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                                       Companion changes
     
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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 12:26
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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new Templot Companion is still very sparse, and for most information it is still necessary to refer back to the long out-of-date old Companion pages.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 14:34
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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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message ref: 21833

 
 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.
3rd message | this message only posted: 1 Sep 2017 14:52
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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 19:39
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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 07:27
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email or PM.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add helpful replies.
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 18:46
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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 06:55
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from:
FraserSmith
Dundee

 

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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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message ref: 21840

 
 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.
8th message | this message only posted: 3 Sep 2017 12:01
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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

 
 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.
9th message | this message only posted: 3 Sep 2017 20:17
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email or PM.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add helpful replies.
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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message ref: 21842

 
 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.
10th message | this message only posted: 3 Sep 2017 20:46
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from:
FraserSmith
Dundee

 

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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 20:49
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email or PM.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add helpful replies.
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.

__________
message ref: 21844

 
 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.
12th message | this message only posted: 3 Sep 2017 21:12
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email or PM.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add helpful replies.
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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