Clarion Handy Tools
What's New - October 2016




October 28, 2016
CHT HTML Document Builder New Example

We have a new example of a document created with CHT HTML Document builder.

We'll be using this ourselves in the future, once we introduce some customer data table interaction, to provide receipts and invoices for CHT renewals.

For next week's Build 20D.01.00 update release, we'll have pre-designed templates for manual receipts and invoices. To adapt these for your own use, it's a matter of changing the images to something appropriate and dropping in your text.

In the next phase, of development of this, we'll add functionality to CHT Document Builder, so the XML document source template can accept data base queries and variables such that the body of any document (or parts of it) can come from a data file.

Here then is an example receipt created with the CHT Document Builder ready to be released with 20D.01.00 using an example receipt XML template (documentreceipt.xml)loaded in the editor.


Here also is an example invoice created with the same CHT Document Builder using an example invoice source XML template (documentinvoice.xml) loaded in the editor.



Gus Creces
The Clarion Handy Tools Page

October 28, 2016

October 25, 2016
CHT Project Kits (1) - CHT-XSA-KIT-01

We've made what we view as a significant ease-of-use modification to the [CHT-XSA-KIT-01.01] component in "CHT Project Kits (1) - CHT-XSA-KIT-01".

By way of a reminder, the components in this kit are as follows:

The component under discussion is the first one in the above list. It compiles to HNDSLFCMDXSA.EXE and it serves as a secure upload/download client to the server listed as item two in the list.

The changes made to the uploader component allow us to drop files on the .EXE from Windows File Manager. It picks up the file list dropped and is able to upload the selected files to any one of 10 server pre-configurations. Previously this app only allowed for 3 pre-configurations.

We created a windows desktop icon (link) with HNDSLFCMDXSA.EXE as follows:


Once the desktop icon is in place, we can use Windows File Manager to select files and drag and drop them onto the icon.


As soon as the "drop" action is performed, by letting go of the mouse button, a popup menu appears, listing available configuration (or if not yet configured, available configuration spaces). Configurations can be created and saved on the fly.


Select a configuration. In the next image we selected "View Config2" .

We have the URL and port obscured for privacy, and the username password fields have been entered to match the username password configured on the server.


All configurations can point to one server with different target remote directories or each configuration can point to a different server:port with a different target remote directory.

Click CANCEL to stop the operation (nothing is uploaded) or click SAVE to accept the configuration. Once SAVE is clicked the configuration is saved, or if not changed, simply accepted and the upload proceeds.


These changes to "CHT Project Kits (1) - CHT-XSA-KIT-01", project [CHT-XSA-KIT-01.01], are already available -- already uploaded and guess how? -- to our main installation server.

So you can run the "CHT Project Kits (1) - CHT-XSA-KIT-01" installer to pick up the changes as of this notice.

These changes will, of course, appear with the next WebupdaterC10 update, build 20D.01.00 scheduled for early next week.


Gus Creces
The Clarion Handy Tools Page

October 25, 2016

October 20, 2016
HTML Document Creation For All Skill Levels

If you've been following our posts about HNDDOCUMENTBUILDER.APP, HNDBULKMAILBATCHER.APP, HNDBULKNETMAILPROMO.APP, you will be interested in what we've done to vastly increase the amount of design control that the user is given over the finished, generated HTML document coming from the 3 Clarion applications named above.

Just as a reminder, the HTML genration part of all three apps above works identically. They utilize the same HTML generating procedure in all three, which we simply export from one to the other when we're through making changes or advancements to HNDDOCUMENTBUILDER.APP.

What does differ in these apps is the intended end-use. The apps with "MAIL" in the name are bulk mail creation + send apps utilizing different CHT methodologies to send bulk mail. You can read about what the differences are by consulting CHTAPPLICATIONS.HTML.

HNDDOCUMENTBUILDER.APP has a more genralized intended end use, not just HTML email. The documents created, although they are compatible with the documents created by the two "MAIL" apps, are useful as web pages, HTML HELP files, PDF HELP documents and so on. We found out recently, that Snagit even lets us print these HTML documents directly to image files by choosing Snagit as the default printer driver.

The original intent of these apps hasn't changed. They make HTML document creation for the above intended purposes, really simple because they require of the user, virtually no knowledge of HTML page design, other than placing tags for bold, underline, italic which our editor does for them with a set of pre-programmed hot keys, and even these are entirely optional.

So how are we providing wider design control for those needing it?

The default, design incorporates into the genrated HTML a set of fundamental CSS style sheets that cover all of the requirements for a well-designed HTML document. Fill in your text and image names and your document comes out correctly formatted as HTML.

In the latest design of these apps (and the editor, CHTSNAPEDIT.EXE) we've given knowledgeable users a way to overrided the default, generated style sheets by allowing them to paste the style sheets into the .XML file where users normally type only their text.

These embedded-by-pasting to the XML file, style sheets are identical to those normally embedded straight into the generated HTML, but by embedding them into the source XML file -- at the bottom where they're available but out of sight unless needed.

Once embedded in the .XML source file, where the user types his/her text, these style sheets are read from the XML file and then replace the style sheets that the Clarion app (eg: HNDDOCUMENTBUILDER.APP) would normally generate. So the style sheets embedded in the XML file replace the default Clarion-app-generated default style sheets. So the user's changes to these embedded style sheets are reflected in the final HTML document.

Every design characteristic from page width to header and body fonts etc. etc. etc. is available for customization. Change one little thing like line length or change everything. Same difference. If you embed the CSS and change nothing, the document looks exactly like it would if you embedded no style sheets in the XML since when embedded you're embedding the same set of style sheets generated by your Clarion app.

The editor (CHTSNAPEDIT.EXE) in it's latest iteration now provides a couple of menus illustrated in the next image:

• Paste Style Sheets Section
• Cut Style Sheets Section


In the next image you can see three style sheets pasted into the XML source document in a section called "CSSINCLUDESECTTION". If a user wanted the line length in his/her document to be shorter, for example, the "div.textwidth" section should have its "width" property lowered from 98% to some lower value that suits the requirement.


This way of working is truly in the spirit of Clarion-Style code-generation technology.

Let the knowledgeable user have as much control as their skill level provides, while the novice user can still create a functional, good-looking document without having any HTML/CSS skills at all.

The changes described here will be reflected in the next CHT build update 20D.01.00 which we'll post some time in early November.

CHT devlopers wishing to acquire these changes can today install the following CHT Weeklies: CHTWEEKLIES #2, #3, #4, #5, #6.


Gus Creces
The Clarion Handy Tools Page

October 20, 2016

October 11, 2016
And an Example for You

My wife asked me to do this for her as she's getting together with her friends for a few days up north.

I'm using the latest interation of HNDDOCUMENTBUILDER.APP.

Link to example document: Scavenger Hunt 2016

The difference between this newer HNDDOCUMENTBUILDER.APP and the one that you presently have is full end-user design control. In the as-shipped HNDDOCUMENTBUILDER.APP the CSS generated into the document is determined by the settings on the application CSS-generating template. If you want this to generate different CSS you need to modify the template settings and recompile.

That's fine for round-one of the app's design and as long as the design you compile into the app is something that suits the end user, it's really easy to use because the user needs to know almost nothing about layout, font-sizing and so on.

HNDDOCUMENTBUILDER.APP, HNDBULKMAILBATCHER.APP and HNDBULKNETMAILPROMO.APP in their latest versions however, while still allowing you to use them exactly as always, assuming almost no knowledge of CSS, and HTML layout, now ALSO allow the user to override the internally generated CSS designs and layouts.

Inside the XML template file generated by the app, is now an area called "CSSIncludeSection" into which you can copy sections of as-generated CSS code and OVERRIDE the generated values. (See next image)


Any CSS class in this section that has the same name as the internally generated CSS class (eg: div.body_text per above image) will automatically modify-by-override, the values of the internally generated CSS class of the same name, when new values are inserted.

In the above image example, we've lowered the line-height and increased the left margin and padding values and so on. Other changes not shown in the above picture include the H1 to H4 header sections which include font color and font size changes, and different margins.

This technique gives full control over design and layout to those that want it and makes the basic built-in design available to those that dont want it or are too dumb or lazy to learn the rudiments of CCS document control.

My wife Laura asked me to mail these to the participants by email using HNDBULKNETMAILPROMO.APP, and to print them onto paper from HNDPREVIEWER.APP. They appear on paper, exactly as you see them above in the web link. So the same exact document acts as an HTML email, HTML web page and a printed to PDF or printed to PAPER document.

Link to printed-to-PDF document: Scavenger Hunt 2016 as PDF

To obtain the lastest versions of all related apps and CHT components plus any CHT template and CHT class changes incorporated into them you can run the following "Weeklies" installers which may be obtained from our regular installer site which subscribers can reach from their CHT Forum Support Client, via the "Command -> Subscriber Download Page" menu sequence.

You'll need to run these installers:
CHT Weeklies 2 (chtsnapedit changes)
CHT Weeklies 3 (also contains scavenger hunt example xml template)
CHT Weeklies 4 (template changes)
CHT Weeklies 5 (class changes)
CHT Weeklies 6 (app changes)

Some time later: Another example we did for a friend's birthday party:

Link to HTML document: Doug's Favourite Things (as HTML)

Link to PDF document: Doug's Favourite Things (as PDF)


Gus Creces
The Clarion Handy Tools Page

October 11, 2016

October 3, 2016
The Next (Document) Generation

We've encapsulated some of the key "What's New" information about the firstfourth quarter build release 20D.00.00 in a separate document that can be reached at the following link:

The Next (Document) Generation


Gus Creces
The Clarion Handy Tools Page

October 3, 2016

October 1, 2016
Build Update 20D.00.00 Now Available

We've finished posting our fourth quarter 20D.00.00 Build update.

We'll send a newsletter via email to all subscribers early next week. That newsletter will be focussing on primarily HNDDOCUMENTBUILDER.APP, CHTSNAPEDIT.EXE and HNDPREVIEWER.EXE.

We'll, of course, create that newsletter using HNDDOCUMENTBUILDER.APP and we'll, of course, be mailing it to you with another CHT utility app called HNDBULKNETMAILPROMO.APP.

Some time in this last quarter of 2016 there will also be some new videos about the above apps, both about how to use them but explaining the internals of the applications, and also how they're put together with CHT templates and classses and embedding using our newest Embedding template.

In the meantime, if you want to give HNDDOCUMENTBUILDER.EXE (located in /accessory/hnd/) a try here is a quick "how to" in the form of images:









Final note:

If you have MS Windows UAC enabled, start HNDDOCUMENTBUILDER.EXE using right click -> Run As Administrator. Since this app starts other CHT utility apps (CHTSNAPEDIT.EXE and HNDPREVIEWER.EXE) automatically, UAC will get in your face if not started with Run As Administrator.

Gus Creces
The Clarion Handy Tools Page

October 1, 2016

The Latest Docs

The latest template docs are here: CHT Template Docs

The latest demo application docs are here: CHT Application Docs

The latest utility application docs are here: CHT "Utility" App Docs

The latest "Batch Bot" application docs are here: CHT "Batch Bot" App Docs

The latest classes docs are here: CHT Classes Docs

Gus Creces
The Clarion Handy Tools Page

October 1, 2016