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LeafLet X

A series of new features are available in Leaflet X.

Outputs

 output (for fashionable tablets and good old PCs)

Leaflet documents should also be available on the mobile platform .

We have come to the conclusion that HTML5 is probably the most appropriate format to use in order to seamlessly distribute documents to all tablets and PC alike.

Each tablet or PC provides a browser with sufficient support of HTML5 regardless of the operating system it uses (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android etc…) We consider the following browsers : Internet explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari.

HTML5 provides new interesting functions that allow rendering the layout of complex documents very precisely. With extensive support of Javascript it is also capable of offering the same Leaflet built-in functions that guarantee a good user experience as in our Flash output like:

  • Pageflip
  • Cascading menu’s
  • Full text search
  • Zooming
  • Highlight
  • Inside and outside hyperlinks
 

HTML5 pages can be browsed offline without specific user intervention. Transition between online and offline status is transparent to the user. Distribution of the files is therefore very simple and doesn’t need to go through Itunes or other similar stores.

New Word output

Leaflet can now output to the world’s most popular word processor.
While DTP software like Indesign typically place objects on a page, Word works mainly with a text flow.
The output to Word has been able to meet this specific behaviour, in such a way that editing the Word document is an easy task.

PDF output

Initial view parameters can be defined in the PDF profile.

Indesign output

Leaflet now supports Indesign CS5.5

Pictures can be included into Indesign tables. Previously it was necessary to define inline pictures through calculated fields in order to keep a table structure in Indesign. This is no longer necessary.

The Javascript output includes on request the necessary resources (like pictures) and this script can be send to any other machine (PC or Mac) to be executed there.

Flash output

Vector picture formats like EPS and PDF are now natively supported in Flash. Zooms can be done at full resolution as those files are not pixelated. Very useful for (complex) technical drawings.

Hyperlinks are now fully supported.

Packaging

In order to share projects easily we have implemented the “packaging” concept into Leaflet (just like in Indesign…). All necessary resources in order to replay a document will be packaged near to the document itself ready to be zipped for transfer.
No need to look for fonts, pictures or database, Leaflet does it all for you.

Most noticeable is the fact that the database is subsetted to the bare records necessary to feed the templates used in the document. These data are extracted from the original database and copied to a SQLite database for easy (one file!) and lightweight transfer.

Finally the Leaflet document is adapted to point to the extracted resources and saved with another name to be sure it opens without a hitch on any other environment even in batch.

New internal database

The internal database of Leaflet switches to SQLite (http://www.sqlite.com/index.html). SQLite describes itself as “a self-contained, serverless, zero-configuration, transactional SQL database engine. SQLite is the most widely deployed SQL database engine in the world.”

Our tests show that SQLite performance is perfectly adequate for extensive Leaflet use. As explained above, the first usage of SQLite is for subsetting the databases in the packaging process. A lot of other application areas are within reach.

New filling method

Some interesting new ways of filling have been added:

  1. You can fill within existing pages. This means that the end of the “free” blank page pushed by Leaflet at the end of a subsection is nearby.
  2. You can force Leaflet to fill at given X,Y coordinates (typically coming from fields in the Key database or Calculated fields). On the contrary to existing methods, this is a fixed filling method and Leaflet doesn’t check of the necessary area is already used, so there is possible overlay.
    This opens a lot of new possibilities.
  3. You can ask Leaflet to “flood” the last DB Container of a page till the end of the DB Container area of the page style. This way dynamic contents can be placed at the bottom of the page without having to resize the last container.

Miscellaneous user interface enhancements

Smart docking of palettes

If you feel you spend your time moving palettes away from the page or the scroll-bar, there is good news. The enhanced screen interface repositions the palettes between page and scroll-bar.

Merging/splitting of Subsections

Merging and splitting subsections will now be possible.

Partial support of Undo/Redo

One of the most wanted features becomes possible in the new environment.
Partial support means that moves, deletions and creations, cut, copy and paste of any (collection of) graphical object will be undoable (for multiple levels).
We feel it covers a broad percentage of the operations you want to be undone.