How to Make Table Announcements

Table Announcements and Information Panels

[Updated 24th November 2021]

A table announcement is a message or piece of content that appears on each table before the start of a session or at the end of a round. Table announcements are sometimes referred to as the tablecloth. In essence, they are a block in which HTML can be displayed in place of the normal tabletop.  They are completely customizable.

Before the session starts, you can create an information panel. This is similar to a table announcement, but it is available to the players whenever they want to see it. At any time during the session, a player can click the ⓘ button, just above the scores.

1. Terminology

Config File – A config file is a JSON file that is uploaded at the beginning of a session with settings for the session.

Visual Studios Community Edition - A text editor made for programming. When installed with the .NET package is the perfect tool for making config files.

Key - A key in a config file is the text on the left-hand side of the colon. When you upload a config file to RealBridge, it will identify the key and take the value (what's on the right-hand side), and put it in the right place. If RealBridge doesn't recognize a key, you will get an error, if the variable type on the value is incorrect, you will get an error. The punctuation (syntax) in a config file is also very precise. Visual studios will help to identify any potential typos, for example, brackets that have been opened and not closed, misplaced commas, etc.

2. Example of a Table Announcement File and Result

{
"table_announcements": [ { "round": 1, "html": "<p><img style='display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;' src='https://realbridge.online/assets/img/icons/logo_club.svg' alt='' /></p><h1 style='text-align: center;'>Welcome to RealBridge</h1><p style='text-align: center;'>Here is a link to our <a href='https://realbridge.online/'>website</a></p>" } ]
}

Download BLANK config file here

 

3. How to create your own table announcement

Before you get started these are our top tips for making table announcements:

  • The best program to create and modify all config files (which contain Table Announcements) is Visual Studios Community edition with the .NET package. See our how-to-install video here.
  • We have made a how-to make a table announcement video, please watch this video here.
  • Upload all images you want to use to Bridgewebs/Pianola or any other website. They don't have to be on any page, just uploaded to the back end. You cannot upload to google drive or any other online drive, they must be on a website.

Great, now we are ready to start!

1. Download a copy of the blank config file from Google Drive here. This is the same as the one above. 

2. Open it up in Visual studios ready for later

3. Go to HTML Online. You will be able to start building your table announcement on the left side while the HTML is automatically generated on the right.

4. When you have made your table announcement, you must:

    a. Replace all double quotation marks with single quotation marks

  1.  

    b.  Condense all text into one line. Note: the text will still wrap and look like it is on multiple lines, but the important thing is that the number of lines is one.

5. Copy all HTML into config file. Make sure to set the round number and that all punctuation (syntax) is correct.

6. Upload config file to RealBridge Session to see how it looks.

4. Editable Keys

Key

Data type

Notes

table_announcements

Array of JSON elements

Each element of the array is one table announcement.

round

Integer or "all"

0 – Before the session has started.
1 – After round 1 has finished.
3 – After round 3 has finished.
“all” – After every round, unless you have also specified a table announcement for that round.

html

String

String of HTML.
If this contains double quotes, they must be escaped with a backslash.

Cannot contain newlines (but can contain HTML line-breaks, paragraph tags, etc).

 

4.    Multiple Announcements Examples

{
  "table_announcements": [
    {
      "round": 0,
      "html": "<h1>Welcome to today’s session</h1>"
    },
    {
      "round": 10,
      "html": "<h1>Thank you for playing!</h1><p>See you at the county Swiss pairs<p>"
    },
    {
      "round": "all",
      "html": "<h1>More rounds still to come!</h1>"
    }
  ]
}  

Download BLANK config file here

5.    Useful links

HTML Online

HTML Online is an online rich editor which you can edit use to make your table announcement and then copy the HTML.

W3Schools

W3Schools provide extensive HTML documentation with useful editable examples.

JSONLint

Use this to validate the JSON in your config file.

YouTube

A link to a tutorial on how to make a table announcement.

 

6.    Hints

Information Panels

This is created before the start of the session, using a config file. The method is like the method for creating a table notice. Instead of specifying a round-number, specify the “round” as “info”. For example:

{
   "table_announcements":
   [
       {
"round":"info",
"html":"<p>The director today is Anne.</p><p>The next session starts at 2pm.</p>"
}

   ]
}

The information panel can be used in addition to table notices, for example:

{
   "table_announcements":
   [
       {
"round":0,
"html":"<p>Welcome to our monthly teams event.</p>"
},
       {
"round":"info",
"html":"<p>The director today is Anne.</p><p>The next session starts at 2pm.</p>"
}
   ]
}

Examples of how the information panel can be used

  • For new learners, playing MiniBridge or Bridge, the information panel can contain basic reminders, like the set of possible contracts, how to count points, etc.
  • As part of a lesson, the teacher can create a summary of what the lesson was about, and the students can refer to it whilst playing the practice deals.
  • For multi-session events, the Information panel can show the start times of later sessions, rules about qualification, etc.
  • You can use it to show information about the event or future sessions.

Difference between the information panel and a table notice

The information panel is shown on demand when a player clicks the Information button. It can be shown at any time.

A table notice is shown automatically. It is shown before the start of the session, or at the end of a round.