R – Large scrollview table with buttons


We are trying to write a training manual application for the iPhone. On the top half of the screen is a diagram of a car engine, on the bottom half is some text. At the user repeatedly hits a "next" button, we highlight different parts of the engine, and in concert we highlight different parts of the descriptive text below.

We basically want "living text" in the text half, with the illustration following along on top to where the reader is in the text. What we'd like from the text is 1. user can scroll it using their thumb so possibly a UIScrollView 2. the software can explicitly drive a scroll to any part of the text (when they hit the "next" button). 3. the words in the text are interspersed with hotlinks e.g. "this is the camshaft… this is the piston…" and the user should be able to click on any of the keywords like camshaft, piston, and have the diagram highlight that. (The problem is not highlighting the diagram, its capturing the click). The text would have 300~400 buttons/links/keywords and about 600 words of text.

Since this is fairly similar to using a web browser, we tried using Apple's version of webkit using a UIWebView and handleOpenURL to register a service back to the app itself. But Webkit for internal links a popup comes up asking permission to access that link. Every single the user wants to go to a link (in our case just an internal event that we'd intercept so that we can highlight e.g. the camshaft). Tried to intercept the event from the HTML view, but that didn't work.

It seems like the best we can do is to abandon scrolling text, and make the text part more like flash cards or a power point presentation, breaking the text into custom UIViewCells with buttons inside a UIScrollView. However, this would impose an annoying constraint on the author that they would have to write everything to fit in the UIViewCells, sort of chunky.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Best Solution

This is definitely something you can use a UIWebView for. Don't use handleOpenURL, rather, set your viewController as the webview's delegate, and override -webView:shouldStartLoadWithRequest:navigationType:. When this gets called, check the request, and pull out your link data from there.

Related Question