Skip to main content

Getting rid of the annoying popup help

Recently I stumbled upon two excellent blog posts about how to change the default pop up APEX Help functionality to something more user friendly. Martin explained how to transform the Help into a tooltip, while Piotr transformed the Help pop up into a DIV.
I will add my two cents to this discussion by adding another option...
The pop up is trigger by a call to the Javascript function "popupFieldHelp'. So I decided to locally overwrite that function with this one:

function popupFieldHelp(pItemId, pSessionId ){
// Construct the URL
vURL = "wwv_flow_item_help.show_help?p_item_id=" + pItemId + "&p_session=" + pSessionId;
// Call getRequest to get the HTML for the popupWindow
var popupWindow = getRequest(vURL);
// Get the Subject (item name) from the Window
var HelpSubject = $(popupWindow).find('.fieldtitlebold').html();
// Get the HelpText from the Window
var HelpText = $(popupWindow).find('.instructiontext').html();
// Show the results as an alert
showHelp( HelpSubject, HelpText );
}
This function calls two other functions:
a. showHelp - to show the Helptext in a jQuery Dialog box
b. getRequest - to retrieve the results of an URL by executing an AJAX call (I was hoping to find something like that available in the standard APEX Javascript lib, but couldn't find it - if you know a better way, please let me know!).
The result is a nice looking help (you can tweak the settings and/or presentation the way you like):


IMHO the main advantage for this approach is that you don't need to change anything in your templates (apart from loading the necessary Javascript files), so it is very easy to implement!
As usual there is an example on apex.oracle.com...

The code for "showHelp" is below:

function showHelp(pTitle, pText){
vText = '
'+''+pText+'
';
$(document.body).append(vText);
$("#info").dialog({
bgiframe: true,
modal: true,
minHeight : 200,
width : 200,
close : function(){$("#info").remove();},
closeOnEscape : false,
buttons: {
Ok: function() {
$(this).dialog('close');
$("#info").remove();
}}
});
}
The code for "getRequest" is here:

function getRequest( vURL ){
http_request = false;
if (window.XMLHttpRequest) { // Mozilla, Safari,…
http_request = new XMLHttpRequest();
if (http_request.overrideMimeType) {
// set type accordingly to anticipated content type
http_request.overrideMimeType("text/html");
}
}
else if (window.ActiveXObject) { // IE
try {
http_request = new ActiveXObject("Msxml2.XMLHTTP");
} catch (e) {
try {
http_request = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");
} catch (e) {}
}
}
if (!http_request) {
alert("Cannot create XMLHTTP instance");
return false;
}
http_request.open("GET", vURL, false);
http_request.send(null);
return http_request.responseText;
}
15 comments

Popular posts from this blog

Showing a success message after closing a modal dialog

APEX 5 comes with Modal Dialogs out of the box. Very neat. Especially for adding and changing data. And to minimise the number of time a user has to click, it could be useful to add a "Close Dialog" process after the actual data processing. When the data processing fails, the Dialog stays on top showing the error. When data processing runs fine, the Dialog is closed ... without any confirmation. And this might be scary for a shaky user.

So how can we provide the user some feedback? On Page 4 of the Sample Dialog Application you can see one solution: up on a Dialog Closed Event on the parent page it does a redirect to refresh the parent page appending the success message of the "Close Dialog" process. This has two drawbacks. First, it probably refreshes more than necessary. And second, if you're using multiple layers of dialogs (dialogs that open other dialogs) the message appears in the "parent dialog".
As an alternative you could follow these steps: 1…

A review of APEX World 2017 - Day 1

Last week the SS Rotterdam was the beautiful location of the largest gathering of APEX Developers worldwide. With around 380 (!) attendees a new high was set. And they came from all over the world : I spotted people from The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Denmark, Norway, UK, Ireland and the USA. And I even might have missed one or two ….

The event started with a presentation by the “father of APEX”, Mike Hichwa, talking about "Oracle APEX Past, Present and Future”. Of course everyone is curious what the APEX future might bring: Friendly URL’s, automated testing, more JSON, concurrent APEX versions, third party Oauth 2 authentication (think Facebook, Google), APEX app diff and more, a lot more, REST capabilities. And now we have to wait for APEX 5.2 … and that might take a while! 
After this keynote, the conference split up in three tracks. After the coffee break I returned to to big theatre where Geertjan Wielenga talked about "Finally Javas…

It's happening again ... running for the ODTUG Board of Directors 😉

For the third time in a row I'll be running for ODTUG's Board of Directors. But after ending as a runner up twice, I am sure I'm going to make it this time! But not without your help!

My campaign statement this year is:
I have been attending and presenting at Kscope conferences since 2007. This not only resulted in a vast amount of knowledge, but also - and even more important - a huge number of friends from all over the globe.  I want to see ODTUG grow and spread this community feeling even more! 
My experience as an attendee, presenter and content lead has provided the basic foundation to be a director. Next to that, my personality and (global) network will be beneficial to the whole board and organization. 
Since March I have served on the Board of Directors in a limited term for a Director who stepped down due to a career change. This has allowed me to have unique insight of all the things that are going on in and around the ODTUG organization. As the train was already ro…