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Archived Message:

Internal vs External Activ Script


 
jefftilt Please help me understand the pluses, minuses & other ramifications of using an internal Activ Script compiled into an ebook as opposed to an external Activ Script.  What criteria are usually used to decide to use one vs the other?

Thanks for the help.

Jeff Tilt
JeffTilt (at) NetZero (dot) net


Posted on: 5:50 am on March 7, 2007
EBookCompiler Use the internal one

I wish we had never had the external script option.


Posted on: 6:05 pm on March 7, 2007
rlemire Jefftilt:

For the my response I'm going to hope you mean using internal or external Activ Scripts both within a compiled Activ E-Book.
(as opposed to trying to access an Activ E-Book external to the E-Book itself).

Maybe Sunil is fed up with trying to explain how the external script is used, but I would disagree with his advice. I suspect that the future of programing is going to be script based ( most people will find Script programing easier and faster to learn than Visual Basic or even Basic). I keep trying to encourage Sunil to add more Activ Script features.

In the internal vs external script question, While internal Activ script is quite functional. Activ script really starts to shine when you begin using the external script features.

Why? Although you can use external scripts for better control of your eBook, by using the power of JavaScript you have the ability to build some incredible programs and dynamic controls. While JavaScript gives you the power to design Dynamic web page functionality, external Activ Script routines allow you to interact with a client side computer like working with files, and creating and/or running Windows programs.

With external scripts you have the ability to create and work with Activ Variables much like you would a "Stack" in some other programing languages. for example you can transfer variables between web pages by "storing" an Activ Variable in one page and "retrieving" the variable in a second page. I firmly believe you can build any full featured Windows program you want, easier and faster, with a scripting language such as JavaScript and Activ E-Book using external Activ Script routines.

To give you an idea what is possible check out my Hypr  StoryMaker  program. (I use it for all my Tutorials). It is an incredible program that uses JavaScript and Activ E-Book external scripts.

Ron Lemire


Posted on: 11:52 pm on March 8, 2007
EBookCompiler Hi guys

We may be talking at cross purposes.

There are 3 ways to run scripts:

1. Code embedded in the HTML using ##

2. .as files embedded within the ebook, using #!

3.  .as files that can be located anywhere, using #@

The kind of features that Ron is talking about are available for methods 2 and 3.

Doing #1 is okay

Doing #2 is okay, and for serious scripts a better way than #1

I suggest avoiding method #3.  This is the method I don't recommend.


Posted on: 9:09 pm on March 9, 2007
rlemire Thanks for the clarification Sunil;

I use method #1 for most of my scripts and find it very valuable such as in this JavaScript code to minimize an eBook.

window.external.ActivRun("##MINIMIZE()";

As you can see the use of "external" in the code can lead to some confusion.

I seldom use method #2 and prefer running .as scripts using JavaScript.

I have used method #3, but Sunil hinted that it might not be supported in the next version. Fortunately, I found away around this procedure that works well for me.

Using Sunil's clarification, I concur with his advice.

Now if Activ Script could only recognize and run HTA programs or WSH scripts.

Ron


Posted on: 7:09 am on March 10, 2007
HuskerMark This topic makes me nervous. How much scripting will I have to do to use Activ E-Book. I use FrontPage and was hoping it would create all the coding I would need.

This is my first foray into eBooks and has me starting to wonder if I need to hire a professional to do this for me.


Posted on: 11:27 pm on March 10, 2007
rlemire HuskerMark;

You can calm down; Compiling an eBook using the Activ E-Book compiler is realtivly simple and streight forward.

If you use the generic options you never have to use Activ Script at all. All of the user setting are check boxes or text boxes etc.

On the otherhand, If you want to get fancy and interact with the customers computer and launch programs or read/write files, Activ E-Book is the only eBook compiler with script capabilities.

Ron


Posted on: 8:21 pm on March 12, 2007
jefftilt I was looking at Activ Script trying to understand how it might help me create an ebook I am attempting to produce. The concept is an electronic catalog that allows the user to search for a product by specifying criteria using a form. The criteria the user entered would then be used to select the product(s) contained in the database that met the user's criteria.

I first tried to figure out how to integrate a light-weight (Access perhaps) database into an ebook so I could use the power of SQL statements to manipulate the data. However, this is beyond my technical capabilities and I could not find a contract programmer who would commit to helping. They have trouble understanding the application will need neither a Web nor Database server in its finished form.

I keep thinking a databse system with its own runtime and application development language like the DOS version of Dbase use to (and may still?) have would be ideal. The functional requirements are for the databse application to generate and display a table of links (to products meeting the selection criteria) that when clicked would result in a page describing the product displaying out of the ebook.  Using the back button (or adding programatic navigation) could be used to retun to the list of products meeting the user's criteria so the ebook page for the next product could be viewed by clicking the next link in the table.

What I can do and have started is writing a data handling application in JavaScript. After taking a hard look at Activ Script I think I am better off using JavaScript. The documentation for Activ Script makes no mention of supporting arrays, which are the heart of the application.

There is no ability to use true persistence in JavaScript but I can simulate enough of its features using global variables in combination with a relatively long script to accomplish what I am trying to do.

If anyone has code that integrates a light-weigth client-based database into an Activ Ebbok I would love to take a look at what you have done.

Jeff Tilt
JeffTilt (at) NetZero (dot) net


Posted on: 4:58 pm on March 14, 2007
rlemire jefftilt;

I question how practical an eBook database would be. First it would probably be quite large and out of date as soon as it was published.

Wouldn't it be better to create your "catalog" online using something like MYSQL. That way you could at least keep it's content current.

Your eBook could contain JavaScript arrays to build a query string and then "go online" to access a PHP script that retrieves the data from your database.

In fact it might even be more efficient to create your "catalog" query system online and just have your password restricted interface in your eBook.

An excellent feature of Activ E-Book is the ability to read and write to files on a customers computer. That means you can have the "true persistence" you require.

Ron


Posted on: 10:37 pm on March 16, 2007
jefftilt Ron,

The database is relatively static (only updated every several years) so the issue of updates is small.  However the idea of putting the whole thing online may make sense as I just got my first indication that memory is becomming an issue This with only about half the script written, only 5 of 160 record in the database, and only 1 of 160 product pages created.

Is there a way for the ebook to make use of vurtual memory or am I close to needing an alternative approach?

Can a series of links returned to the client from the web interact with material in an ebook? Seems like the ebook would need to be running and then you would be bouncing back and forth between the browser and the ebook.  With IE's engine being utilized by the ebook that sounds dicey at best.

Jeff
JeffTilt (at) Netzero (dot) net


Posted on: 4:34 am on March 18, 2007
rlemire jefftilt;

I don't think there is anyway to specifically call up virtual memory other than pre-loading the variables. this will work OK for small arrays, but any large array might be a problem.

If you were to market your catalog with an interactive online database then you must be "online" to use it. Your eBook would need to connect to the database, retrieve data, and display it for the customer. Of course this would result in "bouncing back and forth" but doesn't the same thing happen when you use Google?

If you don't want use an online database, maybe you should look at marketing your catalog as a CD volume. If your catalog content rarely changes this might work for you. Your eBook could then query data kept on the CD. Much more efficient I would think.

Ron


Posted on: 3:51 pm on March 18, 2007

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