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Geo SCADA Help as a child window in ViewX

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Ensign

Geo SCADA Help as a child window in ViewX

@BevanWeissand I got off-topic in my post about Channel quantity.

https://community.exchange.se.com/t5/Geo-SCADA-Expert-Forum/ClearSCADA-Channel-Quantity/m-p/188641#M...

So, I am making a new post that is just about the help.

 

I copied out the relevant parts from the other post.

 

BevanWeiss

The help is absolutely broken in GSExpert.. if you have a modal dialog (as pretty all dialogs in ViewX are) then you can't access the help without closing all the dialogs.

 

geoffpatton

I do not like that the Help opens in a uselessly small docked window. I find it better to be a separate App Window. I like to leave it open and minimize it to the taskbar.

 

 

BevanWeiss

Yes.. the Help is now within the same process as ViewX.  This is apparently a requirement of Virtual ViewX 😞

Microsoft RDS handled having it as a separate process, and displayed everything really nicely when run as a Remote App.

Have you tried the help with the new Jan 2020 release?

 

sbeadle

Thanks for your feedback on the Help. We have allowed Help to be dragged out as a standalone window, and (in the Jan release) allow it to be a tab, so it can be flipped under another window. We're looking at behaviour when a dialog is shown..

 

BevanWeiss

sbeadle Hi Steve, RE: "We have allowed Help to be dragged out as a standalone window", has this change been made after the Jan 2020 update?

I've had a few issues with the 'new help', SUP-11355 [unable to have ViewX in foreground whilst Help open], which saw a few changes made, and after testing of those changes in the Jan 2020 update, I've now got SUP-11404 [Unable to access help pane when launched whilst modal dialog active].

My understanding is that the ViewX launched help is NOT a 'standalone window' as this would have broken the Virtual ViewX capability.  It is a child window (via the ViewX Window Manager) of the ViewX window itself, which is where the issues come about.

The work-around that JChamberlain provided was to launch the help via either the Server Configuration tool or the Server Status tool.

I'd still love if the default behaviour was as a separate process (as the old behaviour), and only when launched with the "/thinfinityvirtualui" argument would it be within the Window Manager.  I would have thought this to be a pretty easy change.  Bring back the old ViewX code launching the separate process help, and then just conditionally execute the new code if the /thinfinityvirtualui argument is present.  Then, when run under VirtualViewX things can work as intended for that environment, and in the non-VirtualViewX environment, we get to keep the old behaviour 🙂

 

JChamberlain

I guess we're getting a bit off topic, but the guys have had a bit of a look and it is much more complex than just reverting the code and having it depend on the argument.

We'll take into account that geoffpatton agrees with you, if anyone else reading also hates it feel free to chime in.

13 REPLIES 13
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Ensign

Re: Geo SCADA Help as a child window in ViewX

One of the things we've heard complaints about is when the help is docked, it shrinks the mimics (rightfully so).  If your mimic has any fixed layers the entire layer just looks goofy.  This is just aesthetics at so it's not a nuisance really. 

 

With the ability to pop out the help now, I haven't had any big complaints.  It doesn't show up in my task-bar but it's really not that big of a deal.  The only downside I've run into is when you minimize ViewX when doing development it'll minimize the help window as well. 

 

I can't be the only one that does this -- but opening the help file in a browser is usually what I end up doing anyway.  There are times when the help doesn't render very well due to a 4k display (maybe that's fixed now that it's in ViewX), but opening it up in a browser always resolved the issue for me. 

 

It seems today like more and more applications are pushing users to an online based help and Geo SCADA provides that.  I'm probably in the minority but I feel the best path forward is to always open help in a browser.  The context driven help can simply pass along the proper URL to the end user.  I see this as the most logical path forward.  I'm not sure what advantage having the help canned inside of ViewX brings. 

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Ensign

Re: Geo SCADA Help as a child window in ViewX

Inside ViewX makes it work with Virtual ViewX however, since you cannot edit in Virtual ViewX I do not think I would ever want to open the help from it.

 

I like it when you press F1 it takes you to the relevant page, although that does not seem to be as good as it was in the original Help. HTML help was necessary though and I am glad they kept that feature.

 

I sometimes open it in a browser also.

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Commander

Re: Geo SCADA Help as a child window in ViewX

@tfranklin how does the 'open in browser' work for you?

When I select to "Open in new window" I get this... (GeoSCADA Expert 2019 Jan 2020 Update)

2020-02-13 08_47_22-ViewX.png

 

And if I float the help, I get this situation.. where I can't get focus onto the help..

2020-02-13 08_50_31-ViewX.png

 

Similar issue if I dock it.

2020-02-13 08_51_48-Local_Test Mimic - ViewX.png

 

The Back/Forward buttons still seem broken if you use the breadcrumbs too 😞


Lead Control Systems Engineer for Alliance Automation (VIC).
All opinions are my own and do not represent the opinions or policies of my employer, or of my cat..
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Lieutenant

Re: Geo SCADA Help as a child window in ViewX

I think those are just a consequence of it being in a browser container; I think they're more likely to be disabled or marked as not supported than fixed!

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Ensign

Re: Geo SCADA Help as a child window in ViewX

I am on the first release for Geo SCADA and The help links work fine in Chrome, Firefox, and IE. Edge doesn't really display anything.

Highlighted
Ensign

Re: Geo SCADA Help as a child window in ViewX

I configured a button to just hyperlink --> open in new window and pasted the URL for my local help file:

 

file:///C:/ProgramData/Schneider%20Electric/ClearSCADA/Help_en-US/Default.htm

 

The first time you press it it'll ask where you want it to open up and I selected my default browser (Firefox).  Now every button press it opens up help in my browser.   You could always just bookmark the URL in your browser and hit it any time.

 

If you're referring to the help in a VVX container -- I have no clue.  I don't think it'll be possible to launch it externally from within a VVX window, but what I was suggesting is for the VVX container to have a link to the server based help somewhere on the container itself (not in the VVX instance). 

 

The backwards/forwards buttons within the help file are always janky.  Half the time I use the back button it takes me to the main page of the help file rather than the previous page. 

 

With regards to the help behind an inset window -- you're 100% right and I suppose over the years I've just become numb to that kind of nuisance functionality.  It's the same issue with script library windows when editing mimics from an inset, or when clicking a button when the script editor is up and it jumps to line 1 of the script instead of staying in the place you were debugging. 

 

Over time you use these things so much and forget that it's not supposed to work that way and instead accept -- This is the way. 

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Commander

Re: Geo SCADA Help as a child window in ViewX

@geoffpatton so in the first Geo SCADA release when inside ViewX you can right click inside the help and select 'Open in new window' and it will launch IE or similar successfully?

 

Within ClearSCADA this is how I would get the separate browser version of the help.

 

But in my GeoSCADA test machine it's broken like the screenshot shows.


Lead Control Systems Engineer for Alliance Automation (VIC).
All opinions are my own and do not represent the opinions or policies of my employer, or of my cat..
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Ensign

Re: Geo SCADA Help as a child window in ViewX

Sorry @BevanWeiss 

 

I misunderstood and thought you were just saying links from inside browsers were broken but if you stayed in the ViewX help they worked fine. So I opened the default.htm in all my browsers to see what happens. I don't have the Chromium version of Edge btw.

 

So I tried again.

Inside ViewX

Blue hyperlinks in the body of a section works by opening it in IE.

It fails from the "You are here" area and the Further information links.

 

It works from the Table of Contents though and that seems to be what is in the grey area.

 

So IE is still the engine for the help, but it makes sense to use an installed browser and not recreate that functionality inside ViewX. IE is is on all supported versions of Windows. Once Chromium Edge is on all supported versions of Windows 10 and Windows 8 is EOF it could be changed to that.

 

Highlighted
Commander

Re: Geo SCADA Help as a child window in ViewX

I would prefer if they used a bundled version of Chromium / WebKit.  Since otherwise they're at the whim of whatever browser happens to be installed, with whatever happens to be going on with it (like if it has an ad blocker that interferes etc etc).

 

They already do similar (ship a Webkit browser within ViewX) for the Map display stuff..


Lead Control Systems Engineer for Alliance Automation (VIC).
All opinions are my own and do not represent the opinions or policies of my employer, or of my cat..
Highlighted
Commander

Re: Geo SCADA Help as a child window in ViewX

@tfranklin The help behind a modal dialog was never an issue before, they were separate processes.  This is a new GeoSCADA Expert 'issue' because of the Virtual ViewX single process 'projection'.

 

I can't say I've run into the script issue before.  But then I normally close down all my script windows, close the viewx mimic window and re-open it all again to test script changes.

 

You don't just press F1 to launch the help?

That's how I do it... and then previously I've just selected 'Open in new window' to launch a separate web browser to display the help.  This seems broken in the latest GeoSCADA Expert also.


Lead Control Systems Engineer for Alliance Automation (VIC).
All opinions are my own and do not represent the opinions or policies of my employer, or of my cat..
Highlighted
Ensign

Re: Geo SCADA Help as a child window in ViewX

Oh, I absolutely hit F1 for help.  It's what I do the majority of the time.  Just like you, I'm not a huge fan of the modal help that's in Geo SCADA.  You're 100% right about the modal issue and I don't disagree at all.  It seems like unintended consequences that maybe weren't thought out completely.  All I'm saying is that it makes sense for them just make the help 100% web based in the future, where there is no modal window and it's not like it used to be either.  I see nothing wrong with going to a browser for help as most other apps are trending that direction due to the flexibility of applications like Confluence. 

 

Also -- I just tested out Open in New Window from within the ViewX help and it worked okay.  That said, I don't use Edge or whatever the newest version of IE is.  When I hit Open in New Window it opened up in IE11.  I'm really not even sure where you set this as the default for something like this.  Firefox is my default browser and default for htm/html so who knows what's telling it to use IE11.  Probably some super hidden/obscure windows 10 feature.

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Ensign

Re: Geo SCADA Help as a child window in ViewX

@tfranklin 

The help is run on IE so the right-click menu is the same one you get in IE. IE is opening a new window in itself.

 

If you go up in the tread a bit you'll see a branch where Bevin and I talked about it. Also where I found that sometimes the open in new window works.

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Sisko

Re: Geo SCADA Help as a child window in ViewX

Thank you to all for your contributions.

I am now closing this thread to new comments. All feedback is being carefully considered and the development team will respond in due course. I’m marking this as ‘answered’ although there will be a response on these forums. 

 

Kind regards. 

Steve