Sunday, January 08, 2006

More Info on "Alpha" Lists for RB 2005 LR

Now two versions of index.html. are available!

One is a short version (with 700+ lines and links); the other is a long version (with 3000+ lines and links). Take your choice. The short version is very similar to the "Alpha" list in REALbasic 5.5.x; the long version is a complete list, with links to all of the 3000+ files in the Topics folder.

I think the addition of the "alphabet bar" to the long version makes it much less "overwhelming." Click on a letter, and jump immediately to the appropriate section. Click on the red letter at the start of any section, and jump immediately back to the top. That cuts down tremendously on the scrolling involved.

Thus you have all the advantages of a complete list, but minimal disadvantages. (Plus you have links to REAL Software, the RB Forums, RBGarage, RBSource, and my RB blog!) And you still have the simplicity of a single Web page (rather than needing twenty-six or twenty-seven, with a separate letter on each).

To install involves two simple steps:

(1) Change name of "index.html" in the "Language Reference" folder to "index2.html."
(2) Put my "index.html" file in that same directory.

That's all there is to it. As long as you do step (1) before step (2), you should be fine!

If you're running Windows, you'll probably find the Language Reference folder here:

C:\Program Files\REAL Software\REALbasic 2005r4\Resources\Language Reference

If you're running a Mac, you may find the following comments from a Mac user helpful:

"It took me quite a time to find out where the Language Reference folder is - Spotlight searches for "Language reference" and"Index.html" did not help - but I found it eventually....
I have a Mac G5 running OSX 10.4.3. The LR is a part of the RB app. package. To get at it, one has to right click (or control-click) the RB app. itself, choose "Show Package Contents " then navigate to the "Resources" folder. There is no other method, as far as I am aware. As already mentioned, none of my search utilities was able to locate the file. Spotlight is the highly acclaimed search tool built into Mac OS X Tiger."

Once the new file is installed, you can still use the original home page for LR, but it will take two clicks to get there (Home button and "Language Reference Original Starting Point" link).

To uninstall, follow these two steps (in that order):

(1) Delete my index.html file from the "Language Reference" folder.
(2) Change the name of "index2.html" in that same folder to "index.html."

Incidentally, I did not assemble this file by hand. I wrote a program (in REALbasic, of course) to read through all the HTML files in the Topics folder, to extract the necessary information, to sort the entries, and to put together the new index.html file.

If I find time, I may improve the file so that it makes use of a Table (or the CSS equivalent of a Table) in order to have multiple columns. For now, however, you'll have to be content with a single-column "Alpha" index (which is essentially how it was done in RB 5.5.x).


Warm regards,


P.S. Someone complained that my index.html file is "very complete" to the extent that it is "overwhelming," and he is probably right. It is "very complete," because I let the computer make the list for me. Feel free to "trim it down" or customize it as you desire (I may come out with a shorter version myself). The hard work has been done. It's easier to have too many links and have to decide what ones to cut than it is to have too few links and have to find out what "missing links" to add. So, yes, be forewarned: the file is (needlessly?) long and can be much improved, either by omitting needless links (e.g., subitems under a class) or by putting the links into a multi-column table.

Incidentally, this particular index.html file works only with RB 2005. It will not work correctly, I'm told, with the Language Reference files for RB 2006.

Barry Traver

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