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Q Applet User Option
/applet-development/user-questions/

Q Applet frameworks sports a facily to collect user options at applet installation time. These are called questions in the Q applet context.

Q Marketplace

Creating questions

The questions are declared as JSON in the package.json in the questions fields.

The control type is set using the field ``controlType`. Supported field types are:

  • textbox
  • textbox with option to add click + and add new field ("isArray": true)
  • checkbox
  • dropdown
  • color
  • effect
  • dropdown with dynamic population ("dynamic": true)
  • search

The JSON snippet for the above example is as follows:

"questions": [{
      "key": "name",
      "label": "Your name",
      "placeholder": "bob or alice?",
      "required": true,
      "order": 1,
      "controlType": "textbox"
    }, {
      "key": "planets",
      "label": "Enter planets to visit",
      "help": "Enter search terms like 'Orion'. Click [+] to add more",
      "placeholder": "Start name of planet name...",
      "required": true,
      "order": 2,
      "controlType": "textbox",
      "isArray": true
    }, {
      "key": "useOverdrive",
      "label": "Use overdrive?",
      "help": "Whether to travel faster with overdrive (+$9K)",
      "order": 3,
      "controlType": "checkbox"
    }, {
      "key": "concent",
      "label": "Research",
      "value": "I give permission to share my data with other interstellar voyagers.",
      "order": 4,
      "controlType": "textbox"
    },{
      "key": "congelationOption",
      "label": "Favorite congelation method?",
      "help": "During your trip your body will be congelated. Choose how.",
      "required": true,
      "order": 5,
      "controlType": "dropdown",
      "options": [{
        "key": "cryogenic",
        "value": "Cryogenic freezing"
      }, {
        "key": "quantumSplit",
        "value": "Quantum molecule split"
      }]
    }]

Tip: Accessing questions from Javascript

The object this.config is used access the questions values in index.js:

logger.info(this.config.name); // => bob
logger.info(this.config.congelationOption); // => cryogenic
etc...

Color control type

The color control type will display a color picker:

      {
        "key": "reminderColor",
        "label": "Choose the color of the reminder",
        "help": "",
        "required": true,
        "order": 6,
        "value": "#F6FF00",
        "controlType": "color"
      }

ControlTypeColor

Effect control type

The effect control type will display a list of available RGB effects: The effects available are depending on the device that is used.

      {
        "key": "reminderEffect",
        "label": "Choose the effect of the reminder",
        "help": "",
        "required": true,
        "order": 6,
        "value": "BLINK",
        "controlType": "effect"
      }

ControlTypeEffect

Dynamic dropdown control type

A dropdown that dynamically retrieves a list of options from a server for example.

ControlTypeDropdownDynamic

Use the dropdown controlType with the dynamic attribute set to true in the package.json:

      {
        "key": "zoneId",
        "value": "TXZ211",
        "label": "Choose a location",
        "help": "select a location from the list",
        "required": true,
        "order": 1,
        "controlType": "dropdown",
        "dynamic": true
      }

In this case the applet needs to implement the async method options(questionKey)

This method should return a list of options using a key/value format:

[{
  "key": "2",
  "value": "Austin, TX"
},
{
  "key": "3",
  "value": "Dallas, TX"
}]

Example implementation inside the weather applet that retrieves the cities dynamically from a local text file using the fetch method implementend somewhere else.

class WeatherApplet extends q.DesktopApp {
  async options(questionKey) {
    const options = [];
    // fetch data asynchronously (from a server for example)
    return this.fetch().then(results => {
      results.forEach(result => {
        return options.push({
          key: result.key,
          value: result.value
        });
      })
    });
  }
}

Note: With the dynamic dropdown, the call to the options method will be made only once to get all the options at the same time.

Search control type

The search controlType is a typeahead search field. It calls the async options method every time the user changes the search input after a debounce time. The options method has 2 parameters options(questionKey, searchTerm)

ControlTypeSearch

Use the controlType search in the package.json to display the typeahead search:

      {
        "key": "cityId",
        "label": "Choose a city",
        "help": "select a location from the list",
        "required": true,
        "order": 1,
        "value": "http://www.yr.no/place/United_States/Texas/Austin/forecast.xml",
        "valueLabel": "Austin, Texas (United States)",
        "controlType": "search"
      }

This method should return a list of options using a key/value format:

[{
  "key": "http://www.yr.no/place/United_States/Texas/Austin/forecast.xml",
  "value": "Austin, TX"
},
{
  "key": "http://www.yr.no/place/United_States/Texas/Dallas/forecast.xml",
  "value": "Dallas, TX"
}]

Example implementation inside the international weather applet that retrieves the cities dynamically from a local text file using the loadCities method implementend somewhere else.

class WeatherAppletInternational extends q.DesktopApp {
  async options(questionKey, searchTerm) {
    // fetch data asynchronously (from a server for example)
    return loadCities().then(results => {
      results.forEach(result => {
        return options.push({
          key: result.key,
          value: result.value
        })
        // for a better user experience. Slice the result to a maximum number of options
        .slice(0, MAX_SEARCH_RESULTS);
      })
    });
  }
}