Fonts, Texts and Images - User Interface Tailoring

The Fonts module provides for users to tailor their interface with the system and, where appropriate, to generate XML data from information in pages.

On entry to the module (by clicking the Fonts button) the system presents a list of recently used data identifiers, the top of the list being the last one used. The list will be about 500 items in length (depending on certain system parameters). If the module is invoked very near to the first system screen after log-on, the Font module itself will be in that list, but is not included at later stages.

The list consists of general entries in the form of the text presented on the screen, data identifiers which always start with a "@", and screen headers which always start with ":".

There are a small number of special cases, such as the Master Menu screen header, which have unique characteristics, but apart from these, all entries have the same properties.

The user selects an entry from the list, and clicks the Update button.

Screen Headers

Screen Headers (starting with a ":") are used to set screen titles, background colour, and default font size. The user can substitute any text for the title (in any language) and this will appear in all subsequent invocations of the screen.

An option is provided to move the screen banner including the Font, Help and Print buttons, etc., to the top or bottom of the screen, or to opt for default (i.e. where they were in the previous screen).

Care should be taken when changing text, so that it will not be confused with other screens. Two screens having the same name and appearing identical on the Font list will be confusing. Please note that, as any text entered is effectively being published on the Web, Rimsco Limited reserve the right to take any appropriate action should text be entered which is offensive or illegal in any way.

On pressing the Update button, the changes are effected and the system returns to the screen from which Fonts was invoked, which remains the same as it was before any changes. Any changes will take place when the screen is next visited.

Pressing the Exit button returns in the same way but without making any changes.

General Entries

Fonts allows changes to be made to the General Entry text, which may be replaced by other text in any language, of any font or colour. The text may be re-positioned on the screen to appear on the left, right or in the middle (default being whatever the preceding entry setting was). The text may be accompanied (or replaced entirely) by an image positioned left or right of it, or may initiate a sound sequence (a jingle, synthesized speech, a bell, etc.) or a "plug-in" (a program which runs on the user PC). Images may be chosen from the standard set listed by Fonts, but may also be user chosen residing on the PC or a local LAN disc or another server, in all of which cases a full path name is required (e.g. file//C|/Mygifs/funnyface.gif although some browsers accept a simple C:\Mygifs\funnyface.gif). Care should be taken not to try to embed .gif files nor to "display" sound/video files as images. Finally, there is a "Default Button" selection, which has the effect of using the selected image wherever the system requires an "action button". As all "action buttons" start life as the default image, changing the image will change all subsequent action-buttons on the screen until another default button setting is encountered.

Clicking the Update button effects the changes and returns the user to the previous (unchanged) screen, clicking Exit discards the changes.

Data Identifiers

Data Identifiers start with "@" and are treated almost the same as general entries. The user can change their name (e.g. substitute the local language equivalent) but as the data is generated by the system, the content remains unchanged except for font, colour, position, accompanying images, etc.

Changing the background colour affects only table elements (cells) for most browsers, as data entry boxes are standard browser-dependent formats.

Clicking the Update button effects the changes and returns the user to the previous (unchanged) screen, clicking Exit discards the changes.

Master Menu Header

Master Menu screen header has one additional option to other screen headers, which is the default address of images/icons.

Generally, if this option is blank, the system generates HTML which causes images/icons etc. chosen from the standard list to be supplied to the browser from the Accounts server, i.e. across the Internet. This is wasteful of your modem/access-line bandwidth as the browser should be checking for new content on every screen (see "mainhelp" document - browser set-up). Consequently, this option allows the browser to utilise images/etc. from the supplied diskette/CD on a local drive or server (or you can download the contents of the images and icons directories from your Accounts server to your local disk). Please note that some browsers will insist that the data is supplied from a secure (i.e. encrypted) source when running encrypted to your Rimsco Accounts server.

Checking the box next to the default address entry will cause the new address to be used for images/icons if the Update button is clicked.


XML forms can be generated by the system for any selected screen, but care must be taken to select screens which contain meaningful data.

By clicking the XML button after selecting a Screen Header entry, the user can enter XML document header data for that screen. Please note that it is this header data (i.e. Schema information, etc.) that initiates the XML generation for the screen - no header information, no XML!

When the system encounters the end of the screen or another screen header (whether it is another XML screen header or not) the system "foots" the current XML document. An extra button appears on the screen banner, labelled XML. Clicking on this button provides a download option for the generated XML document.

However, the document will be empty unless XML statements have been made against the screen contents.

This is achieved by selecting relevant screen general entries and placing an XML name (or names) and level (or levels) 0 to 9 against them. In the system, XML levels are considered to be a pyramid, at the base of which (level 0) is actual data. Thus, on a screen showing an invoice, the start of the invoice (say, the text entry "Supplier") might be level 5 and each detail line (text "Invoice Line Number") might be labelled level 3. Then, the reference number in each detail line might be level 0 and also the line total figure. Whenever a level 0 is encountered by the system, the data from the object (or the next data object if it was a general entry) is extracted and inserted into the XML document.

Thus, an XML document would be generated with the headers from the Screen Header, a "Supplier" tag, an "Invoice Line" tag, a "Reference" tag followed by the reference itself, a "Line Total" tag followed by the value, followed by a closing tag for the line. All level 3 and below would be repeated for each invoice line. At the end of the invoice (the end of the screen) the system would automatically close the last line if the user hasn't done so, and of course the level 5 supplier tag prior to footing the XML document.

This can be applied to lists of invoices by introducing a level 6 to 9 tag before the first supplier information, and creating a level 0 for the supplier number.

As of this release, XML generation is in Beta form, and some parts of the system are not totally equipped with the required data identifiers. This is an ongoing project.


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