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Upgrading to NetTalk 6

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NetTalk WebServer - Upgrade to NetTalk 6


This document works through the major changes between NetTalk 5 and NetTalk 6. It is designed for users, currently experienced with NetTalk 5 to quickly identify, and use, the new features in NetTalk 6. It covers things that are likely to break when you upgrade your app, and instructions on how to correct the application to allow for a smooth upgrade. It also covers other optional information which you may wish to make use of in your application.

Quick Bits

The goal of this section is a quick overview of small things that have changed since NetTalk 5 which experienced NT5 users will want to know about. Since there are a few changes in NetTalk 6 which invalidate things that were true in NetTalk 5, and  unlearning previously sound information and habits is hard, please pay particular attention to this section.

Clarion 5.5 Support is slowly fading

Although most of the NetTalk examples compile and run ok in Clarion 5.5, overall support for C55 is dropping. Some of the examples won't run on C55, and some of the more advanced techniques may not work as expected in 5.5. Web apps in particular are not recommended for C5.5 because of the threading limitations, and the inability to turn the server into a Windows Service. Because of these limitations it is expected that support for Clarion 5.5 will be dropped completely in the short-to-medium term.

No need to Copy Web Folder after NetTalk Updates

You no longer need to manually copy the web folder after NetTalk updates. The IDE will detect the change, and copy the current web folder (from \Clarion8\Accessories\Libsrc\Win\NetWeb or \Clarion6\3rdparty\libsrc\netweb) to your application folder when you next compile your application. You still need to deploy your web folder when you deploy your application.

No need to maintain Gzipall.Bat File

The GZipAll.Bat file is automatically created, and maintained, by the template in the application folder. It will be automatically run if NetTalk is updated in the app, or if a new theme is added, however you are free to run it at other times (after editing any files in the Styles, Scripts or Themes folders.)

Default page is not only in the Web folder

The default page (typically index.htm) can now exist in the Web folder, and all sub folders. the default page name is used when the user enters a URL with no page name. For example http:\\ will open the default page in the root folder, http:\\\styles will open the default page in the styles folder.

You can have more than one Menu on a page

You can now have multiple menu extensions on a single NetWebSource or NetWebPage procedure. The menus can be of different types. (Tip: The nt-menuright style can be used in place of nt-menuleft to create a menu on the right side of the page.) It's very important though to make sure all the menus have a unique "Menu Id".

You can have different Forms for a browse based on Action and/or Row

In the past you could only nominate one procedure as the Form procedure for a Browse. You can now nominate a different form for the various different actions (Insert, Copy, Change, View, Delete) and you can also specify different Forms based on the data of a Row.

Menus with a URL (which can't be clicked) generate extra menu item

Some Menus (Double-drop & Chrome for example) let you create a clickable "menu item" on the menu bar itself. Other menus (Accordion, TaskPanel) don't because the click on the header there determines that the menu Opens, or Closes. In these cases an extra menu item is generated so the user can still get full navigation of the site.

Browse Highlighting done via CSS

In NetTalk 5 the browse-row colors (greenbar, selected and highlight) were done using settings in the APP file. This made it hard for a non-programmer (ie a designer tweaking just CSS) to change these values. In NetTalk 6 these values are now set in CSS. The default settings are in the nettalk-ui.css file, which is in the theme folder. So you can override it there, and do it on a theme-by-theme basis. The styles in question are;

.nt-browse-gb1{background-color: #FFFFFF;}
.nt-browse-gb2{background-color: #F8F8F8;}
.nt-browse-mouseover{background-color: #DDDDDD;}
.nt-browse-selected{background-color: #CCCCCC;}

(see here for more information if you have styled the colors using the template in NT5)

<!-- Net:d:something --> Tags

In addition to the existing s: (SessionValue), v: (Parameter), f:(file), and c:(Code) tag identifiers, a new tag identifier, d: has been added. The d: tag allows you to access various current date and time values and include them in html.  The following identifiers are recognised;
tag meaning
<!-- Net:d:today--> Display today's date, format using
<!-- Net:d:clock--> Display the current time, using @T4 as the format picture.
<!-- Net:d:day--> Display the day number in the month
<!-- Net:d:month--> Display the number of the current month in the year
<!-- Net:d:monthname--> Display the name of the current month (January, Feburary and so on)
<!-- Net:d:year--> Display the current year value.
<!-- Net:d:dow--> Display the day number in the week, (Sunday=0, Monday=1 etc.)
<!-- Net:d:weekday--> Display the week day name, Monday, Tuesday and so on.
<!-- Net:d:dayname--> Display the name of the day of the month, eg 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and so on.
<!-- Net:d:hour--> Display the current "hour" part of the time.
<!-- Net:d:minute--> Display the current "Minute" part of the time.
<!-- Net:d:second--> Display the current "second" part of the time.

Changes Required to Convert your App from NetTalk 5 to NetTalk 6

Headers and Footers and other NetWebSources

In NetTalk 5 you had the option to wrap a NetWebSource in a <div> tag. This was necessary if you wanted the NetWebSource to be updateable via an Asynchronous call.

In NetTalk 6 this option has been removed, and a <div> tag is automatically wrapped around all NetWebSources. This brings the CSS setting for the tag into play, and since this has (in the past) defaulted to 'adiv' or 'nt-left' this can have an effect on your existing NetWebSource procedures. Specifically this will most likely have an effect on the Header and Footer procedures. You will likely need to inspect these procedures, removing the 'adiv' or 'nt-left' CSS setting on each of these.

If you plan to keep your header exactly as it was in NetTalk 5, you need to include the "NetTalk 4 styles" in your app.
Go to the WebServer procedure, Extensions, NetTalk extension, Settings, Styles, Files, and tick on Include CSS from NetTalk 4 .
You also need to manually run the Gzipall.Bat file (located in your app directory) if you do this.

Optionally - As an alternate setting for the header and footer CSS you may want to use the ' ui-widget-header ui-corner-top' for the header and 'nt-left nt-width-100 nt-margin-top nt-site-footer ui-widget-header ui-corner-bottom' classes for the footer.

In addition to the CSS change you also need to explicitly set any header procedures as a header, by ticking on the option This is a HEADER. Footers will need the same, this time ticking on This is a FOOTER.

Important - If you have used NetWebSource procedures in your application a lot, then read the section NetWebSource vs Source carefully as well.

Important - A lot has changed since the NetTalk 4 days, but headers created then have tended to endure. A new document here discusses the header, and possibly ways of changing (dare I say improving) it.

XP-Tabs Removed

A number of Tab styles were supported in NetTalk 5. Since the XP-Tabs style stopped working around build 5.23, and since a suitable technique was found to use the normal Tab as a replacement, the support for XP-Tabs has officially been dropped with this release. If you are upgrading from a version of NetTalk 5, prior to build 5.23, and you currently use XP-Tabs, then you will need to make the following changes;

1.) Go to the WebServer procedure, to the NetTalk extension, to the Settings / Styles / Form tab. If the Form Type there is set to XP-Tabs change it to Tab.
2.) Set the Tab Title CSS field to 'nt-tab-title nt-xptab-title'..

Locally, most of your forms should have the tab type set as Default. So the above global change should be sufficient. However if you do have any local style set to XP-Tabs then change it to Tab.

XP-TaskPanel and Chrome menus Deprecated

The XP-TaskPanel and Chrome menus  have been deprecated with this release. They are however (optionally) included in the JavaScript and CSS if you want them to be.  While the temptation is to default these settings to on, to improve backwards compatibility, it's better for them to default to off thus encouraging people to change their menu type, and also not to penalize folk who are building new apps from scratch.

The preferred approach here is to change the menu type of your application from Chrome to Double-Drop, or from XP-TaskPanel to TaskPanel.

If however you want to remain on the old menus for now, include the Scripts and CSS for one, or both, of these menu types.
Go to the WebServer procedure, to the NetTalk extension, to the Settings / Scripts tab. Tick on support for one, or both, of the menus.

Then go to the Settings / Styles / Files tab and turn on the same for the CSS files

Menu Styles

There are new defaults for the TaskPanel and Accordion menu styles. Set the Menu Div CSS field to ' nt-menuleft' for both these menu types.

Browse Bar Colors

NetTalk 5 offered template options to set the Greenbar, Mouse-over and RowSelected colors. In NetTalk 6 this is now done via CSS Styles - which gives the site designer a lot more flexibility, without having to recompile the code. Unfortunately there is no easy way to convert these custom colors into known styles, so if you have used this technique a certain amount of manual adjustment will be required.

If you create custom classes to use, then you should set the background-color property of the class. For example, the contents of the default classes are;

.nt-browse-gb1{background-color: #FFFFFF;}
.nt-browse-gb2{background-color: #F8F8F8;}
.nt-browse-mouseover{background-color: #DDDDDD;}
.nt-browse-selected{background-color: #CCCCCC;}

Global Settings

Global settings are set in the WebServer procedure, on the Settings / Styles / Browse tab.  Instead of entering (Clarion) colors here, you now enter the name of a CSS class to use.

Local Settings

The local settings are set on the CSS Classes tab of the browse settings. As with the global settings, the field has changed from accepting a color, to accepting the name of a CSS class. note that if the first character of the local class is a Space then the local class will be appended to the global class. If the first character is not a space then the local class will be used in place of the global class.

Parameter Names

In NetTalk 5 and earlier there was some inconsistencies with regard to the naming of internal parameters. Some parameters had a leading underscore, some had a leading and trailing underscore, some had neither. In NetTalk 6 this has been consolidated somewhat and most parameters [see note 1] now have a leading and trailing underscore. Since these parameters are mostly used internally, this should not affect your application.

The exception to this is where you have made use of the parameters to manipulate the procedure to behave a certain way. For example, when calling a browse from a menu you could pass the parameter Refresh=Last and this causes the browse to jump to the end, displaying the last page in the current sort order. In NetTalk 6 this becomes _refresh_=Last where the name takes both a leading, and trailing underscore, and (by convention) is written in lower case (although it could be written as _Refresh_ as parameters in NetTalk are case insensitive.)

Note 1: Earlier I said most parameters had changed. There are a few that have been left alone, most notably the value and newvalue parameters passed to the server when a form field completes. These have been left alone because of the extensive use of these parameters in existing embed code.


The planner class has undergone a revamp, and although most of the changes will not affect your existing code, there are some changes you will need to make;
The following items may cause compile errors in your embed code if you have used them;


In Nettalk builds up to 6.36 the SessionId has been a long. In builds from 6.37 this has changed to a string. Allowing for a string allows for a stronger session id to be created. This should not affect you unless you are using the session id in your own tables (especially temporary In-Memory tables). If you are using the session Id then you can force the session id to use a number in the Web Server procedure, Settings then Security tab.
Other common security options are also on this tab, and should be considered carefully.

New Form Elements


Auto-complete functionality has been added to Fields of type STRING, in build 6.18. It works on fields that have a lookup, or on fields that don't have a lookup. More information to follow.


Sliders are an alternative form of accepting numeric user input. They allow you to set the minimum and maximum values of the number, and also set the step value to determine the granularity of the slide. this is done on the Validation tab.

A normal numeric field can also optionally be displayed, allowing the user to both see, and set, the value to an exact number.

The default width of the control is 20em, however you can adjust it here if you like.

Progress Bars

Progress Bars work in conjunction with a Button control. They are designed to be used when a task is started (by a button) that may take some time to complete. This task is almost always the creation of a file, perhaps a PDF Report file, or an Excel spreadsheet, or something like that. For a full discussion on how to add Progress Bars to your application see here.


Styled Radio Buttons

The option to add Styled (jQuery) radio buttons has been added to the Radio form field type.

This results in the radio options being placed together, and uses color and shading to indicate the selected item. For example

Styled Check Boxes

The option to add Styled (jQuery) Checkboxes has been added to the Checkbox form field type.

In addition to the background color of the control changing slightly when in a "checked" state, you also have the option to display different text and/or icons based on the field state.

Possible Embed Code Changes

While I try and keep changes, which could affect your hand-code, to a minimum, there's also a strong place for cleaning up code, and occasionally, making a change that will affect you. On the up-side the compiler will notice these changes, and complain, prompting you for a fix.

loc:Class now loc:FieldClass in Comment::Fieldname routines

The "routine" variable, loc:class, has been renamed as loc:fieldclass to bring it in line with the variable in the Prompt::fieldName and Value::FieldName routines. If you have used loc:class in your code, then change it to loc:fieldclass.

Performance Monitoring Control Template

NetTalk 6 includes built-in gathering of statistics with regard to current, and peak, performance. These statistics should assist you in making assessments of hardware capability, as well as determining the nature, volume, and distribution of server activity.

To apply the template, go to the WebServer procedure and make some space available. (Usually this is done by adding a SHEET control, and moving the existing logging controls onto a tab. Then create a second tab and populate the NetWebServer Performance Monitoring CONTROL template from the Control Templates list.


As you can see the performance is further sub-divided into 5 time categories - this allows outliers (like generating large reports) to not affect general response statistics.

Location Services

HTML5 defines a Geo-Location specification for locating the browser. While this may, at first glance, be most appropriate for mobile devices with GPS functionality, the specification extends to browsers on the desktop as well. Without GPS the location will not be as accurate as with GPS, however it does offer additional information to the server. While Desktop positioning may be very coarse, some mobile devices, without GPS, can be remarkably good at locating themselves. An iPod touch for example (which has no GPS, or Cell Tower connections) can usually locate itself using wi-fi locations.

Before the browser will serve the location to the server, the user will be prompted on whether to share the information or not. If they choose Not then you may get an error, or you may get no reply (this is device, and browser dependant). If you get an error, the _LocationError_ session value will be overwritten, but the other fields will remain unaltered.

Because of this user request, Location data should be requested sparingly, and only where required. To request the location data on a NetWebPage add the following code at the end of the procedure. (After the last call to do SendPacket);


When the user has accepted the request for location information, and the browser has got it, then it sends the information to the server. This information is automatically placed in Session Variables for you. the following Session variables are populated (note the leading, and trailing underscore characters);

Name Unit
_Latitude_ decimal degrees from the equator
_Longitude_ decimal degrees from the Greenwich Meridian
_Altitude_ meters
_Accuracy_ meters
_AltitudeAccuracy_ meters
_Heading_ decimal degrees
_Speed_ metres per second
_LocationUnixTime_ number of seconds since the start of the Unix epoch.
_LocationDate_ Clarion Date
_LocationTime_ Clarion Time
_LocationError_ Error code, and meaning



A new IMAP Client class, (NetImap) has been added. Please note that the IMAP class requires StringTheory.

New Mime Types

SMPP (Short Message Peer to Peer) Protocol added

Docs to follow.

FTP over SSL

See Ftp Over SSL.


Themes are covered in their own document here.

NetWebServer Wizard

The new WebServer Application Wizard is covered in it's own document here.

Mobile Support

A big part of the upgrade to NetTalk 6 revolves around the built-in support for mobile devices. This is covered in its own document here.

NetWebSource vs Source

During the NetTalk 6 upgrade some people have encountered a situation where "raw html code" appears on their page, instead of the actual page. Sometimes this manifests as just the header, sometimes the whole page appears as html. This may be caused by the NetWebSource template being usind in a case where a normal Clarion source procedure would be more appropriate.

The first place to start is to explain the difference between the two. A NetWebSource procedure is designed to send HTML to the browser. A Clarion Source procedure does not. Thus if you are planning to send code to the browser, use a NetWebSource, if you are planning to just set Session values, or do some other custom code, in which HTML is not sent, then rather use a Clarion source procedure.


One common misconception is that the NetWebSource should be called if the procedure will use p_web. This is not the case. p_web is just a parameter, and any Clarion source which has the prototype, and parameters, set to
(NetWebServerWorker p_web)
can access p_web.

Changing a NetWebSource to Source

1. Open the procedure properties, and click on the Ellipsis button to the right of the Template field;

2. Select "Source" from the list of templates and click on the Select button

3. Inspect the embed tree to make sure there is no Orphaned embed code - if there is then move it into the Processed Code embed point.

Runtime Settings

Parameters can now be passed to the server that affect how a site looks, or behaves, for that session. This allows you to build-in user configurable settings, but it also allows you to experiment with various options quickly to see which one you prefer. The following variables can be used;
Variable Options
_menu_ 1 (Accordion), 2 (DoubleDrop), 4 (TaskPanel)
Note: This variable name can be set on the Advanced tab of the menu options.
_theme_ The name of any theme folder in your \web\themes directory
_mobile_ 0 (off), 1(on)

New Examples

The (non Webserver) examples have been reorganised into subfolders to make it easier to find things. For example all the Email examples are in the Email folder, and so on. the following new examples have been added;
  1. \Email\Email IMAP Client - Shows the new IMAP Client class in action.
  2. Web: MultiForm (67) - Demonstrates calling multiple different forms from the same browse.
[End of this document]
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