Where’s Spry 1.5?

Hi spry:fans,

Thought I would pass along an update on where we are with the next version of Spry. We have some really good stuff in the works.

Kin has been working on the hornet’s nest that is nested data sets. It’s almost done. As we went through different use cases, it confirmed our fears that it was a beast and there are many ways to slay the beast, each with its pros and cons.

A small ‘ferinstance’: Because of the way we flatten, generating something like:

  • Artist 1
    • album
    • album
    • album
  • Artist 2
    • album
    • album

is very different in a data set way of thinking than:

Artist 1 album
Artist 1 album
Artist 1 album
Artist 2 album
Artist 2 album
Artist 2 album

What happens when you sort the ‘album’ column? It depends on how you break up the data. Right now, we are using the idea of Spry.Data.NestedDataSet which is a derived from a standard data set. We also have this idea of a ‘join’, or advanced flattening, where columns from the nested XML are appended to the parent data set.

The point is, there are many issues that needed to be solved for this to work in most (I hesitate to say ‘all’) scenarios. We will have good documentation when this comes out and samples as well. I will discuss it here before and after we release it.


We will also introduce the HTML data set. This data set will allow you to leverage regular HTML tables and structures as data sources. If we are flattening XML data into a table, then using existing tables is a small step for sprykind. But it’s a giant leap in leveraging existing data and negating the need for XML. Anyone can create and update a table with ease. CSS can be used for filtering and extracting specific data. It’s pretty darn cool.We have been hard at work building new features, but working on Dreamweaver has taken priority recently and that has put us behind a bit.Therefore, we are going to do a couple things:We are going to preview our new functionality in mid-to-late March. We will post our new work to Labs as a preview. It won’t be formally zipped, but we want to make it available to the community and we want early feedback on our new stuff, esp the nested data sets. We want to make sure our approach hold water with real world scenarios.We are now planning on the next formal drop in last spring, probably in the May time frame. This will give us time to polish and vet the new features and get the samples and documentation in order.We are also working on unobtrusive samples of Spry. We will demonstrate how to use Spry in a way that doesn’t use custom attributes.We want to show that it can be done and how do it. We will also use the time to address the concerns of the standards and accessibility concerns that have been bubbling within the community for a bit now. We are serious about making Spry both simple and a proper way to code Ajax pages.We have made some sizable changes to the way Effects work. They should be more uniform and controllable now. But it will require small changes to those pages with existing effects. These changes are small and only need to be taken if you want to update to the latest version. I will discuss this in more detail in a future post. We still have some time before this is released, so no need to worry now. Just a head’s up…And, I have to continue to bite my tongue on the new Dreamweaver/Spry features… We are talking about some eSeminars in the springtime to talk about Dreamweaver and to go over some of these new features I have mentioned here.So that’s it for this time. I don’t mean to tease here, but I wanted to let you know what was happening and that we are indeed hard at work on the next version.Thanks,Don