Genii Weblog

Midas 4.00: More control over file attachments and file icons

Tue 6 Nov 2007, 11:18 PM

by Ben Langhinrichs
Version 4.00 of the Midas Rich Text LSX and Midas Rich Text C++ API has several major themes, one of which is better control of file attachments.  In addition to some new methods, such as the RenameAttachment method and the RefreshAttachmentIcon method, there is a new file icon rendering technology which is available with both of those new methods and with existing  methods such as the AppendFileAttachment method.  This file icon rendering allows the developer greater control over how the file icon, or graphic, appears in the text.  For example, a traditional MS Word attachment would add a wide gap in the text, looking like this[Traditional vertical MS Word file icon], but with the new file icon rendering, the same file could fit better inline as [New horizontal MS Word file icon].  In addition, the new file icon rendering technology allows you to add prefix text or suffix text, either to a traditional vertical file attachment.  For example, a Lotus Presentations file icon would normally look like this[Traditional Lotus Presentations (.odp) file icon], but could have a copyright suffix, for example, such as [Lotus Presentations file icon with copyright suffix] or could have an author prefix, such as [Lotus Presentations file icon with author prefix], both of which give greater control and additional information.  Information can be prefixed or suffixed with horizontal file icons as well, for example an author prefix (although any text is allowed) would look like [Horizontal MS Word file icon with author suffix].  Please note, the light grey background is added with horizontal icons to make it clearer that they are one clickable item, but the color could be changed, or even added to just the prefix or suffix text.  For example, it is possible that a mail system could warn users about potential hazards by recreating the file icon for an executable to include a warning and a specialized icon.  For example, might your users show a bit more hesitation before clicking [Custom executable file icon with red caution suffix] rather than the appealing looking [Traditional executable file icon]?  Please note, by the way, that these are real changes to the rich text, not just the HTML rendering, although the HTML rendering would display the same look.

Copyright 2007 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:

635.1. Julian Robichaux
(11/07/2007 09:12 AM)

That is truly awesome. I've reached a point where I don't even use inline attachments anymore because they're so difficult to read around. I just put them on their own line these days.

635.2. Ben Langhinrichs
(11/07/2007 09:23 AM)

Julian - I think that is a fairly common approach for Notes users these days, but with more CoexEdit web users who are not familiar with Notes and its odditities, I wanted to allow them to attach a file without the awful vertical constraints. One thing led to another, and now both CoexEdit and Midas have these various options. - Ben

635.3. Bruce Elgort
(11/07/2007 09:09 PM)

Very nice Mr. Ben, very nice.

635.4. Mika Heinonen
(03/25/2008 02:36 PM)

I put also attachments on their own line, that works fine. One very annoying thing is however that I can't change the filename of the attachment directly, but I have to detach, rename, and attach it again. Can't MIDAS fix that bug in specification? :)

It would be also nice that .doc, .xls, .ppt would be automatically forced to use the OpenOffice icons, so that people don't wonder why my icons look different than theirs. Another thing for MIDAS?

635.5. Ben Langhinrichs
(03/25/2008 03:24 PM)

You can certainly do either of those with Midas 4.00, Mika

635.6. Mika Heinonen
(03/25/2008 03:29 PM)

Did you just add those MIDAS 4.00 features after I wrote my comment, or did I just miss them? :)

Anyway, we are still struggling with a quite cumbersome process to convert Notes pictures to files, so you can expect a MIDAS purchase soon. Yeah, I know I planned to do that already few years ago, but my colleaque has been doing it manually, so it was not that big issue to me.

635.7. Ben Langhinrichs
(03/25/2008 03:45 PM)

Mika - LOL. No, those were both already there.

635.8. Mika Heinonen
(03/25/2008 04:07 PM)

Amazing, I've been mentioning about this shared mind concept earlier too. This once more proves it. People DO think the same thoughts at the same time, totally independant of known communication methods, it has happened before, and it's happening still.