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New elements in VDS6
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jwfv
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 5:35 pm    Post subject: New elements in VDS6 Reply with quote

Jules:

You mentioned in a recent thread that it would be helpful to have feedback from users about what new dialog elements would be "most wanted" in VDS6.

Are there any sites you can point us to that might give some ideas about what is possible to be included? For instance, I like the new elements in XP - I don't know what you call them - but they are on the left panel of "My Computer." They are expandable panels that can drop down to display more information.

Anyway, if you know of any good sites that show all the different things that are possible with Delphi components, etc. please post the links. Also, maybe we can get some discussion going about possibilities. There are probably several that would be great to have available that I just can't think of out of the blue.

Thanks -

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Serge
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

what a great idea jwfv!!!

i second that suggestion Smile

serge

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And I third that suggestion. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not very familiar with the Delphi components that are available because I rarely use any other than the ones that come with Delphi as standard. In any case, it is not possible to use most third-party components in VDS because the license conditions are not transferable. In other words, just because CR buys one license for a component to use in VDS, it does not give them the right to grant redistribution rights of this component to the buyers of VDS.

So to avoid licensing arguments we are pretty much limited to using the components that come with Delphi, or freeware components whose authors arent fussy what people do with them. But most of the free Delphi components are pretty old and not terribly interesting.

Actually, rather than me telling you where to look, I was hoping the Delphi programmers amongst you might tell me of any free components they have come across that are worth a look at.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:18 pm    Post subject: Re: New elements in VDS6 Reply with quote

jwfv wrote:
For instance, I like the new elements in XP - I don't know what you call them - but they are on the left panel of "My Computer." They are expandable panels that can drop down to display more information.


I think this kind of thing can be done using HTML panels. This was the kind of thing I had in mind when the browser element was introduced in VDS 5. I don't think the potential of the browser element has really been exploited. There is really a lot you can do using embedded HTML resources (as I methioned hereabouts a few months ago) and using the NONAVIGATE style to trap clicks on fake URLs which you can then test and use to decide what to do in the program.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am working on an app that does just that right now. It is a document management application (kind of like Paperport, but specific to my needs.) The browser element is letting me do lots of stuff I once didn't think I would be able to do.

1.) It is great for previewing different file types (Excel, Word, Outlook emails) and, at least in XP, .ZIP files. It really makes for a nice looking interface when I can display the files in the .ZIP archive right on the dialog.

2.) By making small bitmaps (thumbnails) of the image files, I can display them in the browser with the links set to a dummy value that tells me which image the user wants to open. It looks like the Paperport interface and works very well.

3.) I am starting to experiment with some DHTML menus in the element. These can produce some really nice effects that really open up some interesting possibilities. I am getting a lot of my ideas for this from this website:

http://www.dynamicdrive.com


I look forward to seeing any suggestions from other users about elements/features to include.


Any ideas on how to go about making the expandable panels in a browser element?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You would basically create an html page with dynamic html (dhtml) and some javascript to hide/show the panel as well as perform mouseover of the links/glpyhs.

You may want to check around the net for 'Windows XP Panels' or something similar and you may find some html code on it. Or I'm sure you can piece together some dhtml to do that by looking around the net for each functionality - such as expanding the panel (viewable/hidden).

You would then do as Julian noted, set the NONAVIGATE style to the browser control. This basically tells the browser not to leave the page, but when a user clicks on any link (you will basically set <a href> html links for each glyph and text element) - those links will generate an event in VDS allowing you to execute your normal vds code.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not very well-versed in HTML or DHTML (and certainly not Javascript). The little bit I have done has been basically making small changes to other scripts I have found here and there.

I think that the browser element has lots of potential for things besides web-browsing. Maybe someone here with a knowledge of HTML, DHTML, vbscript or javascript will create some tantalizing examples to get everyone's interest up.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And I forgot to mention cascading style sheets (CSS). I don't know much about them, but if they can be used in the browser element, it seems like they could do a lot toward controlling/altering the behavior of the browser.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The browser element is basically an internet explorer control embedded into your form via active-x. Basically anything IE can do; your program will be able to do with the control - thus CSS is implemented.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Style sheets can be loaded from resources as well. So the whole thing can be self contained within yourEXE. The main annoyance with VDS 5 is that resource names are limited to 8 characters. This limitation won't be present in VDS 6.

I look forward to more feedback on this in case there are improvements that could be made to the browser element for VDS 6 that would make things work better.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could it be possible to read out Javascript variables some way, without having to use the NONAVIGATE style?
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are two examples of DHTML widgets that demonstrate things I would like to be able to do with my programs. They seem like they would be very handy if it were possible to easily get information to them and from them:

http://www.winlike.net/

http://www.phyrix.com/webtabs.html

I guess interfaces like those are possible with the browser element?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skit3000 wrote:
Could it be possible to read out Javascript variables some way, without having to use the NONAVIGATE style?


If you can do it via ActiveX properties or methods then it would be technically possible, but I doubt it.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jwfv wrote:
Here are two examples of DHTML widgets that demonstrate things I would like to be able to do with my programs. They seem like they would be very handy if it were possible to easily get information to them and from them:

http://www.winlike.net/

http://www.phyrix.com/webtabs.html

I guess interfaces like those are possible with the browser element?


They might be. The trouble with getting information out of an HTML created element is I don't know how you do that without an HTTP POST, which requires a web server.

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