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 Post subject: Tools | Instructions menu item [Feature request]
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 1:16 pm 
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[Edit 2013-11-29: Note that this feature is now found under Help | Instructions, NOT Tools | Instructions]-RedNectar

Suggestion:

I have had several requests to make GNS3 WorkBench available on Windows. (Thanks Per)

With the new 0.8.4 feature of Tools | VPCS, building exercises that use VPCS is now possible on all platforms. If there was an option to open a set of instructions from a Project, GNS3 would be much closer to becoming a educational powerhouse. And it would make it ALMOST possible to run GNS3WB exercises on Windows.

Here is my idea:

Stage 1:
Add an option to the Tools menu ie Tools | Instructions
When a user select this option, GNS3 searches the directory where topology.net lives, looking for a file called one of these files (in preferential order):
instructions.html
instructions.txt
instructions

If the html version is found, it opens it with the system default web browser.
ELSE
If one of the text versions is found, it opens Wordpad|TextEdit|gedit|pluma (Windows|OS X|ubuntu|mint) and displays it
ELSE
Display a short message along the lines:

To use the Instructions feature you must first create a file called instructions.html, instructions.txt or instructions and place it in the xxxxxxxxx directory.

Stage 2:
Make the option greyed out if none of the eligible files exist

There is no Stage 3:
I thought about a Tools | Create instructions option that changes to Tools | Create/Edit instructions if one or more versions exist, but I think this is going in a direction that defeats the purpose - if someone wants to create an exercise they will use their own favourite wordprocessor/editor/etc to create it - and once complete, they probably don't want anyone else changing it willy-nilly anyway.



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GNS3 WorkBench-a VMware image of Ubuntu with GNS3 and VPCS installed and a collection of exercises/labs


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 Post subject: Re: Tools | Instructions menu item [Feature request]
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 4:15 pm 
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Hi Rednectar,

I can implement something like that for RC3, opening the system default web browser is quite easy. However, why not open instructions.txt or instructions in the browser as well? After all, users are not supposed to change the instructions, right? and the implementation will be simpler.

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 Post subject: Re: Tools | Instructions menu item [Feature request]
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 7:22 pm 
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Implemented :)

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 Post subject: Re: Tools | Instructions menu item [Feature request]
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 9:18 pm 
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Yep - good idea - use the browser for all. Much easier than fooling around with "which editor should I use today?" And users can't accidentally change it too. But I guess that's what you did anyway. :)

Looking forward to it!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Tools | Instructions menu item [Feature request]
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 3:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:34 pm
Posts: 214
Instructions is a cool idea. I'll use this feature to remind myself about objectives (and the like) for my own labs.

I wonder...

Quote:
@grossmj - this toolbar is mainly intended for Windows 8 users, it wasn't even supposed to be accessible for OSX/Linux. Also this is temporary because in the future I would like to implement a customizable toolbar where you can add shortcuts to your own scripts, terminals or anything like that etc.

Jeremy,

Is this still the plan? I got the feeling from your comment that you would be removing the Tools menu, in favor of the customized toolbar, since it wasn't supposed to be accessible in the first place.

What is the current future of Tools and/or the customized toolbar in GNS3?

If you're planning on keeping the Tools option for awhile, I recommend an additional FEATURE change; for consistency have the Tools>Terminal option open the users default terminal type that's configured under Preferences>General>Terminal Settings. This will make the option feel like a part of GNS3, rather than an afterthought which is what it presently feels like to me.

Thoughts?
-Jason

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 Post subject: Re: Tools | Instructions menu item [Feature request]
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 4:39 am 
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Agree with Jason - I'm finding I'm using this quite a bit in Windows.
But suggest that the default path be the ~/GNS3/Project or ~/GNS3 or even ~ directory, rather than %PROGRAMFILES%\GNS3

Esp for OS X - you don't want to end up at a command prompt in /Apps/GNS3/.... somewhere

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 Post subject: Re: Tools | Instructions menu item [Feature request]
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 8:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:41 pm
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Quote:
What is the current future of Tools and/or the customized toolbar in GNS3?


The tools menu is meant to change in the future. Right now I don't think it will be removed. As I stated, I want a customized toolbar, possibly along with the tool menu. I've not decided a design yet, this will be open to ideas when I release my document about the future of GNS3 (ideas, new features, new backend etc.)

Quote:
If you're planning on keeping the Tools option for a while, I recommend an additional FEATURE change; for consistency have the Toos>Terminal option open the users default terminal type that's configured under Preferences>General>Terminal Settings. This will make the option feel like a part of GNS3, rather than an afterthought which is it what presently feels like to me.


Main issue with this idea is that terminal in Preferences>General>Terminal Settings aren't all terminals that give a shell to the local file system, for instance I am not aware that you can do that using Putty. Also every terminal has different options, which is problematic if we want to start a shell in a specific directory. What about linking the terminal entry to a default script that you can change to suit your preferences?

Quote:
But suggest that the default path be the ~/GNS3/Project or ~/GNS3 or even ~ directory, rather than %PROGRAMFILES%\GNS3


It could be done but I am curious. What do you use the terminal for? starting programs, view projects?

Cheers,

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 Post subject: Re: Tools | Instructions menu item [Feature request]
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 9:28 pm 
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@Jeremy
Quote:
What do you use the terminal for? starting programs, view projects?


1. The MAIN reason I suggested putting the user in ~/GNS3/projects is because I don't think putting a user at the command prompt in the middle of the Window %PROGRAMFILES% structure, or (even more so) the OSX /Applications/GNS3/Contents/MacOS/ structure, or the Linux ??? (eg) /bin/ directory is quite the right place to dump someone.

2. If we have a CONSISTENT place to deliver someone to the command prompt (Rule#3) then in the future it will be easier to write tutorials or other stuff. And ~/GNS3/Projects (or a Projects folder somewhere) is at least a consistent place across all platforms

3. TBH what I have been using it for lately is to launch an editor to take a closer look at topology.net - maybe even tweak a few values while I'm at it.

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 Post subject: Re: Tools | Instructions menu item [Feature request]
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:41 am 
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@Jeremy
Quote:
Implemented :) - 5 May 2013

I noticed your "Implemented" comment pre-dates RC3 - but I don't see any evidence of it - did it make it into RC3 and isn't working or do I just have to be patient?

<edit> Later - I also see it is not in RC4 released today
BTW - I suspect a better way to implement this (given we decided that it should always be displayed in a browser) would be to have a directory off the Project directory called Instructions. You would simply have to put your index.html file there along with as much clutter as you needed to display your awesome web page full of instructions.

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 Post subject: Re: Tools | Instructions menu item [Feature request]
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:11 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:41 pm
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Hi,

Quote:
I noticed your "Implemented" comment pre-dates RC3 - but I don't see any evidence of it - did it make it into RC3 and isn't working or do I just have to be patient?


This is partly implemented but quite hidden... Create a project, add an instructions.txt or instructions.html file inside your project directory and reload your project in GNS3. You should see an instruction entry in the tool menu.

Quote:
BTW - I suspect a better way to implement this (given we decided that it should always be displayed in a browser) would be to have a directory off the Project directory called Instructions. You would simply have to put your index.html file there along with as much clutter as you needed to display your awesome web page full of instructions.


What is the advantage of doing this? Shouldn't instructions be specific to a project?

Cheers,



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