP4 won out - I guess it's like the Betamax/VHS scenario where the lowest quality wins!

Anyway, I can report that the video worked fine in Safari on my iPad, even if a little fuzzy. (I'll just duck for cover!!) It zoomed up ok, once I'd found the button.  I don't normally like videos, preferring to read things at my own pace, but the automatic stopping feature is nice so I don't have to worry about trying to stop it at just the right time.

Cheers,
Paul

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message ref: 22545

 
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15th message | this message only posted: 24 Oct 2017 16:41
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from:
Andrew Barrowman
USA

 

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Looks OK on my Kindle Fire, native Silk browser. Pause/Start seems to work correctly.

Time to get up and walk the dogs I think:)
ab
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message ref: 22546

 
 Clicked a link? Wrong message? Wait until the page has finished loading, click in the address bar and then press the Enter key. This is a timing bug in some browsers.
16th message | this message only posted: 24 Oct 2017 16:57
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from:
John Shelley
St Ciers Sur Gironde 33820, France



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Greetings Martin,

I'm using Firefox 56.0.1 (64 bit version) on Windows 7 Home premium OS.

Image seems good, no fuzziness that I could see.  The grid lines are fine.  The video stops automatically so that I can read the notes.  When it's paused clicking on the video starts it again, but using the spacebar to restart doesn't start it again, but rather scrolls to the bottom of the page.   This may be a quirk of my setup.  I'll try on some other browsers, but not for a while as I'm trying to get some other things finished.

John, from St Ciers

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message ref: 22547

 
 Clicked a link? Wrong message? Wait until the page has finished loading, click in the address bar and then press the Enter key. This is a timing bug in some browsers.
17th message | this message only posted: 24 Oct 2017 17:05
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from:
Raymond
Bexhill-on-sea, United Kingdom

 

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No John,
It did the same on my Firefox setup to with Windows 7 professional (64) bit).
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message ref: 22548

 
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18th message | this message only posted: 24 Oct 2017 17:13
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Sorry I should have explained to ignore the note in the videos about pressing the spacebar. That applies only on the embedded Templot Video Player, not this web version.

So that's something else I now need to update on many of the videos.

In web browsers, pressing the spacebar is equivalent to Page Down.

regards,

Martin.

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message ref: 22549

 
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19th message | this message only posted: 24 Oct 2017 17:17
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from:
John Shelley
St Ciers Sur Gironde 33820, France



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Martin Wynne wrote: Sorry I should have explained to ignore the note in the videos about pressing the spacebar. That applies only on the embedded Templot Video Player, not this web version.

So that's something else I now need to update on many of the videos.

In web browsers, pressing the spacebar is equivalent to Page Down.

regards,

Martin.
Thanks for the comment Martin, it'll save me going through my settings.

Now what was that saying, something about the main causes of problems being fixes.  :D

John,  from St Ciers

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message ref: 22550

 
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20th message | this message only posted: 24 Oct 2017 17:20
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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p.s. Shift+Spacebar is Page Up.

Applies to all web sites.

Martin.

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21st message | this message only posted: 24 Oct 2017 17:31
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from:
DaveJ61
Northampton, United Kingdom

 

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Hi Martin,

Just to let you know, that video looks fine on my 4K monitor.

David.

(Should have said that the browser I used was Firefox and screen resolution is 3840 x 2160)

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22nd message | this message only posted: 24 Oct 2017 17:34
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from:
John Shelley
St Ciers Sur Gironde 33820, France



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Martin Wynne wrote: p.s. Shift+Spacebar is Page Up.

Applies to all web sites.

Martin.
Martin,

Thank you.  My knowledge of things Internet has increased by two this afternoon. :thumb:

John, from St Ciers

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23rd message | this message only posted: 24 Oct 2017 18:33
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from:
John Shelley
St Ciers Sur Gironde 33820, France



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Greetings Martin,

I've tried now with all the following browsers under Windows 7 Home Premium and all appears to be OK.

There did seem to be a difference in the size of the video window depending on which browser I was using, but can be sorted by enlarge or reduce - yes I did check that I was at zero size change each time.

Maxon - 3.4.5.2000
Opera - 48.0.2685.50
Sea Monkey - 2.48
Safari - 5.1.7 (7534.57.2)
IE - 11.0.9600.18499
Chrome - 62.0.3202.62

However your "trick" with spacebar to page down didn't work in all of them - but that isn't a Templot thing so we'll ignore it. :)

John, from St Ciers

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24th message | this message only posted: 24 Oct 2017 19:38
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from:
Rob Manchester
 

 

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Hi Martin,

The video is fine for me on a 1920x1200 desktop monitor. As I have said before the most important aspect is getting the information across to users rather than bells and whistles.

Rob


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25th message | this message only posted: 24 Oct 2017 19:56
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Rob Manchester wrote:The video is fine for me on a 1920x1200 desktop monitor. As I have said before the most important aspect is getting the information across to users rather than bells and whistles.Hi Rob,

I agree, but first I need to be sure that the delivery mechanism is working.

There would be no good putting detailed notes in the video if it doesn't pause for them to be read.

I could be sure of that in the FBR player embedded in Templot, but what happens in other folks' browsers is a constant mystery to me. Often reports of what folks are seeing bears no resemblance to anything I'm seeing here.

For example, at present the videos are useless on my two Android devices using the native Browser. It is necessary to install the Google Chrome app and use that instead, or the Firefox app. Despite mentioning this several times, no-one has confirmed to me that the same applies to their devices, or to Apple iPads, or anything else.

So which browser do most folks use on Android devices? Does the Templot video pause correctly on there?   

Thanks all for the feedback.

regards,

Martin.

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26th message | this message only posted: 24 Oct 2017 20:31
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from:
Trevor Walling
United Kingdom

 

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Hello Martin,
The video plays fine on my Linux setup using Firefox.
Regards.
Trevor.:)
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Rob Manchester
 

 

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Martin ->"I agree, but first I need to be sure that the delivery mechanism is working."

Martin,

Of course you do, the bells and whistles I was commenting on were more to do with tweaks and changes to the font sizes, messages and such like ( assuming you remember to take out the spacebar option ).

Do you get any analytics  in terms of how many people watch the different videos ? You could delay answering questions on technique until you had evidence that the poster has seen the video :shock:

Rob



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Matt M.
Australia

 

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Hi Martin,

It works in Safari running on the Apple OS 10. . A little fuzzy as usual with Apple's display but readable and responds to the stop and restart requirement perfectly well.

Matt M.
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Martin Wynne wrote: Despite mentioning this several times, no-one has confirmed to me that the same applies to their devices, or to Apple iPads, or anything else. On the iPad, Safari is the native browser, and it works fine as I mentioned earlier!
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bainin
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Fine on iPhone 5, ios 10.3.3, using Safari.Mike 

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Hurray for MP4 , flash is dead
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Doesn't work on mobile safari on an apple mini iPad ( 10.2.1)  , can't get the video to go full screen so no proper video controls appear , can't activate space are to start video 
Your beginners narrated video however works perfectly 


Note it works using chrome on the iPad ,but pity it doesn't play nice with safari. The issue is the full screen mode can't be activated 

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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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madscientist wrote: Doesn't work on mobile safari on an apple mini iPad ( 10.2.1)  , can't get the video to go full screen so no proper video controls appear , can't activate space are to start video 
Your beginners narrated video however works perfectly 


Note it works using chrome on the iPad ,but pity it doesn't play nice with safari. The issue is the full screen mode can't be activated 
Hi David,

Thanks for that. I knew it wouldn't be plain sailing.

Why do you need it to go full screen? The player controls should appear if you hover the mouse over it at any size.

What do you want to make full-screen, the video or the full web page/browser?

Which browser do most iPad users use? Chrome or Safari? Paul said it worked ok in Safari on his iPad.

My beginners narrated video? Which one is that?

cheers,

Martin.

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Matt M.
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As I understood it the video stays in the web browser and you
increase the size of the visual element by zooming in on the web browser.
That would be different to pressing the expand button while watching
a Youtube video or equivalent.

It works like that in Safari on my Mac Books quite happily.
I don't run Apples IOS system as my phone doesn't connect to the internet.
And don't have an iPad. So it may be totally different.

Matt M.
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This is what it looks like on an iPad Mini 4. Two screenshots, one just playing as it is, and the other with the larger of the two size options selected. Both are perfectly usable, in my opinion. Tapping the video resumes it after it’s paused. I think most iPad users use Safari because it just works. I did try Chrome but it seemed sluggish.

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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Paul Boyd wrote: This is what it looks like on an iPad Mini 4.Hi Paul,

Thanks for the screenshots. But it's an utter mess! :(

I did wonder when you said the dreaded word "fuzzy". :)

This is what you should be seeing (Microsoft Edge):







This is going to need more thought, I fear.

cheers,

Martin.

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Well the one you posted looks like the video does in Safari on my machine.
Slightly fuzzy.

The one Paul posted looks worse.

Matt M.
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Thanks Matt.

What happens if you zoom in-out (pinch/stretch) the web page?

cheers,

Martin.

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Martin Wynne
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p.s. Can you find a zoom setting with minimum fuzziness? That means the video itself should be 1024 pixels wide (dot-for-dot zoom) and its container 1100 pixels wide.

Martin.

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Martin Wynne
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And this is in Opera, set dot-for-dot. That's 80% zoom because my screen is set to 120dpi (125%) in the Windows Display Settings, and Opera is seemingly not dpi-aware (unlike Edge).

Opera is the nearest I have on Win10 to Safari -- it uses the Blink rendering engine originally derived from Apple Webkit (Safari).


 




Martin.

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