H&M does Pocket PC!

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H&M does Pocket PC!

Unread postby Tim Green » Fri Aug 04, 2006 12:25 pm

This morning a user asked if it would be possible to use H&M to generate output that could be accessed online by mobile phones. That set me thinking, and since someone gave me an MDA Pocket PC phone the other day I thought I'd play with it a little. 8)

The template package is attached to this post. You can test the results online with your own phones here:

http://www.it-authoring.com/info/ppc

At the moment I've only been able to test it on my own MDA compact PPC phone with the PPC version of Internet Explorer, but it works perfectly there. I'd like to hear if there are problems with other phones.

Using:
Instructions are in the template. Just open the .HMX file in Help & Manual.

Topic template file:
The template also includes two files that must be copied to the project directory of every project that uses the template: Template_Main.hmtopic and Template_Popup.hmtopic. These files automatically generate a fixed-size, single-cell table in every new topic. You type your topic content inside this table, which marks the limits of the PPC screen. (The popup template is for the "fake popups" used by the template -- for details on this see the instructions in the template file.)

Restrictions:
No keyword index, no full-text search. The only active templates are the Main and Popup in the Topic Pages section and the Table of Contents template, everything else is turned off.

Implementation:
It turns out that it's actually quite a simple trick. You just need to turn off all the frames and JavaScript in the Browser-based Help output and "minimalize" the HTML templates, removing everything that isn't absolutely necessary. Miniature icons for the TOC are embedded in the project. I've added a "Contents" link to the topic template so that the user can switch between the contents and the topics easily. A few other changes also had to be made in the HTML templates for the restrictions of the PPC format. Fonts, window definition, styles and Project Properties settings are all set up correctly for generating PPC Browser-based Help output.

Non-CSS phone browers:
H&M does almost all its formatting with CSS. This means that bold, italics etc. will not be visible on phone browsers like Opera Mini that don't support any CSS. The spacing between the icons and the topic titles in the TOC will still be displayed correctly on these browsers because the space is created by the transparent parts of the icon rather than CSS formatting.

Enjoy! 8)
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Last edited by Tim Green on Sun Aug 06, 2006 12:48 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Unread postby Willy De Vos » Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:36 pm

yieha, looks great!
E-book functionality would also be excellent. The big + is you can use your default helpfile and put it on Pocket PC.

Greetzz,
Willy
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