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Corporate blog of SCHEMA GmbH

Carry-on Docu – HTML5 in ST4 2014

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Does this sound familiar? You are waiting for your next appointment in your calendar and want to make use of the time by quickly surfing the web. But the content of the opened sites is extending beyond the display and requires zooming or moving to be able to see it at all.

This is due to the fact that many websites do not yet provide a special version for mobile devices. Two years ago the IT sector’s solution for this problem was HTML5. A development of – you might be guessing it – HTML4, however with expanded semantic tagging and the possibility of using one’s own attributes. This makes it possible to adapt websites to various display sizes – responsive design is the magic word here – and prohibits display problems on tablets and smart phones. In a technical environment and in manufacturing, this problem becomes more and more important because of the increasing use of tablets and smart phones in the professional world. Therefore HTML5 support has been integrated in the new ST4 version 2014.

Features

What does this mean for the ST4 user? It enables production of content in the HTML5 layout which is based on the HTML Framework Bootstrap V3.1.1. The exported files are available in the Bootstrap format and use the respective Bootstrap style sheets and scripts. The output format is denoted as HTML in the properties during production. The usual options like target language, variants or layout style sheets can be adapted as before. If no individualized style sheets or layouts are used, the style sheets existing in Bootstrap serve as style templates. The published document is then also completely available as an HTML page incl. CSS, scripts and graphics.

Why does it have to be Bootstrap? Because it offers a lot of advantages: On the one hand it is an open source software, which is available quickly and at low cost right here: (http://getbootstrap.com/). Through the widespread of Bootstrap among web developers and web designers, many companies have a basic knowledge of the program. This simplifies its use in multiplex case scenarios. Among them are customization of layouts to individual requirements per CSS3 or Javascript or a logical and simple denotation of classes and variables. This allows among other things, as mentioned above, a flowing layout in responsive design.

Additionally on the web many extensions, templates and themes are available which make it possible to optimally customize the functioning of the system to one’s own demands. By using Bootstrap, compared to the use of proprietary layout denotations in HTML, the biggest possible compatibility to common web technologies (browsers) is achieved. So the options in ST4 become even more flexible and increasingly comfortable.

Responsive Design – What is that?

What does “responsive design” mean exactly? Responsive Design adapts the displayed content to the various use characteristics of mobile devices, like having navigation bars that slide to the top or the side and will only become visible again by clicking a symbol (dropdown menu, off canvas). Responsive Design makes operating mobile devices easier for the user.

Responsive Design EN

Local search based on JavaScript or markups for accessible HTML pages can also be added to an ST4 production. An additional special feature is the support of platform-independent functions like Apple iOS Touch Icons, Microsoft Windows 8: Windows Tile Icons or Microsoft IE9+: Pinned Sites. Thus problems of displaying on various systems are avoided. Layouts can be tailored exactly to the output device of the customer.

ST4 2014 productions can also be output directly in the Microsoft Help Viewer 2.x format. Directly creating help pages from an ST4 system is immensely simplified by this. Moreover a direct production in the SCHEMA Content Delivery Server is also possible so that help pages and documents are available everywhere for mobile devices.

Conclusion

With the new version ST4 2014, the content can easily and effectively be output as HTML5. The simultaneous provision of content for conventional screens and mobile devices is made possible by a new production. Thus ST4 enables a quick adaptation of your documentation to modern requirements.

Author: Jochen Marczinzik

Team lead web and mobile development at SCHEMA GmbH

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