Monday, July 21, 2014

Three Interesting Things

This week we share some interesting ideas that have come to our attention on Pennsylvania’s new online Dependency Benchbook, an online support calculator, and how to publish Internet Calendars with Microsoft Office Outlook.


Pennsylvania Publishes Online/Downloadable Benchbook

A benchbook is one of the most valuable tools that a judge can have at their disposal.   Recently, the Pennsylvania Office of Children & Families in the Court (an excellent website BTW) has posted two electronic versions of their new Dependency Benchbook.  Of course the ubiquitous PDF version is available for download.

But the more interesting thing about this release was that the online version uses an open source web based document viewer known as “FlexPaper”.  FlexPaper can display PDF files but it can also be used to enhance the document content with HTML5, HTML4 and Adobe Flash extensions.

I particularly like this example of an online magazine that contains the page thumbnails at the bottom for quick navigation (this example uses Flash or HTML5 if you click on that link).

Canadian Law Firm Offers an Online Support Calculator

The British Columbia JusticeBC website for Family Justice Information and Support provides an excellent introduction regarding spousal support.  Interestingly, they have provided a link to the Knight Litigation law firm (Calgary) website;    The free web “calculator” can help to show one how much money one may pay or receive in support.  And being from a law firm, they are also good about providing the terms and conditions of the service.

Publishing Internet Calendars from Microsoft Outlook

I believe that we are all aware of the wide adoption of Microsoft Outlook for E-mail, Calendar, and Task services in the courts.  And since many courts use the Outlook Calendar for organizing their work time I thought that it might be good to share Microsoft’s “Introductions” on the steps to publish those Outlook Calendars on the Internet.

These calendars can be shared as “snapshots” or potentially as a “subscription” model

However, in Outlook 2013 this capability was discontinued.  Instead Microsoft provided this capability in Office365 where one can simply “turn on” Calendar Publishing.  Office365 lets one either create “URLs that users can give to people outside your organization”; let users be able to invite people in their organization to see their calendar; or delegate permission to see details and schedule meetings on their behalf.

Now also remember that we may or may not be using personal calendars for this kind of activity. Group, or role calendars can also be set up that are shared by persons.

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