Using the Dialog Editor

The Eloquence Development Environment provides an integrated dialog editor to create, manage and edit dialog resources in multiple formats. The dialog editor makes it easy to visually design dialog resources while still keeping compatibility with existing file formats.

The integrated dialog editor uses plugin modules to handle various dialog formats. The plugin is responsible for loading and storing the resource file and translate it into or from the internal format. When the Eloquence Development Environment is started, it locates the available plugins. The dialog plugins can be configured in the Application Properties.

The Dialog Editor

Dialog editor windows are regular windows in the Eloquence Development environment. However unlike text or program windows, there could be multiple dialog definitions in a dialog resource file. When the last dialog window of a dialog resource file is closed, the associated dialog resource file is closed.

The Browse Toolwindow

The Browse Toolwindow provides a list of loaded dialog resource files, dialogs in a dialog resource file and the objects contained in a dialog.

Double clicking on a dialog entry selects the corresponding object and either opens the dialog window or brings the dialog window to the top of the window stack.

Clicking with the rightmost mouse button (or pressing the Shift+F10 keys while an object or dialog is selected) will open the context menu for an object or dialog. The context menu can be used to

If a dialog or a dialog object is not visible, it is indicated with a hallow icon. If a dialog object is visible, it is shown with a solid icon. If a dialog object is invisible, the Browse Toolwindow is actually the only method to select the object and change its visibility.

To change the hierarchical order of an object (tab order), select it with the leftmost mouse button and hold the mouse button down while dragging it over the object after which it shall be inserted, then release the mouse button (drop the object).

Please note that this method cannot be used to move an object across different dialogs.

Changing the hierarchical order of an object does not change the object coordinates. Thus, if an object is moved into a different hierarchy level, this might result in an object position which is outside the object's new parent. In this case, the object will not be visible and its coordinates must be manually changed using the Object Property Window or the Status Bar.

The Object Palette

New objects are chosen from the Object Palette. It provides all "native" objects contained in the current dialog file format and additional objects that are defined as templates ("models"). The available object types depend on what is supported by the dialog file format of the active dialog window. The dialog file name is included in the title bar of the Object Palette.

New objects can be dragged from the Object Palette into any dialog belonging to the dialog resource file indicated in the title bar of the Object Palette Window.

When you have added an object to the dialog, you can change its title or any of its other properties in the Object Property Window. You can display the Object Property Window by double clicking on the object.

Please refer to Object types in a dialog and Adding objects to a dialog for details about using the Object Palette.

The Status Bar

When a dialog window is active (the topmost client window), the status bar provides additional elements.

These fields are editable, so the object values can be changed by entering a new value and pressing the RETURN key.

The Object Property Window

The ObjectProperty window is used to edit the object properties. It can be displayed from the object context menu, or by double clicking on an object. When the Object Property window is visible, it will automatically display the values of the currently selected object.

The ObjectProperty window divides the properties into categories, such as Position or Style. If a category is expanded by clicking the + mark in front of the category or by pressing the SPACE key while the category is selected, the properties of this category become visible.

If a property value is derived either from a template object ("model") or from the property default value, the value is displayed with a grey background and additional information indicating the values's origin.

A new property value can be entered after double clicking with the mouse or pressing the RETURN key while the property value is selected. When a new value is entered and the RETURN key is pressed, the new property value is set. The object will be updated accordingly.

If the dialog template file or the dialog resource file provides symbolic values for the current property, they can be chosen from a drop-down select box instead of the real values.

To reset a value to its default (that is derived either from a template object or from the property default value), choose the Restore Default Value command from the context menu. To access the context menu, either click the rightmost mouse button on the desired property or press the Shift+F10 keys while the property is selected.

Arrays of property values can be expanded by clicking the + mark in front of the array name or by pressing the SPACE key while the array is selected. When an array is expanded, the array members become visible.

If an array has a fixed dimension, the dimension is displayed with the array name, e.g. EqKbRule[10]. If not (e.g. content[]), new array members can be dynamically added by double clicking the array name or pressing the RETURN key while the array name is selected.

The Object Context Menu

The object context menu provides operations on the selected object(s). This includes deletion, controlling the visibility, opening the Object Property or Palette Window associated with the dialog or the selected object.

When deleting an object, please be aware that deletions are hierarchically. So deleting the root object or a container object will delete all child objects as well.

Please refer to The Dialog Context Menu for a description of the object specific operations.

© Copyright 1997 Hewlett-Packard GmbH. All rights reserved.
Revision: 98/02/18