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Using HTML to Display and Save Wizard Summary Information

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013955D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
Document File: 6 page(s) / 119K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Using HTML to Display and Save Summary Data in a Wizard Disclosed is a programming technique that makes use of an HTML control to display summary data collected by a wizard application and allows the data to be saved as an HTML file. By using HTML to display summary data, the data can be displayed in a much more appealing manner than using a static text field or even a table control. By saving the data as an HTML file the data can be viewed and printed using any Web browser and the data will be displayed very similar to how it is displayed in the HTML control by the wizard. Wizards are software programs that simplify the completion of a task, usually a technical task such as installing and configuring a new program, configuring a hardware device, or configuring a computer to connect to a network. A wizard consists of a series of panels that display information to the user and prompt the user for input to complete the designated task. Once the user has completed all the required input panels, a wizard will usually show a final panel containing a summary of all the data the user entered or options they selected. Because this list of summary data can be rather long or verbose it is often put into a single scrollable field or control. Usually a static text control or table control is used. If the summary data is quite varied in nature displaying it all in a static text field or a single table can be difficult or unappealing. In addition, allowing the user to save this information so that it could later be viewed or printed in a manner similar to how it was displayed by the wizard can be problematic. 1

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Using HTML to Display and Save Wizard Summary Information

Using HTML to Display and Save Summary Data in a Wizard

Disclosed is a programming technique that makes use of an HTML control to display summary data collected by a wizard application and allows the data to be saved as an HTML file. By using HTML to display summary data, the data can be displayed in a much more appealing manner than using a static text field or even a table control. By saving the data as an HTML file the data can be viewed and printed using any Web browser and the data will be displayed very similar to how it is displayed in the HTML control by the wizard.

Wizards are software programs that simplify the completion of a task, usually a technical task such as installing and configuring a new program, configuring a hardware device, or configuring a computer to connect to a network. A wizard consists of a series of panels that display information to the user and prompt the user for input to complete the designated task. Once the user has completed all the required input panels, a wizard will usually show a final panel containing a summary of all the data the user entered or options they selected. Because this list of summary data can be rather long or verbose it is often put into a single scrollable field or control. Usually a static text control or table control is used. If the summary data is quite varied in nature displaying it all in a static text field or a single table can be difficult or unappealing. In addition, allowing the user to save this information so that it could later be viewed or printed in a manner similar to how it was displayed by the wizard can be problematic.

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Figure 1 - typical wizard summary panel using static text

Figure 1 above shows how a simple summary panel can make use of static text fields to display the summary data. If the summary data contains more complex data (like embedded tables for instance) then static text fields are insufficient as is a single table control. In order to display such complex data in a single control, a single HTML capable field is used. HTML capable fields can display data as bulleted lists, and tables all in the same control.

Figure 2 below shows an example of a wizard summary page using the HTML field de...