HTML tutorials: summary

Subject: HTML tutorials: summary
From: "Geoff Hart (by way of \"Eric J. Ray\" <ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com>)" <ght -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 02:46:03 -0700

A while back, I requested suggestion on how to incorporate some form
of self-testing in an HTML-based training application. We opted for
HTML because we lack the resources for something as sophisticated as
Authorware or Guide (or for hiring a programmer), and must produce
something that will work equally well on CD and from the Web. Here's
my summary of the responses:

A few people suggested using PDF combined with Javascript and forms.
It sounds like a reasonable suggestion, but it's not my first choice
because we'd need to acquire additional resources for a programmer.
Javascript is probably something I could learn myself given enough
time, but there simply isn't room in my workload for learning a new
scripting language. Given Javascript's somewhat checkered reputation,
we might end up doing better simply going with Java if I can talk the
author into letting me bring in a programmer. From the test results
I've seen, Java won't be perfectly cross-platform, but if we're fairly
careful and use vanilla programming, we should be safe. Java will work
both in the local browser and over the Web, so it's actually a decent
solution, resources permitting.

If you have the necessary skills or resources for such an approach,
Max Wyss suggested checking out the URL
<> for an example of the
approach. Marybeth Simon provided another URL with different examples
of such applications: <>. Disclaimer: I haven't yet
had a look at these URLs, so browser beware! Javascript or Java may
indeed turn out to be the only viable solution, in which case I'll
try to squeeze the necessary resources out of my author.

The final option (if we choose separate solutions for the Web and CD
versions) would be to use Perl or CGI scripts. The main disadvantage
of this approach is that it violates our need to single-source the
product, because I'm pretty sure that support for such scripts in
standalone browsers is limited or nonexistant, depending on the
browser and version. However, it may be an option if we convince
ourselves that single-sourcing produces unacceptable compromises in
quality. Deb Riepl proposed the following resources: (cgi scripting with answer tallies) (JavaScript). Same caveats
about not having checked these out personally.

Thanks to Robert Heath, Steven J. Owens, Deb Riepl, Marybeth Simon,
and Max Wyss for providing valuable feedback.
--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

"Patience comes to those who wait."--Anon.

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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