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Rob Severijns

Help function in TNG

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Rob Severijns

Hi everyone,

Not everyone visiting my TNG familytree is very skilled in navigating the familytree and there are older familymembers who aren't skilled in browsing the web either.

This leads me to believe that for those who visit a TNG website for the first time or not frequently can easily get lost in the tree.

Not exectly knowing what they are looking at and/or where to find certain information can be a major reason for people not to return to the website.

With that in mind I have started to create some instructions on what can be found where in the familytreee and how navigation works in the familytree.

Basicly I made a Help function that works from within TNG itself. Remeber though that this doesn't replace the TNG WIKI

For the Help to work I took the following steps.

  1. I downlouded the free History template form GWT - History template which is available for free and will fully intergrate with your own TNG installation.
  2. I created a Help directory in the TNG directory (FTP)
  3. I used Notepad++ to create the help content. Made several PHP files that reflect the help topics so each helptopic has it's own php file.
  4. Created a Help link on my familytree homepage.

Clicking the Help link will open a new tab in the browser which shows the help template in a two collumn format. (See screenshots)

The left collumn is a menu with hyperinks to the different Help topics.

The right collumn contains the explanation of the specific Help topic.

Since I'm still working on it, the translation is Dutch only at the moment but as soon as all is ready I will start working on an English translation.

Bare in mind that the Help topics are based on my personal TNG installation including some installed Mods.

So for you to make it work in your own TNG installation you need to tweak the PHP files to your own needs.

This also means you will need some basic knowledge of writing PHP files. It's not to difficult for I did it too. Trial and error combined with Notepad++ and worked perfectly for me.

If anyone else is interested in this Help functionality please whisper (PM) me.

If you can't wait just let me know and I will gladly send you the current PHP files for you to work on.

Hope this is useful to others too and if you have any comments or question don't hasitate to share them.

Added are a few screenshots.

Help_start_page_Du.png

Help_ancestors_Du.png

Help_person_page.png

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Newfloridian

Hi Rob

I have always used template 4 for my website. This has the advantage of a left hand column which can be used as a navigation chanel. My site consists of the classical "internal" TNG display pages (individual people, places etc) and a sectional ("external") magazine made up of some 550 illustrated articles written using historytemplate.php. This is the lead page to one of those sections:

The Craxford Family Genealogy Magazine; The Red Pages

Several years ago, there were two articles created using historytemplate.php entitled "Help" and "FAQ". I think there are many people who have used these for exactly that function. They can be accessed from the Info dropdown menu. This is what our Help page looks like:

Help

Cheers Alan

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Rob Severijns

Hi Alan,

Thank you for your reply and a view on how you work with Help and FAQ topics.

What you did is what I'm trying to accomplish too in just a slightly different way.

Your help and FAQ pages will surely help users find their way within the familytree and that's what those pages are all about.

Well done !

Looking at your Help and FAQ pages gave me some interesting ideas too. Thank you for that :-)

I haven't used screenshots yet mainly because I'm not at that point yet but will certainly do so in the future.

Not sure whether I will incorporacte them directly on the webpage or as a thumb you can click on to see the full size picture.

 Anyhow, ideas enough but not always the amount of time needed to implement all of it.

Thanks again for your reply and helpful insights.

Rob

 

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Ken Roy

Rob,

Examples of the FAQ information can be found on the TNG Wiki at FAQ - User

and the Help - User page as well.

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Rob Severijns

Hi Ken,

I know for I have seen it and refered to it.

Those wiki pages work as an external page I could have linked too but I wanted something from within my own TNG installation.

Btw, I will actualy use information available in the wiki.

2 hours ago, Rob Severijns said:

Basicly I made a Help function that works from within TNG itself. Remember though that this doesn't replace the TNG WIKI

The reason for an internal Help/FAQ page is because many of the older users (75 - 90+) aren't able to read and understand the English language all that well let alone browse the internet the way others do.

So I needed something in Dutch that is easy accessable and available in the same layout as the website.

None the less, the info on the wiki pages is very useful too.

Rob

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Ken Roy

Rob,

Maybe I was too cryptic in my reply.  The TNG Wiki provides links to other user sites that have created such pages as Alan Craxford indicated.  I thought I have created a French translation to my How to Navigate page, by unfortunately I did not.

As was no recommending that you point users to the TNG Wiki

If you created a Help function that works within TNG, maybe you should encourage Darrin to make it part of TNG

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Rob Severijns

Ken,

No worries,

I've looked at the pages of other users too and most of them turn out to be much alike which I guess is good for it is apperently something that works well.

Once finished I will inform Darrin and we'll see if he wants to use it.

Btw, not all the links to the sites are still working.

I will send you a list of the broken links later this week.

Rob

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Ken Roy

If anyone has Graham Chamberlain's download files, they should be posted to the TNG Wiki for download.

Looks like wherever his site is hosted got upgraded to a more recent PHP version that his site cannot handle.  Last I knew Graham was fighting cancer so he is likely no longer in a position to keep his site current.

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edglimited
On 8/3/2022 at 6:32 AM, Ken Roy said:

If anyone has Graham Chamberlain's download files, they should be posted to the TNG Wiki for download.

Looks like wherever his site is hosted got upgraded to a more recent PHP version that his site cannot handle.  Last I knew Graham was fighting cancer so he is likely no longer in a position to keep his site current.

Ken, I can offer you an alternative for now, until the downloaded files are back on TNG Wiki...

https://www.katiandgraham.com/genealogy/extrapgs/faq.php

Just to add, I downloaded and compiled two doc's, from info off Graham's Site, one called Help and the other, FAQ. They are raw and not formatted in anyway. WYSIWYG. I can format them in pdf etc, but you will have to wait a week, rather busy on a project. Sorry about that, or you can use them "as-is" and compress.

 

Graham Chamberlain_FAQ (no longer available)

Graham Chamberlain_Help (no longer available)

NOTE: I have removed the download links to these files, as they contain original formatting to https://www.katiandgraham.com/genealogy/extrapgs/faq.php and may cause confusion to some people.

As @Ken Roy has pointed out in the last reply at the end of this page, the files are now available for download at Help_FAQ Files.

Thks to @bhemph for the files.

 

 

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Rob Severijns

Made some changes tot the TNG Wiki at FAQ - User and Help - User page.

Also making a referal to the alternative offered by edglimited

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edglimited
10 minutes ago, Rob Severijns said:

Made some changes tot the TNG Wiki at FAQ - User and Help - User page.

Also making a referal to the alternative offered by edglimited

Hi Rob,

Please be mindful, that Grahams WebSite is unstable. If you visit it and arrow towards the bottom, you will see what I mean.

"Warning: Illegal string offset 'basicfooter' in /homepages/42/d42111854/htdocs/genealogy/templates/template8/footer.php on line 6"

Cheers Drew..

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Rob Severijns

Hi Drew,

Thx, I noticed that too.

Have you sent them a notification?

Otherwise I will.

Not sure if and who is maintaining the website atm but we'll see if there's any response.

Greetings Rob

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Ken Roy

View page source indicates that Graham's site is at TNG 12.0.1.  Last I knew Graham was fighting cancer so he is likely not in a position to maintain his site, but his hosting service appears to have upgraded the server he is on to a PHP version that TNG v12 cannot handle.

As Alan indicated above, Graham's pages would have been created using the historytemplate.php so the look and feel format is done by the TNG Template used on the site.

15 hours ago, edglimited said:

Just to add, I downloaded and compiled two doc's, from info off Graham's Site, one called Help and the other, FAQ. They are raw and not formatted in anyway. WYSIWYG.

Drew,

I am not sure I know what you mean by compiled.  The page text should be inserted into a historytemplate.php and not a PDF

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edglimited
7 hours ago, Ken Roy said:

Drew,

I am not sure I know what you mean by compiled.  The page text should be inserted into a historytemplate.php and not a PDF

Sorry Ken, maybe my comment was a bit cloudy.

As I have no prior knowledge on how Graham had his Help / Faq files originally, I don't know how and in what format, he made them available for people to download. Were they winzip, a mod, in pdf, rtf, txt..??? Your original comment was....

On 8/3/2022 at 6:32 AM, Ken Roy said:

If anyone has Graham Chamberlain's download files, they should be posted to the TNG Wiki for download. 

Looks like wherever his site is hosted got upgraded to a more recent PHP version that his site cannot handle.  Last I knew Graham was fighting cancer so he is likely no longer in a position to keep his site current.

I simply copied Grahams Website, so that if any info was required, it would now be on file, as per my compiled doc's.. Who knows how long his current Website will be up, until it goes offline for good. Then all his info is lost. My first thought was, in what format would you like them posted to TNG Wiki for download and where. Assuming that no-one came forward, with the originals of course. As mentioned, I did the doc's in raw format, so if yourself or anyone else knew where they were to go, it would then be a simple case of copy and paste.

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Ken Roy

Drew,

Thanks for your explanation.

Unfortunately, I cannot tell from the TNG Wiki page because Graham did not indicate what file name he added to Click Counter II which no longer works with the recent PHP versions and generates all the warnings from the download link

Graham never upgraded his click counter to Click Counter III when it was made available.  I tried to save a copy of the source for his Help page but suspect it was not save successfully since I cannot open it with Notepad++ which goes into a Not Responding condition.

 

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Ken Roy

Thanks to Brent Hemphill for providing Graham's help&faq zip file that I have renamed Graham_Chamberlain_help_faq.zip and uploaded to the TNG Wiki.

I have updated both TNG Wiki articles to reflect the change.

Note that Graham's files were created using the old historytemplate.php file so might need to be updated to use the new historytemplate.php format since TNG moved the Template Settings to the database and the template variables are now only provided from the tng_begin.php file.

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Rob Severijns

Finished the Help/FAQ pages.

I will add a zip file containing all the directories and files needed.

All you have to do is unzip the file and copy/upload all of the content to your website via your FTP client.

In order for all the links to work properly you need to edit the php files by using a text editor like Notepad++ and change the text "your_site" with the actual adress of your own website.

This can be done quickly by opening all php files in Notepad++ press Ctrl H, make the desired change and choose to apply the changes to all opened files.

Unfortunately I haven't figured out how to process of changing the "your_site" part automaticly.

If you don't mind your links being tracked by bots you can also delete the rel="nofollow"  part in the url's

Next you need to create a link on your homepage like this:

<a rel="nofollow" style="color:#FFCC33" href="your_site/help/Help_faq_page_DU.php" target="_blank">Help / FAQ<br></a>

Unfortunately all is still in Dutch only (for now) but if you use a text editor like Notepad++ the text is fairly easy to translate.

If all of the above went well the Help/FAQ should work on your own website.

Unless I completely missed something.

My template is a template provided by Genealogy Web Templates

The Help/FAQ pages are based on the  GWT - Histories Template and I hope they work with the other TNG templates too

Feel free to test it and please let me know if all works fine or if you ran into something odd.

Any comments and/or suggestions are welcome.

As a final remark I'd like to mention that in the Help/FAQ pages there is some content related to certain mods and will not apply to everyone.That content will be skipped in a final release.

When all is fine and works properly I will most likely contact Darrin and ask him if there is a way for him to implement this Help/FAQ in future releases of TNG or maybe someone or a group of people is able to create a working mod first.

Hope all of this is helpfull to others too for my site-users are happy with the additional information

 

 

Edited by Rob Severijns
Zip File deleted (New version placed below)

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RickM
1 hour ago, Rob Severijns said:

Hope all of this is helpfull to others too for my site-users are happy with the additional information

Well done Rob..

 

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Rob Severijns

Thx Rick :-)

 

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bhemph

Rob,

Instead of using an absolute path and having people manually edit your_site to their site address for the TNG base url, shouldn't it be a relative path with ../ for everything except the log, which would just start with the help directory?

Brent

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Rob Severijns

Hi Brent,

You're absolutely right.

Like I said in my previous post I haven't fugured out how to achieve that.

If you can point me into the right direction I would be very gratefull.

I will have a look at that later today.

Rob

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Rob Severijns

This is frustrating cause I just can't ssem to  figure it out.

This is part of my current code and one of my relative links and they work well but....

$cms['tngpath'] = "../";
include( "../tng_begin.php");
if( !$cms['support'] )
	$cms['tngpath'] = "../";

/*  $logstring should contain the URL for your help pages
	writelog creates an entry in the Access Log
	preparebookmark creates the bookmark link on the page  */

$logstring = "<a href=\"https://www.severijns.family/Severijns/Sev_help/Help_faq_page_DU.php\">Veel gestelde vragen</a>";
writelog($logstring);
preparebookmark($logstring);
<a rel="nofollow" style="color:#7b6241" href="Help_faq_page_DU.php" target="" title "Link naar Veel gestelde vragen">Veel gestelde vragen</a>

could the $logstring be simplefied?

Tried several things but I just can't get it to work with a shorter $logstring.

Any help is appriciated.

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Rob Severijns

Found the solution :-) 

All links are relative now.

A zip file containing all the directories and files needed are added to this posting.

All you have to do is unzip the file and copy/upload all of the content to your website via your FTP client.

If you don't mind your links being tracked by bots you can also delete the rel="nofollow"  part in the url's

This can be done quickly by opening all php files in a text editor like Notepad++ press Ctrl H, make the desired change and choose to apply the changes to all opened files.

Next you need to create a link on your homepage like this:

<a rel="nofollow" style="color:#FFCC33" href="your_site/help/Help_faq_page_DU.php" target="_blank">Help / FAQ<br></a>

Unfortunately all is still in Dutch only (for now) but if you use a text editor like Notepad++ the text is fairly easy to translate.

If all of the above went well the Help/FAQ should work on your own website.

My template is a template provided by Genealogy Web Templates

The Help/FAQ pages are based on the  GWT - Histories Template and I hope they work with the other TNG templates too

Feel free to test it and please let me know if all works fine or if you ran into something odd.

Any comments and/or suggestions are welcome.

As a final remark I'd like to mention that in the Help/FAQ pages there is some content related to certain mods and will not apply to everyone.

That content will be skipped in a final release.

 

 

help.zip

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Rob Severijns

Just noticed that the help/FAQ pages don't work well with all templates. 😢

For instance on template 9 the text and sidebar don't show up correct.

So still some work left to do regarding the NON Genealogy Web Templates.

Hope this doesn't become a "Show Stopper"

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Rob Severijns

Update:

Recieved some instructions from Marsha from Genealogy Web Templates on why my Help/FAQ pages aren't working with the standard TNG templates.

I'm an absolute newby if it comes to coding of the pages so any help from others who are willing to help is apppreciated.

Please PM me If so and I'll send you the code that needs to be added to the pages.

Will try to implement this myself too.

Hope I can get it to work.

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