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Articulate art_plugins.xml ?

I got an email from someone asking for some clarification regarding the art_plugins.xml file:

"when i produce courses this art_plugins.xml file does not appear... and what it did do was cause the course not to load in the Oracle environment, not a very fun issue to track down. What I wound up doing was creating just a blank file with that name so the course would actually load. My question is what is the point of this file and why don't I have it to begin with? Articulate support insists that it should be there when I install but... it is not. thanks for all the great content and a tinkerer myself and love to know how stuff works and what I can do post publishing to courses to get the work a little better. The Automagical Menu control is great. Thanks John"


My reply:

"Hmm that is interesting... art_plugins.xml is used to add your own custom tabs and/or toolbar items.

Here is an example:

<plugins version="1.00">
<modules>
<item>
<enabled>true</enabled>
<id>1337</id>
<type>toolmod</type>
<author> James Kingsley (onEnterFrame) </author>
<authorlink> this.onEnterFrame@gmail.com </authorlink>
<file>tester.swf</file>
<labeltext>Tester</labeltext>
</item>
</modules>
</plugins>

As you can guess this is rarely needed. I do not think one ships with the standard Articulate. If you purchase the SDK there is one included in it (along with instructions). So most courses run just fine without it. The Articulate player looks for it but if it doesn't find the file it just moves on. For some reason in your environment that is happening...

I think you have found the best solution and that is to create a dummy file so it wont get a 404 error.

You may want to place your file here: C:\Program Files\Articulate\Presenter\players\core\player

Articulate will then include it every time you publish.

Hope that helps!

James"

If you have any other advice/ideas/comments about John's problem please feel free to mention them here.

Comments

Hi James,

Thanks for trying to help me load my external css. I did not get it to work and settled on just loading a web object.

I see that you are extending the xml in art_plugins.xml. Can you point me to any info on how to do this in the AS?

Thanks

Oracle may take extra time to load published content due to the fact that calls are being made to a notes.swf and a art_plugins.xml file. This issue is specific to Oracle as most LMS's will simply bypass the files and continue loading the content.

In regards to the notes.swf, this file and the associated folder will only be generated automatically if the presentation slides actually contain notes. If they don't, then the notes folder will not even be included in the published output. Thus, it is recommended that you always include notes for your slides.

In regards to the art_plugins.xml file, Presenter will not publish an empty art_plugins.xml file. This is done to prevent overwriting a custom art_plugins.xml file that may exist if you are using the Presenter SDK. Not having the file in your published output should not impact the loading speed of the content. However, if you notice that the course is slow to load, putting a blank art_plugins.xml file in the player folder should cure the issue.

I hope that helps!

Yes,that was the other issue, for loading in the oracle environment... need the notesbig and notessmall.swf for every slide you have if you do not have any actual speaker notes in there, and we found that we typically did not have any notes in the Quizzes causing them load extremely slow. Solutions: Put notes in the speaker notes section for everyslide or just chuck some dummy files into the data/swf folder after publishing.

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