We expect to post our second beta release of IMS Web Engine
sometime in the next week. As I previously mention, we have
made the commitment to add SVG support to version 2 of our
IMS products. This project is now well advanced with the
ability to export an IMS project in either HTML or SVG
format. With the next beta release at least some of this
capability will be included. As soon as it is functional, I
will discuss the new IMS SVG capabilities in an IMS tip
article. This will should be within the next few weeks.
Version 2 will include many other new features that I thought
it would be useful to quickly mention.
The first of these is an Append Option that many of you have
requested. The Append Option is very similar to the Open File
operation to open a new project. The difference is that the
new project will be appended to the end of the existing
project. This will allow you to create pages; Objects,
animations or other components once and then load them into
your various projects. It will also allow users to create
special effects or animations and share them with each other.
Although this appears to be a simple operation it has
required a significant amount of effort to implement. When a
project is appended to an existing project, the program must
check the entire data structure including Objects, Geometry,
Shading, Behaviors and Actions to ensure that all the
references and names remain valid. It would not be uncommon
for example, to have components with the same names in both
projects. The program must consequently check all the names
and change those that are duplicated along with all the
references to it.
In the same vain, we have also had many requests to be able
to export components for use in other editors. We have
consequently created an Export Object operation that will
easily copied and pasted into a 3rd party text based HTML
editor. One of the people here responsible for this
capability is preparing an article on creating special
effects in Web Engine that can be easily translated to a
A capability that not only derived from the need to be able
to transfer DHTML and CSS based HTML reliably but which has
been requested independently, is the capability to use
relative positioning on a Web Page. In version 1, all HTML is
given an absolute position. When viewed by Browsers set to
different resolutions, the user will see more or less of the
page depending upon the resolution selected. With relative
positioning, the page will dynamically scale to fit the
current browser resolution. A visitor will consequently see
the entire page regardless of their Browser setting. Relative
positioning is also a simple way to center your entire web
page or just some of the Objects.
Another update that has been indirectly added due to our work
on SVG is the ability for the program to dynamically select
which level of HTML to export. Currently users must select
HTML or Dynamic HTML to generate either a compact non
animated HTML file or a larger DHTML file with animation
capabilities. The program will now determine which code needs
to be included to ensure that the file is optimized for size
while still including the features that have been selected.
This ability for the program to automatically select which
code will be exported has meant that two of the 4 Preview
buttons could be removed. In their place a new Drop Box has
been added with selections for Auto HTML (the new default),
Standard HTML to force none Dynamic HTML, Dynamic HTML to
force DHTML code and SVG to enable a project to be exported
in the new SVG format.
There are many other new features planed for Version 2, which
are at various levels of development. These include a Visual
Frames editor and a Page Header editor both of which I shall
talk about in future articles.
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