Last week I re-published an introduction on the use of Behaviors
in IMS Web Engine to create complex interactive Web Pages.
The article is available at
http://www.imswebtips.com/issue46top3.htm for those of you
that may not have had a chance to read it. The use of advanced
Behaviors are quite complex but can add interactive content that
would be extremely difficult to create manually even by
experienced programmers. This week I thought I would continue
this topic by republishing a follow up article on Behaviors.
As was mentioned, a Behavior can be separated into two main
components. An Event that triggers the Behavior and an Action
that is taken when the Event occurs. The Behavior Editor
includes several dialogs to set the various Actions. These are the
Links, Actions, Formulas and Metamorph Dialogs.
The Links Dialog is pretty straightforward and mirrors the Links
Dialog in the Object Editor. The primary difference is not in the
link but in the Events that can be used to trigger it. A standard
hyper-link requires that a user click on it. A Behavior however,
can be used to trigger a link when any of many different events
occur. These could be when a user moves a mouse over an
Object, when two objects intersect or when a formula value is
realized. Is28fig2 http://www.imswebtips.com/is28fig2.htm
illustrates a simple example where a link will be selected if you
correctly answer a simple math problem. A bad answer will
trigger a rebuke.
The Actions Dialog provides the most common actions that can
be taken when an event occurs. Unlike the Link, Value and
Metamorph Dialogs, the Actions dialog can assign actions when
the Object is triggered either Active or Not Active. The Motion,
Visible and Sound check boxes will work on the current Object
to start or Stop its Action component, make it Visible or
Invisible or to play a Sound Effect. is28fig3.htm illustrates all three
examples when you click on the Object.
The Trigger and Reset check boxes can be used to make another
Object Active or Inactive. In the example at is28fig4.htm two Objects
will alternately trace a path as in the previous example but will be
triggered by each other with the Trigger boxes.
The Reset Path and Reset Trigger check boxes can be used to
restart an Object's Action and reset the Behavior. This is
normally done when an Object enters the 'Not Active' state. For
example, an Object can be set to trace a path 3 times when it is
triggered active with a Mouse click. If the 'At Path End' option is
selected in the 'End Event' dialog, the Object will enter the Not
Active state when it has finished tracing the path. By checking
the Not Active 'Reset Path' and 'Reset Trigger' options, the
animation can be restarted by clicking on the Object again after
it has finished tracing the path. If the box is not checked, the
Object can not be restarted. By checking the 'Reset Path' and
'Reset Triggers' boxes in the Active section, the animation can
be restarted at any time. is28fig4.htm uses the Reset Path
and Reset Triggers options to reset each Wizard to start again
when triggered by the other Wizard.
The Formulas and Metamorph dialogs can be used to create
more advanced Behaviors. These will be IMS Tip topics for a
near future newsletter.
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