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News - September 2017

September 28, 2017
Point Your Phones at These Addresses
Universal Mobile Device Data Server

The two links provided below, at the bottom of this dated section, point to an entry page that calls some remote procedures on a new server demo we recently created, called hndnewslinkslistsvr.app. This is a demonstration server from which we are serving up example browses read from SQLITE data tables located in sample data base HNDSLFSVCUS.SQLITE, attached to this server and converted into "Flex-Port" HTML pages using a CHT XML2HTML template called 000newslinkslist.xml.

This demo was created by loading hndslfsv.app into the Clarion 10 IDE and saving it back under the new name hndnewslinkslistsvr.app, and by adding a dictionary hndslfsv.dct to that, into which we added some new tables, for example: NEWSLINKSLIST and SUBSCRIBERS.

NEWSLINKSLIST is an SQLITE table that we're presently editing and adding data to, with a demo desktop app, modified for this purpose called HNDSLFSVCUS.APP.

SUBSCRIBERS is an SQLITE table that we created by importing the PEOPLE file from HNDO.TPS. This is a fictitious list of people's names, that we've shipped with our toolkit for years with which to build sample CHT browses. We added some random values into the Serial Number field and some random expiration dates, and also, we added a fictitious email address and set of totally made up purchase-receipt information.


hndslfsvcussubscriberedit.png

As we expand the experiment, we'll be adding data into the tables via across-the-web techniques using both Clarion-app-Client-to-Clarion-app-Server methodology as well as Browser-app-Client-to-Clarion-app-Server technology. All that will come in good time and will be thoroughly documented in good time.

The four "Web Browses" in this example are intended to demonstrate browsing data tables from any browser on any device that's new enough to have an HTML5 capable browser.

In the example web browses provided today, we'd like you merely to look and explore the four browser-based "web apps" on as many devices as you're able to find, preferably smallish portable devices like smart-phones and "phablets".

Note as you browse with your phone held vertically that the browse table is narrowed to fit your phone's viewport, though it can still be scrolled left-right with your finger. Note also, that when you turn your phone into the horizontal position that the browse table displays extra columns though it can still be scrolled left/right easily with a finger motion if the entire width of the table is not already displayed in the device viewport.

In these first two NEWSLINKSLIST examples we're listing articles, web pages, and discussion papers available on our site and pointing to them. Click on any item in the "Title" column to be taken to that article, page or paper.

We are expanding the NEWSLINKSLIST browse table by a record or two on a regular basis so it's obvious that the data table underlying it is changing and you're not seeing a static page.

In the next two SUBSCRIBER examples we're listing our sample "subscriber" table described above. The two example browses are created by the same back-end UCR$ procedure. So the back end code is identical for both browses. The SUB:Expire_DATE information varies as we're passing a date range parameter into the UCR$ from the calling web page.

If you visit either of these browses over successive days, it will be obvious that the data displayed is changing as the records with expiration dates not in the required date range fall out and other records, previously not in the correct range are now included.

We hope, as this work develops, that you'll take some time to look at the server application, and even test it out yourself. All the pieces to make this work from your desktop computer or any web-connected Windows PC will be in our toolkit starting with the Fourth Quarter Build 21D.00.00 slated for release by October 22, 2017.

You can pick up the source components for this hndnewslinkslistsvr.app and all required components, at any time before or after the next major update - since these components and any related how-to documents will continue to evolve over the coming months. So if the information you're reading about hndnewslinkslistsvr.app does not match what you see when you open the app, it will be necessary to update your toolkit using CHTWEEKLIES_1.EXE installer available to all subscribers from our CHT Installer Donwload site.

All the pieces required to run a test, to modify the tables, to modify the browses and the remote procedures (UCR$ procedures) in the application are there for you to study.

Now Point your Phones at One of These Addresses

Note that "PDE" in the first web address, below, is an acronym for Phone Does Everything. Which is appropriate for what we're trying to achieve here!

To run a test, point your phones at one or both of these addresses. Each resolves to a different server instance of the same hndnewslinkslistsvr.app, listening to a different IP and PORT.

http://pde.cwhandy.ca

https://pde.cwhandy.ca (HTTPS-SSL)

http://mobile.cwhandy.ca

https://mobile.cwhandy.ca (HTTPS-SSL)

September 26, 2017
Recent Update Changes Review

Revised Previewer: HNDPREVIEWER.APP

This application is called from various other CHT tool applications including the one described below, namely, HNDTPLDOCGEN.APP.

While we're generating HTML with our XML2HTML technology, and previewing as we work, it's important to be able to adjust the viewport by which we're previewing the HTML so generated. This gives us immediate feedback about how the HTML document will look on various small, portable format devices, including phones and smallish tablets, or as we've come to call them, "phablets".

To that end, there are several new menu items, marked in the image below by number tags. These viewport settings and sizes are based on actual dimensions of the viewports (** i.e. usable screen size **) of phones we're using presently. This selection of choices, based on real devices, will be expanded over time, though the present selection is already pretty useful and covers a broad range of viewport sizes.

HNDPREVIEWER.APP

hndpreviewermenu.png

This HNDPREVIEWER.EXE is also called by CHTSNAPEDIT.EXE from the "Preview" menu, as well as from other applications in the "CHT Document Builder" suite. We'll discuss at least some of these other applications in later sections of this document or in future discussions on the topic of CHT Document Builder.

New Application: HNDTPLDOCGEN.APP

The job of generating our templates documentation has now been taken over by an application called HNDTPLDOCGEN.EXE. This application replaces HNDTPXHTNEXT.APP, which has been retired.

At the heart of this new application is a procedure called AutoGenHTMLFromXML_VER02 which is responsible for translating a CHT XML template file called: 000TPLDOCS.XML into viable HTML. That happens, of course, only after HNDTPLDOCGEN.EXE reads through our .TPL and .TPW files to extract commentary embedded there between XML tags, and inserts it into a temporary copy of 000TPLDOCS.XML.

This temp copy of 000TPLDOCS.XML is then processed via the procedure named above and that results in several HTML documents described and linked below.

The application generates the following:

Since we're constantly changing and adding to the XML-tagged documentation embedded in our .TPL and .TPW files, we'll continue to make a point of running HNDTPLDOCGEN.EXE as we did in the past, with this application's predecessor, to bring our documentation up to date.

The HNDTPLDOCGEN.EXE application also calls CHTSNAP2PDF.EXE in order to create a .PDF version of each of the generated HTML files. This is for anyone who prefers their documentation in the .PDF format.

HNDTPLDOCGEN.APP

hndtpldocgenpic.png

September 22, 2017
CHT Build Update 21C.02.00 Posted

As of 12pm EDT Sept 22nd, 2017 -- we completed the posting and download testing of our 3rd quarter 2017, CHT Build Update, numbered 21C.02.00.

"Start" Menu Location Change

Our installer previously created a "The Clarion Handy Tools C10" folder on your Win 10 machine which could be found in the "T" section of the Windows Menu.

With this lastest update our installer now creates only a "Clarion Handy Tools C10" folder on your Win 10 machine which is to be found in the "C" section of the Windows Menu.

In other words, with the removal of "The" from our menu folder name we're now in the "C" section of the menu. Appropriately, this section is also where your "Clarion 10" installation is located.

September 14, 2017
Point Your Phones at These Addresses

The links provided below, at the bottom of this section, point to an entry page that calls some remote procedures on a new server demo we recently created, called hndslfsvxmldatasvr.app. This is a demonstration server from which we're going to be serving up example browses read from SQLITE data tables attached to this server and converted into "Flex-Port" HTML pages using a CHT XML2HTML template called 000sampledatabrowse.xml.

This demo was created by loading hndslfsv.app into the Clarion 10 IDE and saving it back under the new name hndslfsvxmldatasvr.app, and by adding a dictionary hndslfsv.dct to that, into which we added some new tables, for example: NEWSLINKSLIST.

NEWSLINKSLIST is an SQLITE table that we're presently editing and adding data to, with a demo desktop app, modified for this purpose called HNDSLFSVCUS.APP.

As we expand the experiment, we'll be adding data into the tables via across-the-web techniques using both Clarion-app-Client-to-Clarion-app-Server methodology as well as Browser-app-Client-to-Clarion-app-Server technology. All that will come in good time and will be thoroughly documented in good time.

In the example web browses provided today, we'd like you merely to look and explore the two small browser-based "web apps" on as many devices as you're able to find.

The two "Web Browses" in this initial example are intended to demonstrate browsing data tables from any browser on any device that's new enough to have an HTML5 capable browser.

As our title above suggests, we'd like you to experiment launching the page link below using your favorite phone or tablet browser. Note as you browse vertically that the browse table is narrowed to fit your phone's viewport. Note when you turn your phone into the horizontal position that the browse table displays extra columns and can be scrolled left/right easily with a finger motion.

In these first two NEWSLINKSLIST examples we're listing articles, web pages, and discussion papers available on our site and pointing to them. Click on any item in the "Title" column to be taken to that article, page or paper.

More example browses will follow, based on other tables added to this server's dictionary.

We will expand the NEWSLINKSLIST browse table by a record or two on a regular basis so it's obvious that the data table underlying it is changing and you're not seeing a static page.

We hope, as this work develops, that you'll take some time to look at the server application, and even test it out yourself. All the pieces to make this work from your desktop computer or any web-connected Windows PC are in our toolkit starting with Build Update 21C.02.00 slated for release by September 22, 2017.

All the pieces required to run a test, to modify the tables, to modify the browses and the remote procedures (UCR$ procedures) in the application are there for you to study.

Point your Phones at These Addresses

Note that "PDE" in the first web address, below, is an acronym for Phone Does Everything. Which is appropriate for what we're trying to achieve here!

To run a test, point your phones at one or all of these addresses. Each resolves to a different server instance, listening to a different IP and PORT.

http://pde.cwhandy.ca

http://mobile.cwhandy.ca

September 7, 2017
Sample CHT Flex-Port HTML Browse

To prove that a pure-HTML data browse with a "ViewPort" flexible design is possible, we've posted a sample browse for your appraisal.

This data-grid is generated by a CHT XML2HTML template that we're presently in the process of designing. For this early test, the data in this "browse" is manually inserted, and static, but it won't be for long.

We ask you to pay attention to the behaviour of this data browse when accessed from smaller devices like phones or small tablets (phablets). The data grid becomes easily, finger-controlled, left-right scrollable.

Our near-term plan with this "data browse" design is to give you some examples that use a remote, HTTP data source, located in the Toronto Canada area. The data source server will be a Clarion application attached to several SQLITE data tables delivered as data views.

Since this is purely test data, like the NEWS announcements example linked below, any of our example data browses will be public, so no login is going to be required. Although requiring a login and using secure, HTTPS will be equally easy and painless. And we'll give you examples of that as well as we progress with various designs and layouts.

For the course of this "Flex-Port" (Flexible ViewPort) experiment, therefore, we want open-access to all example data.

Access the example browse here:

Sample CHT Flex-Port HTML Browse

 

Initially, Three Types of "Apps"

We plan to give you, initially, three types of "apps" that will access our example Clarion-based remote data server.

In all cases, the same XML2HTML template responsible for this example design will be employed to "wrap" a range of query data with HTML + CSS markup for rendering.

 

First, a Clarion + CHT application that packages the browse by accessing the server and requesting a range of data which then processes the XML2HTML template at the client side, into an HTML page that displays in the application's window.

Second, a pure-html page generated at the server end upon receipt of a CHT UCR Request (User Custom Request, or Remote Procedure Call) from a simple web link. This "app" will run completely in any browser from any device, be it a phone, phablet, tablet or desktop. We will purposely avoid using any Javascript in these pages, only pure HTML 5 and CSS

Third a Windows device-agnostic executable built upon the Windows UWP concept, in the form of an .APPX file. The executable will be Clarion-Win32 run through the UPX app converter. This application will run on any size Windows 10 device including windows phones.

September 6, 2017
CHT Tile Menu Examples New Designs

We've added a couple of new designs to the CHT Tile Menu Set.

These are available (as of right now) in the CHTWEEKLIES_1 installer download available from our developer downloads site which you can reach from the "Command" menu of your CHT Forum Client App. The menu name is Command->Subscriber Downloads Page.

You'll remember that we have two demo apps that illustrate the use of HTML MENU TILES.

Remember that the "web pages" we're showing you below are not hooked to anything so clicking on the tiles will go nowhere.

These HTML menus are meant to be run inside our two example applications, named below, which have Clarion code in them that intercept the menu clicks and interpret them to perform some Clarion related procedure or to access a website page.

The designs we'd like to show you are available as web pages here:

HNDTILEAPPLAUNCHER.APP TILE MENUS

The XML design file associated with this menu is:
000hndpeople_lbx_nopics.xml.

The above menu is image-oriented. No text at all in the menu except that which is on the image itself. Remember that clicking on these menus here where they are mere web pages will not lead anywhere since there's no code below them in their present state.

HNDPEOPLE_LBX.APP TILE MENUS

The XML design file associated with this menu is:
000hndtileapplauncher.xml.

This second menu design is text-oriented, all of the text is equivalent to a standard HTML link, just pure text, although the link still contains a color-swatch image which is purely decorative. Remember that clicking on these menus here where they are mere web pages will not lead anywhere since there's no code below them in their present state.

We've included the compiled versions of HNDPEOPLE_LBX.APP and HNDTILEAPPLAUNCHER.APP in the chtweeklies_1 installation. After running this installer the two test app executables will be located in your /accessory/hnd/ directory. The menu HTML files that these applications require are included in the chtweeklies_1 installation container also. They're located in /accessory/hnd/html/ where the demo apps can find them, as well as the images they require.

You will receive the modified source code for these two apps with the next CHT intermediate update of the full toolkit (Build 21.02.00) scheduled for some time next week.

If you decide to try these apps, let us know how you make out.

As you load these pages into your browser, remember to resize the browser window into phone, phablet and tablet sizes. The whole point of the design is to point out that these menus will work and display correctly regardless of the device viewport in which they're displayed.

September 1, 2017
Bringing Clarion Apps Across The Desktop Bridge

One of the things we promised to do this year was to investigate how to bring your Win32 Clarion app "across the desktop bridge" to run on the (U)niversal (W)indows (P)latform (UWP).

The upshot of that is you're able to run your Clarion Win32 apps on, say a Windows 10 Phone, or publish and distribute your application in the Windows Store. Simply by running it through a converter/packager.

With Windows 10, Windows has changed considerably and is evolving at a very brisk pace.

Windows is running on more platforms and processors than ever and always finding new places to run.

We're convinced that there is both opportunity here, as well as some danger.

"Opportunity" because the UWP opens up the possibility of selling our software through the Windows Store. And expanding the functionality of our old-style Clarion apps to include many new windows features like "live tiles".

"Danger" because there's a good chance that unless you're on the ball and become savvy with the UWP way of doing things that your Clarion desktop apps will become dinosaurs in the not so distant future. Since Windows 10, as it moves to UWP, will not honor many existing Windows API's (your app will be broken) unless it is packaged as an .APPX file which contains an app-specific API container inside of which your Clarion app can continue to run.

Check out this UWP article:

New Window Features Blocks Desktop Apps

Here are more articles that are a "must read" for anyone who is serious about staying in the Windows software business. Particularly if you're using Clarion.

All About Desktop Bridge

Package an app using the Desktop App Converter (Desktop Bridge)

Package an app manually (Desktop Bridge)

Package an app by using Visual Studio (Desktop Bridge)

This will help familiarize you with what you're up against, practically and theoretically.

We will continue to monitor, study and comment on these UWP developments and provide some hands-on assistance with crossing the "bridge".

September 1, 2017
The Latest Docs (Regenerated Monthly)

The latest template documents (HTML/PDF) are here:

CHT Template Docs

(HTML)

(PDF)

The latest demo application docs are here:

CHT Application Docs

(HTML)

(PDF)

The latest utility application docs are here:

CHT Utility Applications Docs

(HTML)

(PDF)

The latest BATCH-BOT and SNAP-IN application docs are here:

CHT Batch-Bot Application Docs

(HTML)

(PDF)

The latest classes docs are here:

CHT Classes Docs

(HTML)

(PDF)

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