The ToolBook Developer's Newsletter
Canyon Multimedia Software Corporation.
In This Issue
by Chris Bell
It's hard to believe that The EnterPage is into its fifth year! Our
first issue said, "The purpose of this newsletter is to keep you
informed of new products available from Asymetrix and Platte Canyon as
well as offer some pointers on ToolBook® development." Since then,
Asymetrix became Click2learn, and the EnterPage has grown from just
under 1000 words to our current average of about 3500. Some things are
the same, though. We still hope to pass along information about the
latest ToolBook developments as well as a number of tips and tricks for
ToolBook developers, and of course, we'll always let you know the latest
about Platte Canyon products. Here's hoping that the next five years are
as exciting as the first five!
Upcoming ToolBook Training Classes
Many of you have asked us to keep you posted when we're about to offer a class that is not "sold out." We still have openings for next week's class! So, if you're interested in visiting nice sunny Phoenix, Arizona and getting some ToolBook Training while you're here, please let us know. Here our schedule of courses:
ToolBook Instructor for Internet Deployment is $1,400 and
Learning & Mastering ToolBook Instructor: The Class is $1,650.
Progress Tracker 3.0 Offers Web Capability
The new Progress Tracker 3.0 offers new features to match the recent release of TBK Tracker 3.0.
Developers choose Progress Tracker when they want to build one TBK file with professional student tracking features. If they have multiple TBK files, each comprising one lesson, they use TBK Tracker.
Here are the major new features of Progress Tracker 3.0:
The price of a development license remains the same ($2,995). The upgrade price from version 2 is $995 per development license. Unlimited technical support is $495 (phone and email) or $295 (email only).
The pricing of the new "web deployment" capability is $995 per deployed database. So if you have three different customers that each has their students and course/lesson data in their own database, they or you would need to pay $995 for each one. With your first purchase, you receive the Active Server Page (ASP) scripts, sample files, etc. If you'd like to see an example of this capability, please visit this page. Note that deployment can be either "Rich Client" (CD, LAN, etc. with an active Internet connection) or "Neuron." One exciting application of these new capabilities is when you combine SQL Server and web deployment. Now the Administrator and Reporter can run locally and read/write data on the SQL Server database sitting on your web server!
New Service Patch Available for Instructor 8.1
If you're running Instructor 8.1, you should get this service patch.
Most important for existing courses is the fix to ToolBook's HTTP Post
functionality. Without this service patch, HTTP Post will not work in
native (non-DHTML) mode on some versions of Windows (95, 98, ME). In
addition to fixing this and other bugs, the service patch improves SCORM
support for DHMTL export and adds objects and features that will help
create "accessible" DHTML applications.
Full information on the patch is available in the Click2learn Knowledge
The patch is available for download at:
TBCON 2002: Sign up Early
TBCON is just six months away! We have updated the web site and are
now accepting early registrations and session proposals.
Also, FYI, we are renaming the conference to be "The ToolBook® and
VBTrain.Net™ User’s Conference." We have put a full explanation of the
name change on the web site (under "What is ToolBook, VBTrain.Net"), but
the short version is that we are expanding the format to include the
writing of training with the new Visual Basic.NET. We want to stress that
this will not remove any ToolBook content but will rather broaden the
focus of the conference.
We have even more preconference workshops than last year. Please see
http://www.tbcon.com/tbconPreconSessions.aspx for details. We’ll be posting the
session list as well once we start finalizing presentations.
Platte Canyon Products in the PipelineWe are working very hard on the Plug-IN Pro 6.0. It will add a number of cool features and functions, such as:
We anticipate the Plug-In Pro 6.0 being available within the next
month. Pricing will be $165 to upgrade from version 5.0 or $495 for new
licenses. We’ll let you know when it is available.
Plug-In Pro Tool Spotlight: Name Selected Objects
by Chris Bell
This column features one of the many tools available in the Plug-In Pro. Today, we will look at Name Selected Objects, a very useful tool.
Rename selected objects does just what it says: it takes all objects you have selected on the page and names them sequentially according to your entry. For instance, if you have five objects selected on a page, you can click the Name Selected Objects button to name them. You'll then be presented with a dialog asking to type in the name for the first object. The last part of this name needs to be a number or a letter. For instance, any of the following names would work:
All selected objects are then named sequentially. For instance if you typed in "ObjectForClick a," then the other objects would be named:
This is very useful so you can quickly name all objects that you want. It also comes in quite handy when working with Platte Canyon's TB Connection line of products. These products allow you to store content outside of ToolBook.
For more information on Plug-In Pro, please browse to: http://www.plattecanyon.com/pluginpro.aspx
To see detailed on-line help with graphics on Import Resources, please browse to: http://www.plattecanyon.com/help/pluginpro/Naming_Selected_Objects.htm
To see information on TB Connection, please go to: http://www.plattecanyon.com/contentconnection.aspx
CBT Creation Tip from Chris Bell: Working with Digital Still Photos
Using a digital still camera gives the developer instant access to
royalty free photos limited only by what the developer can shoot. This
is perfect for many training applications. Here are a few tips for the
beginner to get the most out of the digital images.
So there you go, I hope these tips are helpful. Happy digital photo shooting.
Expert Information from "Learning & Mastering ToolBook Instructor"
from Jeff Rhodes
We’ll do a shorter and a longer topic this time:
to get lrn_checkSteps word currentStepNum, word lastNum -- Checks if all page steps have been completed -- Returns true if done, else false -- If done, animates the next page button system stack s_doneSteps local word num -- add current step to doneSteps (omitted) if NOT ASYM_itemInList(currentStepNum, s_doneSteps) push currentStepNum onto s_doneSteps end if step num from 1 to lastNum if NOT ASYM_itemInList(num, s_doneSteps) return FALSE end if end step send lrn_animateNextPageButton return TRUE end lrn_checkStepsAn example of when a handler is more appropriate is when we want to hide the Agent narrator for this training. There's not really a useful return value and we just want the action to occur.
to handle hideCharacter system book s_currentBook system s_narratorID system stack s_lastCharPixelLoc if s_lastCharPixelLoc <> null s_lastCharPixelLoc = null get extHide() of s_narratorID narratorCurrentlySpeaking of s_currentBook = false end if if isObject (field "narrationText" of this background) = true hide field "narrationText" of this background end if end hideCharacterOne final note: When you call a function, execution of the code containing the call will not continue until you get a value back from the call. This can be very handy when you want to halt execution until something else has happened.
OpenScript Tip from Jeff Rhodes
Working with Rich Text Format (RTF) Files
How do you read and write Rich Text Format (RTF) files from ToolBook? The script below demonstrates how to save the richText of a field to an external file. Notice that saving the file entails creating it, writing to it, and closing it.
narrationInfo = richText of field "narrEntry" bookPath = ASYM_PathOfFile(name of this book) tempFileName = bookPath & narrName & ".rtf" sysSuspend = false clear sysError openFile tempFileName if sysError = null -- file exists closeFile tempFileName request "File" && tempFileName && "already exists. Do you want to overwrite?" with "Yes" or "No" if it <> "Yes" sysSuspend = true break end if createFile tempFileName if sysError is not null request "Could not create file" && tempFileName & "." break end if writeFile (narrationInfo) to tempFileName if sysError <> null request "Could not write to file" && tempFileName & "." end if closeFile tempFileName sysSuspend = true end if
You could then read that content during runtime if desired. This is in fact how we show the "narration text" in our “Learning & Mastering ToolBook...” series if the user turns off the sound or doesn’t have a sound card.
-- separate handler to read the file tempFileName = bookPath & narrationName & ".rtf" openFile tempFileName readFile tempFileName to EOF closeFile tempFileName fieldID = field "narrationText" of this background richText of fieldID = it
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Actions Editor Tip by Cindy Kessler
Example of Using OpenScript to Change Action Sequences
local tempArray pageList = pages of this book searchString = ",value 9," newString = ",value 13," numChars = charCount(searchString) - 1 while pageList <> null pop pageList into pageID oList = getObjectList(pageID, "", "ASYM_EA_ActionArray(keyChar)") while oList <> null pop oList into oid tempArray = ASYM_EA_ActionArray(keyChar) of oid step num from 1 to dimensions(tempArray) tempLine = tempArray[num] while searchString is in tempLine startNum = offset(searchString, tempLine) clear chars startNum to (startNum + numChars) of tempLine if startNum > 1 put newString after char startNum - 1 of tempLine else put newString before tempLine end if end while tempArray[num] = tempLine end step ASYM_EA_ActionArray(keyChar) of oid = tempArray end while end while
Coming in the Next Issue of the EnterPage
Information on Subscriptions and Article Submissions
The EnterPage is distributed 4 times a year, with occasional special issues. Individuals who have expressed interest in Platte Canyon Multimedia Software Corporation or its products receive The EnterPage. If you do not wish to receive future issues, send an email message to EP@plattecanyon.com with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject line. New subscriptions are available by sending an email message to EP@plattecanyon.com with the word "subscribe" in the subject line and the person's name and company in the text of the message. Suggestions for articles or proposals for article submissions are welcome. Send information to EP@plattecanyon.com. Back issues of the EnterPage are available at http://www.plattecanyon.com/enterpage.aspx.
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