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GUI Enhancements

Release 4.1 contains numerous enhancements to the GUI environment. The enhancements are extensive, more than we can cover on our web pages. We regularly run courses on these new techniques which will cover this in more detail, but this should give you enough of a sense of what's coming.

Resource File

'Named Resources' are a new concept in APPX. In this file, you can specify images to be used for buttons, wallpaper, icons, etc. This gives you a central point for defining the appearance of your application. It is accessed from the Utility menu in Application Design, and you can also maintain it on the fly from the SCAN display. To the left, is a screenshot of the file.

Named Resources can be referenced when specifying GUI Attributes for:

Menu and Input frames Input images
Optional Children for menus and inputs
Buttons on menus and input images
Pictures on menu and input images


For each Named Resource you specify the pathname to a graphic file. APPX can display jpg, gif and bmp graphic files. You can specify a graphic file for each of the following states.

ENABLED
DISABLED
SELECTED
ROLLOVER
ROLLOVER
SELECTED
PRESSED
WALLPAPER


The Location Type for each Named Resource State tells APPX where to go to find the resource. The valid Location Types are:

CLIENT URL - The Location of the resource is a URL which can be resolved by the APPX Client
CLIENT FILE - The Location of the resource is a pathname which can be referenced by the APPX Client
SERVER URL - The Location of the resource is a URL which can be resolved by the APPX Server.
SERVER FILE - The Location of the resource is a pathname which can be referenced by the APPX Server.
DESIGN FILE - The resource is stored with the design files for the application. The Location of the resource is in $APPXPATH/vv/aaa/Resource unless the location of the design files is changed by an FMS group. This allows you to distribute your graphics with your application.


The valid States for a resource depends on where it is used:

Menu and Input frames
...ENABLED - Appears as icon on title bar
...WALLPAPER - Appears as background picture on the image.

Input images
...ENABLED - Appears as icon on the alternate image title bar
...WALLPAPER - Appears as wallpaper on the alternate image

Optional Children for menus and inputs
...ENABLED - Appears as an icon on an "enabled" pull-down menu item, toolbar button, or popup menu item.
...DISABLED - Appears as an icon on a "disabled" pull-down menu item, toolbar button, or popup menu item.

Buttons on menu and input images
...ENABLED
...DISABLED
...SELECTED
...ROLLOVER
...ROLLOVER SELECTED
...PRESSED

Pictures on menu and input images
...ENABLED - Appears as a graphic for a Picture on the image where the Picture is defined.


In the example above, we have defined a wallpaper image that is stored on the server. The graphic file is /appx41/images/appxbu2.gif'.

Traditionally, APPX application menus are pretty boring, just a list of the different choices. One possible use of wallpaper on a menu would be to have a image representing the application, with 'hot spots' on it that the user can click to activate different functions.

Here's how this can be done: Continue to the next step


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