What's New in Midas 3.20
Wed 15 Oct 2003, 01:41 PM
by Ben Langhinrichs
I have hinted around enough at what is in our new Midas Rich Text LSX Version 3.20. Here is a short list of highlights, which I'll update if I remember anything important I have forgotten right now:
Conversion of Notes Bitmaps to GIF files
This is bigger than it may seem, as it finally allows users to Export to Word (via HTML), generate HTML, generate MIME and export graphics without having to worry whether the format is the proprietary Notes bitmap format. You can send MIME/HTML e-mails from Send It!, convert graphics to image resources, export graphics for off-line storage and more, without needing to use our Grab It! utility or make the rich text accessible to HTTP. This functionality is used as part of HTML and MIME generation, but is also available separately with a ConvertBitmaps method. Since the GIF format features a better compression than the Notes bitmap format, you can also save space in your database by converting pasted in images to GIF (see my blog entry showing the code). This feature requires Notes/Domino 6.0.2 or higher, unlike all other features documented here.
Advanced Tabbed Table and Section handling in HTML generation
Inclusion of Graphics as MIME parts in HTML mail
While it has been possible before to convert graphics in a rich text field to MIME parts when rich text was automatically converted to HTML, it is now possible to write HTML but point at graphics which will then be included as MIME parts. This allows for a very flexible combination of HTML, in-line graphics and remove (URL specified) graphics.
Append/Insert HTML into rich text with automatic conversion
It is now possible to take either a file with HTML or an in-line string of HTML and insert the appropriate rich text into a rich text field, thus
Add Embedded Editor and Embedded View into rich text
Enhances current ability to construct rich text in both design elements and ordinary rich text fields by allowing insertion of embedded editors and embedded views. Makes it easy to construct a highly elaborate, customized document for an individual on the fly with a customized view, for example, and also makes it possible to product complex dynamic forms programmatically.
Create Design elements from scratch
While it has been possible to clone design elements in previous versions, it is now possible to create them from scratch, using the new CreateForm, CreateImageResource, CreatePage, CreateSharedField, and CreateSubform methods. This makes creating dynamic databases easier.
Many enhancements made to HTML generation engine
Our ongoing efforts to create better HTML have been given a big boost by many small tweaks which add up to a better end result with more control. Fixes have also been made to bugs identified by users or by testing.
Many enhancements made to HTML import engine
The HTML import engine is not quite as robust as the export engine, but it is improving rapidly. Better and better support for CSS, anchors, and other constructs allow users to import/use highly formatted HTML newsletters and pages. More is in the works in this ongoing effort, which will also bear fruit soon with the COEX! Web Editor product.
Added new tabbed table properties to support ND6 tabbed tables
It is now possible to create tabbed tables with tabs on the left, right or bottom, as well as the top, shift the indentation of the first tab, make all tabs the same size, or even change the tab font. This allows better control over such tables, and the ability to create reports or dynamic forms with more flexibility.
URL links are now read/write
To match the previous ease with which a doclink could be modified, it is now possible to modify a URL link "in place", without having to append a new hotspot and remove the old hotspot, or use a complex ReplaceText method call.
Created functionality to fix URL hotspots which included parameters in URL
Many early Notes (R4/R5) applications added the target and some HTML parameters to the URL of a URL hotspot. Notes/Domino 6 has trouble with these URL hotspots, because it automatically encodes the entire URL string. Using the read/write URL links and enhanced SetTargetProperties logic, these can now be easily fixed to what they "should" be, with the target and HTML properties moved from the URL to where they belong.
Batch processing to run a script on all rich text fields in a document
Rather than have a script which loops through rich text items and then connects to each, a more efficient backend process is available with the BatchBackend method. This was there, but not really functional, in 3.10. For a very simple sample, (see the same blog entry again).
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