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Attach the menus

The feature of menu attaching using AutoConnect

In this section, it presents numerous ways to customize the AutoConnect menu with your Sketch. AutoConnect dynamically materializes menu items at the Sketch run time with joined AutoConnectAux as a sourced configuration. Typically, it has AutoConnectElements for page rendering in its composition but can configure a Web page as a menu item without having AutoConnectElements. In other words, the AutoConnect Menu component allows you to easily embed a navigation menu with WiFi connection expansion in your Sketch, which has legacy pages for ESP8266WebServer or WebServer of ESP32.

The basic mechanism for menu generation

Sketch can equip the AutoConnect menu by using three patterns according to the appropriate usage of the AutoConnect API.

Basic menu
It is the most basic menu for a WiFi connection only. Sketch can automatically display it using the typical calling sequence of the AutoConnect API with AutoConnect::begin and AutoConnect::handleClient.
Extra menu with custom Web pages which is consisted by AutoConnectElements
It is an extended menu that appears when the Sketch consists of the custom Web pages with AutoConnectAux and AutoConnectElements. Refer to section Custom Web pages section.
Extra menu which contains legacy pages
It provides an item for including a legacy page in the AutoConnect menu that natively uses the page request handler attached by the ESP8266WebServer::on function. (Similarly, WebServer::on for ESP32)

The mechanism by which AutoConnect dynamically generates the menu is simple. The member variables title and uri of AutoConnectAux will be transferred into <li> HTML tag as they are. Then all <li> elements are included in the form that makes up the menu. Therefore, the Sketch can register the legacy web pages to the menu by simply declaring the title and URI with AutoConnectAux and binding it to AutoConnect.

Place the item for the legacy sketches on the menu

To implement this with your sketch, use only the AutoConnectAux constructed with the title and URI of that page. AutoConnectElements is not required.

The AutoConnect library package contains an example sketch for ESP8266WebServer known as FSBrowser. Its example is a sample implementation that supports AutoConnect without changing the structure of the original FSBrowser and has the menu item for Edit and List.

Slightly changes to adapt FSBrowser to AutoConnect menu

The changes I made to adapt the FSBrowser to the AutoConnect menu are slight as follows:

  1. Add AutoConnect declaration.
  2. Add AutoConnectConfig declaration to replace the menu title to FSBRowser.
  3. Set the menu title using AutoConnectConfig::title.
  4. Replace the destination of the not found handler (404 handler) from ESP8266WebServer to AutoConnect. 1IMPORTANT
  5. Add AutoConnectAux using AutoConnect::append and combine an item for Edit.
  6. Add AutoConnectAux using AutoConnect::append and combine an item for List.
  7. Establish a WiFi connection using AutoConnect::begin and execute AutoConnect::handleClient in the loop, as in the case of handling the basic menu.

FSBrowser with embedded AutoConnect

Modification for FSBrowser as follows: (Excerpt of the sketch code)

... and embeds a hyperlink with an icon in the bottom of the body section of index.htm contained in the data folder to jump to the AutoConnect menu.

<p style="padding-top:15px;text-align:center">
  <a href="/_ac"><img src="data:image/png;base64,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" border="0" title="AutoConnect menu" alt="AutoConnect menu"/></a>

  1. Missing this step, AutoConnect cannot handle the menu. Refs: 404 handler