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Upgrading to NetTalk 7

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NetTalk WebServer - Upgrade to NetTalk 7

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This document works through the major changes between NetTalk 6 and NetTalk 7. It is designed for users, currently experienced with NetTalk 6 to quickly identify, and use, the new features in NetTalk 7. 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 things that have changed since NetTalk 6 which experienced NT6 users will want to know about. Since there are a few changes in NetTalk 7 which invalidate things that were true in NetTalk 6, and unlearning previously sound information and habits is hard, please pay particular attention to this section.

StringTheory is now required

In the past the StringTheory class was required only for specific parts of NetTalk. However as NetTalk does an enormous amount of string processing, across all objects, and because some of the new features require code already in StringTheory, we've decided to make StringTheory a "Required" product rather that an "Optionally required" product.

NetSimple.Send method for sending a StringTheory object

The current way to call the .Send method is to prime the object.packet.bindata and object.packet.bindatalen fields, and then call the .Send method. The primary limitation of this is the size of the object.packet.bindata field, if the string you are sending is bigger than this then you need to break your string into slices before sending. This is true for NetSimple and all classes based on NetSimple.

Because NetTalk 7 treats StringTheory as a requirement, not an optional extra, there is now a .Send method that takes a StringTheory object (of any size) as a parameter. This means that you no longer need to code the slicing yourself, rather the class will do it for you. This has ramifications in both the internal classes, and in your own code, by simplifying the amount of code necessary to send large packets.

More control over included scripts

With each new version the amount of included JavaScript continues to grow. This is good because it means access to more and more functionality in the browser, but it is also bad because it makes the all.js file grow larger. Because some of this functionality is optional, there are now more settings on the WebServer / Scripts tab to allow you to exclude features you are not using. For example, if you have no Image Gallery functionality in your app then you can suppress the Image Gallery JavaScript from being included.

New fields default to jQuery on

Checkboxes and Radio buttons now default to "Use jQuery buttons" on. (If your app is still on NT4 or NT5 then it means that Radios and Checks will automatically change to the jQuery style if you upgrade directly to NetTalk 7, without upgrading to NetTalk 6.

Clarion 5.5 support is fading ever faster

With NetTalk 7, Clarion 5.5 is no longer officially supported. Unofficially NetTalk may still compile and run in Clarion 5.5, however there may be limitations as to what can be achieved. 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.

jQuery updates

jQuery core has been updated to version 1.8.3 which is a relatively small step from NetTalk 6. However jQueryUI has gone from 1.8.x to 1.9.x, which is a larger jump than it seems.

1.9 is designed to be an interim step in changing to jQueryUI 2.0. As such it has the option to either include, or exclude features that are in 1.8, but won't be in 2.0. By default, NetTalk 7 turns the features off. you can turn it back on if you need to, but you should then research the updates required to bring your custom code up to 2.0 levels.

jQueryMobile has also been updated to version 1.2.x. With the library being very "young" it's likely that this will change over the course of the release cycle.

New Themes

A new theme, called Shoestrap, has been added to the default set of styles. The style is based on a jQueryUI implementation by Addy Osmani of the Bootstrap style (made popular by the folks at Twitter). 3 variations of the style exist. In addition a theme modeled somewhat after the Windows 8 tiles look is also included.
Name Description
Shoestrap1 Basic style, no colors on buttons
Shoestrap2 Icons on buttons are colored. Buttons are colored, icons are white. (Note that you will need to refresh the buttons list in the WebServer to fully appreciate this style)
Shoestrap3 Buttons are colored, icons are white. (Note that you will need to refresh the buttons list in the WebServer to fully appreciate this style)
MetroBlue A Windows 8 style look.
Aristo, Absolution Included with later NT6 builds, these themes are good alternatives to the jQuery UI themes.

Support for Google Fonts

You are able to link in one or more fonts from the Google Fonts repository. Fonts can be added in the WebServer procedure, on the Settings, Styles, Fonts tab. Note that this setting is Case Sensitive and you need to match the name of the font to the name in Google's repository exactly.
The Google Font Repository can be found at

Once you have selected the font(s) you want to use, you will need to edit the themes to support that font. Search for font-family in jquery-ui.css and nettalk-ui.css for the use of Font-Family. There are typically 3 places (2 in jquery-ui.css and 1 in nettalk-ui.css that need changing.)

WebServer Window

Changes Required to Convert your App from NetTalk 6 to NetTalk 7

WebServer Procedure Settings

  1. Content Body Name setting has been removed. The content body is now always called 'contentbody'. (You don't need to do anything unless you have used the content body name in your own hand-code, which is unlikely.)
  2. In the WebServer procedure, NetTalk Extension, change the Styles / Browse / Header style to 'ui-widget-header nt-browse-table-header' (required for new themes).
  3. In the WebServer procedure, NetTalk Extension, "refresh" all the buttons on the buttons list. Do this by deleting all the buttons (as they are deleted they are re-added to the bottom of the list.) This is required for new themes.
  4. In the WebServer procedure, NetTalk Extension, change the Styles / Site / Validation Message from 'nt-width-99 alert ui-state-error ui-corner-all' to 'nt-width-50 alert ui-state-error ui-corner-all'. This makes it more compatible with the accordion and taskpanel menus.

Headers and Footers

  1. In the Header procedure, Menu extension, CSS Classes tab, set the Accordion Menu option (Accordion tab) and the Menu Div option (TaskPanel tab) to  ' nt-menuleft nt-width-150px'


  1. The File Upload field has changed considerably, so it's worth checking the forms where you have a File Upload field. Make sure that the settings for the field are set appropriatly, especially the option to Save the file, and the option to make the file name "Web Relative".

Embed Code

  1. Some of the methods have been altered so they do not return a String. This can lead to a compile-time error along the lines of

    Cannot Call Procedure as Function

    Your code likely looks something like this;

    packet = clip(packet) & p_web.script(something)

    Alter it to make it a simple procedure call. For example;


New Form Elements

Redactor HTML Editor

Redactor is an alternative to the TinyMCE HTML text editor. While both editors have strengths and weaknesses, the Redactor code is smaller and thus pages will load faster. It also has some very nice features for uploading images, and files, as part of the HTML.

CapeSoft has purchased an OEM license for Redactor from Imperavi so you are free to use Redactor in your NetTalk apps without needing to purchase an additional license.

Using the Redactor HTML editor requires one global setting and one local setting.

The global setting is located in the WebServer procedure, in the NetTalk extension. Go to Settings, Scripts and tick on the option Include Redactor HTML Editor Script.

Redactor Global Setting

The local setting is located on the Form Field which you want to make into a HTML editing field. Go to the form, to the field, and tick on the option to Allow xHtml. Then Selected Redactor as the editor of choice.

redactor local setting

The Redactor is (by default) in English. However additional languages are supported by Imperavi. Adding support for another language is as follows;
  1. Download the language file that you need.
  2. Save it in your scripts file as redactor.xx.js, where xx is the redactor language code. (eg for spanish, es, it would be saved as
  3. Go to the WebServer procedure, to the NetTalk extension, Settings, Scripts tab, and set the language to the Redactor code, without any quotes. For example, for Spanish, put just es

Asynchronous File Uploader

The File Upload form field in NetTalk 6 is a native HTML File Upload field. While this is functional, it does not take advantage of the new File Upload support offered by HTML5 browsers. NetTalk 7 has a more advanced File Upload file, which supports; By default the new uploader is used automatically wherever a File Upload field exists in your application, however there is a template option to revert to the old field type if you prefer.

Documentation on the methods and options of the new file uploader can be found here.


The Spinner form field type allows you to use a spinner control instead of a Number or Range control for entering numbers.


The Media control allows you to include non-html elements on your form. It does this my making use of an appropriate plugin for the media. For example, a PDF can be included on a page if the user has the Adobe PDF Plugin installed in their browser.

The following plugins, and their associated media are supported;
Plugin File Types
iframe HTML, PDF
Silverlight XAML
Real Player RA, RAM, RM, RPM, RV, SMI, SMIL
Windows Media Player ASX, ASF, AVI, WMA, WMV
Flash FLV, MP3, SWF
A new example, Media (74) has been included to show some of the media control in action.

New Browse Elements


Other Browse procedures can now be added into a Browse column. Typically the column is set to span across the width of the browse, and the line above it is set to expand and collapse the browse row. think of this as a form of Drill down.


Edit in place in browse columns can now use jQuery styled Checkbox buttons.

Browse Anchors

If you are building a site that contains a browse, and you want a permanent link to be available to a particular browse row, then you can use Browse Anchors. An example of this is the downloads page on the CapeSoft web site. The page is located at and it is a file-loaded browse. However from each product page we want to link directly to the download for a specific product. For example This is possible because each browse line has an Anchor.

The anchor is set on the Browse Column properties, and needs to be something unique for the browse. It can be memorable (like the product name I used) or it could be something specific like the ID field for the browse.

The field is an expression so can consist of another field in the table, or a collection of fields in the table. 

Note that this just creates an anchor on the page. The URL of the page, especially for a page-loaded browse, can be slightly more complicated to construct, so for now this feature is best suited to file-loaded browses.

Other Browse Options

WebServer Procedure Settings

As mentioned earlier StringTheory is now required by NetTalk. This will result in a number of optimizations over the next while to take advantage of that code. The first, and most significant feature so far though is the ability for StringTheory to compress blocks of text on the fly. This has resulted in a number of options being added to the advanced tab of the Web Server procedure.

Compress Static Files

If this is on, then static files in the web folder, which do not have a pre-compressed .gz file present, and which do not include a
<!-- NetWebServer --> header, will be compressed on-the-fly before they are sent to the client. For example, if you have a static html file called home.htm in the web folder, then when the server serves this file it will be compressed before sending (assuming that the browser has indicated in the request that compressed files are acceptable.)

This should speed up the transmission of pages and files, especially on slower connections.

The following file types are not compressed, because they already contain compressed code; *.saf, *.zip, *.gz, *.rar, *.7z, *.jpg and *.png.
This list may be expanded in the future.

Compress Dynamic Data

Because most of the page requests in a web application are dynamic, this option has the potential to speed up communication between the browser and server even more than compressing static files. When this option is on all the dynamic content of the page is buffered, and then when the response is complete it is compressed and sent.

New Examples

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