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Using DevToday: Reading supercharged

The Using DevToday: Quick start to setting up your profile concentrated on quickly setting up your DevToday profile to reflect your interests (in case you haven’t read the first weblog your profile empowers you to find content that interests you). This weblog on the other hand will explain some of the features available to you once you’ve located an article and are reading it.

The following diagram shown an article picked out of today’s DevToday. Three sections are highlighted including a date and priority indicators (left), a group of icons (middle) and a context bar (right). These will be explained in detail in the next several paragraphs.


Displayed just below the article title is the date and a priority indicator section. The date is the creation date of the article, i.e. the time it was generated. The priority indicator graphically displays how important the current article is to you based on your profile settings. The fuller the bar, the more important the article is. Hover your mouse over the bar to display the percentage in numerical form.

To the right of the title and just above the gray separator line is the toolbar section. At the time of this weblog you may find one or two icons situated there. The leftmost icon shows when only partial content of the article is shown. This happens for lengthy articles in order to reduce their download time. Clicking on the icon will show the full content of the article.

The printer icon is used to render a view of the article that is suitable for printing. In this view only the content of the article is shown without the surrounding navigational aids like the context bar or the navigation bar.

The third section is the context bar. The context bar is situated to the extreme right of the screen and is identified by a shaded background. The bar contains four areas:


The article attributes area lists ratable discussion objects that characterize the article as a whole but are not necessarily part of its content. For example, the given article is about the Web Application Server but may not mention that term explicitly. At the very least this area will include the creation date (in long form) and the article type.


The patent-pending article overview area is unique to SAP ViewPoint and perhaps one of the most useful tools of the context bar. Simply described, the overview lists the top discussion objects of the article along with their relevance to its subject matter. Functionally though it is much more powerful. A glance at the overview provides a quick understanding of the article content. For example, the given article is mainly about JSP, Eclipse and Java and somewhat about JCo and the J2EE engine and you didn’t have to read the entire article to figure that out.

An additional feature of the article overview is the quick find arrows. Pressing on one of the arrows just to the left of a discussion object will highlight all occurrences of that object in the article. This is a great tool when, for example, you want to locate the paragraphs dealing with JCo. Please note that if the article had been truncated due to length it is advised to have it expanded first using the previously explained toolbar icon.


The hot links area is a list of hyperlinks that are uniquely relevant to this article. In the example above the only available link enables access to the original document from which this article was derived. Use this link to view the document as its author intended. In this example that document was an Adobe PDF.


The last area of the context bar lists articles related to the main article where the percentage number next to each of their titles indicates the level of relatedness. You may click on any of the titles to navigate to the DevToday representation of that article.

I hope this weblog taught you something new and helped you in fully utilizing your DevToday experience and I am sure you’ll agree with me that reading articles in DevToday is indeed supercharged.


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