Disabling Navigation Buttons on a Per Topic Basis






Initial version.



Added StudyHallHints.zip



Added DisablePrevNext-via-PageStyle(r1).zip which implements StudyHallHints.zip code into test project.



Added DisablePrevNext-via-PageStyle(r2).zip which fixes problems with previous revision.


Code did not work for DaveTruman. So not sure whether this project has workable code or not. You have been warned.

Description / Overview

I need to disable the previous/next (and SyncTOC ideally) buttons for particular pages (specified by a PageStyle marker in source) in my (Webworks Help 5.0) output. I'll get more into the use case below, but Ben Allums said it sounded like browse sequences in old WinHelp; that's a good way to understand what I need. I essentially have topics that should not be in the online TOC or be linked linearly - they are standalone, accessed only via links (and index and search).

After doing initial work to catch the PageStyle marker in pages.xsl and add some special text to Page.asp when the marker is found, we determined that there is no way to do this via XSL transformations and Page template commands alone. The Webworks Help 5.0 javascript runtime engine assumes that prev/next navigation is either on or off, globally, and if on, assumes the user wants to be able to page through the output from start to finish. So changing this behavior involves changing the Javascript engine itself.

Thanks to Jesse Wiles's help in a recent Study Hall, who determined that the functionality sounded a lot like how the PDF button works, and wrote some test code based on the PDF button code, that would theoretically disable the navigation buttons. This code was implemented in the latest attachment, but it's not quite working.

I think what's missing is to call the code correctly. It seems like pages.xsl should have a way to tell the engine to use the navigation button disable code when processing a page with the PageStyle marker. So far everything I've tried to do this has not worked. And that's where we're at.


((leaving the rest of the article until it works)) Let's imagine that we want to make a large user guide appear less overwhelming. A typical "design pattern" for doing this is to include only general information in the guide (print and online) with links to detailed topics in the online version. These detail topics are not conceptually part of the structure of "the book": they aren't listed in the TOC, and they are not related by their order in the source file. Expand/Collapse sections or Pop-up Windows are the standard ways to do this, but they don't work if you are also generating formats that don't support those, such as JavaHelp.

Webworks Help 5.0 (and Dynamic HTML) assumes that the pages it generates should all be linked together with prev/next buttons (although you can turn them off globally in a project/stationery). This makes it hard to generate online output that is both linear (book like) and non-linear (info database). (I'm concentrating on Webworks Help 5.0 but this all seems as-or-more applicable to Dynamic HTML, so keeping it in mind.)

The Webworks Help 5.0 "engine" does know how to disable the navigation buttons, as evidenced by the fact that when you display the first page in an output, the "previous" button is disabled, and the "next" button is disabled when showing the last page. I don't know whether it determines this at "runtime" when displaying the online output, or at "compile time" when generating the output. This may be the key to making this work - for any page with a particular PageStyle marker value, trick the engine into thinking there is no topic before or after it.

Development Project, Source, Output

The following ZIP file contains a minimal ePublisher Pro (2009.3 / Frame 9) project representing the current state of, ahem, development:

* DisablePrevNext-via-PageStyle(r1).zip

It's pretty small.. Just unzip it to your machine and load the DisablePrevNext-via-PageStyle.wep in Pro. The Frame source is in ./Source and I've also included the output.

Walkthrough of Example Project

FrameMaker Source

./Source/Bk2.book is just one of the example books that comes with FrameMaker with some adaptations. Think of it as a "online" book that could be used to build a JavaHelp deliverable, WebWorks Help, Dynamic Help, etc.

ePublisher Pro Project

Minimal Style Designer changes were made: Paragraph Styles to set up the TOC and page breaks; Page Style to set up NoNavigation to not output breadcrumbs. Overrides have been made to Page.asp and pages.xsl, mostly patterned after the LaurenLever/@Solutions/Overrides/Locale to page template page.


./Formats/WebWorks Help 5.0/Pages/Page.asp has the following added after <hr wwpage:condition="header-exists" align="left" />:

<!-- Add text to page template based on PageStyle marker -->
<div wwpage:condition="NoNavigation" style="text-align:center; font: bold 10pt 'arial,verdana,sans-serif'; background-color: #FFFFCC;">
Note: The <img src="wwhelp/wwhimpl/common/images/sync.gif" height="12" />, <img src="wwhelp/wwhimpl/common/images/prev.gif" height="12" />, and <img src="wwhelp/wwhimpl/common/images/next.gif" height="12" /> navigation buttons above should be disabled for this online help reference topic but aren't.

This uses the wwpage:condition command to add a note only on pages where the Page Style is NoNavigation (tested and set on pages.xsl).


./Formats/WebWorks Help 5.0/Transforms/pages.xsl has the following added after <xsl:variable name="VarInitialConditionsAsXML">:

<!-- No Navigation -->
<!--               -->
 <xsl:if test="contains(wwstring:ToLower($ParamSplit/@stylename),'nonavigation')">
  <wwpage:Condition name="NoNavigation" />

This tests whether the PageStyle marker text is "NoNavigation" and if so, sets the condition to true for Page.asp.

There's some code a bit further down where I tried to use it to "skip navigation" but that didn't do anything, so I won't reproduce it here.

Analysis and Notes

The End

<Remember, most of the body of this article doesn't reflect the current state of the project / code. See Description / Overview section for latest.>

DevCenter/Projects/DisableNavigationButtons_on_PerTopic_Basis (last edited 2010-09-16 13:28:46 by DaveTruman)