Enabling the Next Page Button after Media Completion in Training Studio

One of our Training Studio customers wanted to disable the “Next Page” button on a “Media Full Screen” template until the video was completed. We had the hooks in there and thus this was an easy change. The relevant “load” code is shown below.

$(function () {
	// template population code omitted

	var videoId = document.getElementById("player_0");

	if (videoId != null) { // can play HTML5 video
	    videoId.addEventListener("ended", contentCompleted);
	else {
	// bind keyboard events

The $() means that the jQuery will call the function after the page fully loads. We then get our hands on the HTML object that we use to play our HTML 5 audio or video. If the browser is not HTML 5 capable, then we call the contentCompleted function right away so that the user is not stuck. We then handle the ended event with the addEventListener method. We tell it to call the contentCompleted function when the video is ended. This function is shown below.

function contentCompleted(e) {
    // show completion image
    //enable next page button

We make two function calls to our main JavaScript file. We refer to it via parent since it is attached to the parent object (the templates are shown in an iFrame of the page – so the page is the parent). The CompletionImageRef.show() line shows our completion image while the SetBtnStatus method sets the Next page button to enabled (and keeps it visible).


fontFace, fontStyle, and fontSize

Here is a recent email from a customer: Is there a code you know of…. to use in the Command Window that would change the text of a field to:

font = ms sans serif, font style = bold, size = 14.

I am have to change several fields (not all) to this and looking for a faster method than highlighting and clicking on all the info to change.

Here is my response:

Good idea. Easiest is to select the field in question and use this script in the Command Window:

fontFace of selection = "ms sans serif"; fontStyle of selection = "bold"; fontSize of selection = 14

If you don’t see the results, the text itself may have a different font applied. In that case, you can use this script:

fontFace of text of selection = "ms sans serif"; fontStyle of text of selection = "bold"; fontSize of text of selection = 14

Building a Glossary

This feature is a short segment from Jeff’s Programming for e-Learning Developers book.

Building a Glossary

A common e-Learning requirement is to be able to click on a hyperlink and display a popup display of the corresponding definition. We’ll implement a simple version of this capability in this chapter. We’ll build on techniques we learned in the Hyperlinking to a URL chapter in order to create the hyperlinks. To make things interesting and to avoid having to create a custom “data store” of the glossary names and definitions for each environment, We’ll add a GetGlossaryDefinition method to our ASP.NET service and call that to retrieve the actual definition.

ASP.NET Web Service

We first created this service in the Sending Email chapter. To add a glossary lookup capability, we first need to decide how to store the glossary entries. A good choice is a database. We’ll use an Access database adapted from our Training Studio product and locate it in the “App_Data” directory of our web site. This is a good choice since ASP.NET will prevent anything in this directory from being downloaded. We’ll use a simple structure where we look up the value based on the GlossaryName column and store the value in the GlossaryDefinition column.

We’ll include a stored query called ReadGlossaryEntries that We’ll use to load the entire table of glossary entries into memory from the web service. This allows us to “cache” the data on the web server. When a glossary request comes in, the web server will only read the database if it is not already in memory. This dramatically improves performance and is why we can get away with using Access rather than a higher-powered database like SQL Server. We don’t have time to get into the details of how the e-Learning developer would add, edit, or delete glossary entries, but there are options ranging from simple forms in Access to a separate editor application (which is what we use in Training Studio).

Here is the implementation code (Visual Basic) for our new GetGlossaryDefinition web method.

Imports System.Data
Imports System.Data.OleDb

<WebMethod()> Public Function GetGlossaryDefinition(ByVal accessKey _
	As String, ByVal glossaryKey As String) As String

	Dim glossaryDefinition As String = accessKeyInvalidString

	If accessKey = Me.WebServiceAuthorizationKey Then
		Dim viewId As DataView = Me.GlossaryDataView

		viewId.RowFilter = String.Format("GlossaryName = '{0}'", _
			glossaryKey.Replace("'", ""))
		If viewId.Count > 0 Then
			glossaryDefinition = viewId(0)("GlossaryDefinition").ToString
			glossaryDefinition = "Definition not found."
		End If
	End If

	Return glossaryDefinition
End Function

Private ReadOnly Property GlossaryDataView() As DataView
		Dim viewId As DataView

		If Current.Cache("GlossaryDataView") Is Nothing Then
			Dim conStr As String = _
				String.Format("provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0; Data 
				Source={0}App_Data\Glossary.mdb", _

			Dim conId As New OleDbConnection(conStr)
			Dim commandId As New OleDbCommand("ReadGlossaryEntries", conId)
			Dim adapterId As New OleDbDataAdapter(commandId)
			Dim tableId As New DataTable

			commandId.CommandType = CommandType.StoredProcedure
			viewId = tableId.DefaultView
			Current.Cache("GlossaryDataView") = viewId
			viewId = CType(Current.Cache("GlossaryDataView"), DataView)
		End If

		Return viewId
	End Get
End Property

We start by importing two additional namespaces that we need: System.Data (having to do with general database objects) and System.Data.OleDb (having to do with communicating with Access databases). We then mark GetGlossaryDefinition with the <WebMethod()> attribute to denote that it can be called externally and make it Public. As with our previous examples, we validate against our WebServiceAuthorizationKey, which is stored in the web.config file on the web site. From there we read our GlossaryDataView property to get our viewId object, which is of type DataView. A DataView is a representation of a table that can be sorted and, what we are looking for, filtered. To do this, we set its RowFilter property. We use the fact that the column with our “key” is named “GlossaryName.” So if we are looking for the definition of “bass,” the RowFilter would be: GlossaryName = ‘bass’. We put the value in single quotes to account for the situation where it is multiple words (like “lead guitar”). We remove any single quotes in the key to avoid formatting problems. We now check the Count of our viewId. If it is greater than 0 (it should be 1 but we don’t want it to stop working if we get a duplicate entry for some reason), we get the first row (viewId(0)) and then the “GlossaryDefinition” column. Since this could presumably have other types of data, we call its ToString method to get the text version. This is what we return from our method call.

Let’s now look at the GlossaryDataView property. This is ReadOnly, meaning that we only read the data and never set it. It is also Private, which means that it can only be used by methods within the web service (e.g., we couldn’t read it from our ToolBook, Flash, or other applications). We define our viewId return type and then check the Cache to see if it is holding an object with the “GlossaryDataView” key. If not, we read the database. To do this, we start with our “connection string,” which is the conStr variable. We use Request.PhysicalApplicationPath to get our hands on the actual local file path of our web site. Our provider is “Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0” and our data source is the complete path to the database. We could add a password if needed as well. Once we have a connection string, we use this to build an OleDbConnection object. This is what actually connects to the database. We use this in turn to build an OleDbCommand object, telling it the name of the query, more generally called a “stored procedure,” (“ReadGlossaryEntries”) and passing it the connection. Still not done, we use this command to create an OleDbDataAdapter object. This is what actually executes the query. We want to read the query into a DataTable object, so that is what we create next. We are now ready to go. We call the Open method of our conId connection object. We set the CommandType property of our command object to tell it that what we passed back in its “constructor” was the name of a stored procedure (query). We then call the Fill method of the adapter to execute the query and write the results to our tableId object. From there, we read its DefaultView property to get what we are looking for, a DataView object. So that we don’t have to keep touching the database (which is a relatively slow operation), we add viewId to the Cache. Until the web server needs the memory for something else, future calls the web service will get viewId directly out of memory. Either way, we return viewId to the calling method.

Programming for e-Learning Developers Information

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Responsive Web Design Book

I’m getting ready to work on a major design of plattecanyon.com and our other web sites. I like the concept called “responsive web design” where the site adjusts automatically to different browser capabilities and device sizes. I’m finding this book quite helpful: Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS3.

Even better, I am reading it on my Kindle and can click on the sample links and check them out in real-time. When I open the book in my Kindle for Windows 8 application, I can view it on one monitor and have Visual Studio 2012 on the other monitor. Nice!