Explore the community Forums Lectora Lectora Questions & Answers What happened to publishing to exe????

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  • #283607 Score: 0
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    Annette Williams
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    @amwdmw

    So, we have courses that we publish as an executable file every other month….mainly because we can’t afford to give our clients access to our LMS. With that being said….what happened to publishing to exe in Lectora 12? I see an “offline” option – but that creates a weird folder/subfolder option – and it kills all of my buttons. Next buttons don’t work, any “homemade” buttons don’t work. Therefore, the course is rendered useless in v12. Help!

    #287499 Score: 0
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    My buttons are gone before I even publish anything. I don’t understand why this was released with bugs that render navigation impossible. What happened to the beta? I tried signing up for it but I never heard anything from them.

    #287506 Score: 0
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    For us, removing the EXE export functionality is the main criteria why we can’t upgrade to v12 at the moment.

    Why are we not satisfied with the export to offline function?
    We have tested the new export to offline function with the v12 demo version, but we are not satisfied because of the following reasons:

    • Protection of unintended sharing – The sub folder contains all files in an unencrypted format – this makes it easier for our users to “steal” content and re-distribute it outside our controlled environment. Of course you have been able to take a screenshot or record your screen to get a video also with the EXE, but the effort was much higher, so chances are big that most people didn’t do that. Now you can browse through the whole folder and easily copy, open or even modify all the files. A curious user could try to find the correct answers of the knowledge test within these files for example.
    • Content protection – We have not found the option to password protect the course. In the EXE version it was possible to set a password for each course – which ensured that the users were aware of the password before they were able to access the course.
    • Usability – The publish to offline function creates a shortcut for starting the course + a folder which contains all the files (similar as in the SCORM version with images, files …) – this makes it harder to share and distribute and could potentially confuse our users since it has now a different format

    Why do we need an offline option as well as a SCORM version?

    • Our trainees travel a lot – often without any or sometimes with a very slow internet connection. So what they often do is that they download the EXE and complete the training whenever they want to.
    • The EXE is very robust – we noticed that it is really robust and almost independent of the client’s configuration since you don’t have a diverse browser landscape which you need to care about.
    • Page load times – Since you download the whole course at once you don’t have to load further pages after the initial download.

    My personal recommendations:

    • Short term – Please think about bringing back the EXE functionality so users can decide if they want to use the old EXE export or the new publish to offline version.
    • Long term – If the publish to offline version should replace EXE completly (which I can understand since EXE is Windows only and also has some other disadvantages) please think about the points mentioned above.

    Please see the mentioned points as constructive user feedback – I hope it helps.

    Best regards,
    Martin

    #287494 Score: 0
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    Sergey Snegirev
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    @ssneg

    I think MartinK has a point (and also thank you for laying it out in such a well structured manner).

    And the solution is closer than might seem. Awesomium (the assumed tech behind the LectoraViewer.exe) has DataSource functionality (http://wiki.awesomium.com/general-use/using-data-sources.html). It allows to pack all the html/css/js/media files into nice .pak files and also encrypt those if need be. They can even be included into the .exe file itself.

    In other words, it is entirely possible to create a single-executable exe file for a Lectora course while keeping all the great things of HMTL-only output. And it would be great to have that option in Publishing to choose between “many HTML files and a viewer” vs “single exe file”. Both approaches have their advantages, so let the users choose.

    Would be a great thing to have in v12.1 πŸ™‚

    As for password-protecting stuff, you can easily build it in Lectora. Add a blocking overlay with an entry box on top of everything in your course and make sure it disappears only if a valid password is entered. Put it on every page of the course and associate a control variable with it so it remains hidden once a correct password is entered. It will protect you from 99% of your alleged content thieves. And the remaining 1% will steal your content anyway, single EXE or not.

    #287504 Score: 0
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    MartinK
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    @ssneg 63100 wrote:

    As for password-protecting stuff, you can easily build it in Lectora. Add a blocking overlay with an entry box on top of everything in your course and make sure it disappears only if a valid password is entered. Put it on every page of the course and associate a control variable with it so it remains hidden once a correct password is entered. It will protect you from 99% of your alleged content thieves. And the remaining 1% will steal your content anyway, single EXE or not.

    Thanks – Yes that’s a good idea and we have thought about that as well already.

    The only thing that still worries me is that it needs to be removed for exporting to SCORM. Of course it’s just a little thing but it’s still customization which you need to take care about.

    So if that feature would be back as well once again the user can decide if he uses the built in password protection from Lectora or creates a custom one within the content section. πŸ™‚

    #287500 Score: 0
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    Annette Williams
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    @amwdmw

    @ssneg 63100 wrote:

    I think MartinK has a point (and also thank you for laying it out in such a well structured manner).

    And the solution is closer than might seem. Awesomium (the assumed tech behind the LectoraViewer.exe) has DataSource functionality (http://wiki.awesomium.com/general-use/using-data-sources.html). It allows to pack all the html/css/js/media files into nice .pak files and also encrypt those if need be. They can even be included into the .exe file itself.

    In other words, it is entirely possible to create a single-executable exe file for a Lectora course while keeping all the great things of HMTL-only output. And it would be great to have that option in Publishing to choose between “many HTML files and a viewer” vs “single exe file”. Both approaches have their advantages, so let the users choose.

    Would be a great thing to have in v12.1 πŸ™‚

    As for password-protecting stuff, you can easily build it in Lectora. Add a blocking overlay with an entry box on top of everything in your course and make sure it disappears only if a valid password is entered. Put it on every page of the course and associate a control variable with it so it remains hidden once a correct password is entered. It will protect you from 99% of your alleged content thieves. And the remaining 1% will steal your content anyway, single EXE or not.

    I am not a techie – so how would I go about including everything into a single exe file? I clicked on the weblink…and I am super confused!

    #287492 Score: 0
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    Simon Birt
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    Hi,
    We changed this as a design decision and you do need to work with it differently. I am hoping to get some additional notes up soon to help with it. The majority of users we have tended to use the .exe file option for reviewing content and if that is you, you can use Reviewlink for this; it is designed for content reviewing.
    Martin K – I notice you have different needs for this option. I will have some notes shortly that will help, or a response at least.
    Thanks for everyone’s patience
    Simon

    #287502 Score: 0
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    @amwdmw

    Nope, that’s not me. I publish these as executables for external Client use. Therefore, this is a huge issue for me.

    As stated in my ticket, a quick survey to users on this functionality loss would have been a great heads up for me. I would have stuck with v11 until a workaround was created.

    I understand that changes need to be made to software – I work for a software company. However, one of the first things looked at is always user impact. I feel as this step, along with MULTIPLE QA efforts, were overlooked.

    Once again, my hashtag of #v12sucks applies.

    Ugh.

    #287496 Score: 0
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    Sergey Snegirev
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    @ssneg

    @amwdmw 63105 wrote:

    I am not a techie – so how would I go about including everything into a single exe file? I clicked on the weblink…and I am super confused!

    Unfortunately there is nothing you (or I) can do. The link is just a pointer for Lectora guys to take note of. It should be technically possible to achieve a single-file publish with Lectora’s new tech, and we can only hope they decide it is worthwhile to pursue this technical challenge. As for me, I’ve never ever had a client who would want exe, so I’m impartial here.

    @martink 63104 wrote:

    Thanks – Yes that’s a good idea and we have thought about that as well already.

    The only thing that still worries me is that it needs to be removed for exporting to SCORM. Of course it’s just a little thing but it’s still customization which you need to take care about.

    You can easily check in Lectora whether you’re in a SCORM environment or not. Just check one of SCORM-specific variables such as AICC_Student_ID. Any LMS must populate this variable with something, so if it isn’t empty – you’re running inside an LMS so you can bypass password protection.

    #287507 Score: 0
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    MartinK
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    @ssneg 63149 wrote:

    You can easily check in Lectora whether you’re in a SCORM environment or not. Just check one of SCORM-specific variables such as AICC_Student_ID. Any LMS must populate this variable with something, so if it isn’t empty – you’re running inside an LMS so you can bypass password protection.

    Thanks! That’s a good idea – I’ll try that next time! πŸ™‚

    #287488 Score: 0
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    @mallow76

    Agree that this functionality needs to be reinstated and the choice given to users about what format they want their courseware in. Withdrawing the exe format seems to be a tactic simply to drive traffic (and revenue) to ReviewLink.

    #287491 Score: 0
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    sigep1995
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    Lectora 12 still has this functionality…it is now listed as “Offline”. The “LectoraViewer” shortcut is for the exe file located in the “content” folder.

    #287490 Score: 0
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    Interesting thread. I assume those “design decisions” were not taken lightly however, (and sadly!) I need exe for EXACTLY the same reasons as MartinK. I can no longer recommend the renewal of our 7 licences next time around. A few of our technicians would not be prepared for this task, when it was so simple.

    #287503 Score: 0
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    Erica Hunter
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    @beeps

    Same here. We develop for state government, and output our courses in a lot of formats to meet the needs of our learners. Exe is a critical one for us. This is a major issue.

    #287486 Score: 0
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    Ben Pitman
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    @benpitman

    Seems strange to me that trivantis did not take the route that PowerPoint can take. You can take an entire PowerPoint and save it to a single HTML file that is viewable from a browser. I’ve never tried to hack into one and don’t know whether they are password-protected but it sure would seem a logical option if they want to publish everything as HTML. There are some complications with the differences between an executable and HTML. At one time I counted over 40 of them half of them were actions and behavior in the other half were the way things looked.

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