Behavior Actions.

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 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  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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