Archive for June, 2007

Schedule, Widget, Styling and Source

Good morning spry:fans,

This part of the Spry team is back at his post in California, busy with the next Spry release. I wanted to pass along a couple Spry developments here.

First, the Spry team has decided that we wanted to get some more features into the zip before we could really call it gold. To us, a gold or ‘production’ release not only means that is it stable code, but also that the package includes all the big features that users will need to use Spry robustly. Since are working on additional features that will make a more complete release, we decided to hold off on the gold release until we were all happy with the feature set.

So the next version will be Pre-release 1.6 and we are expecting to release at the end of the summer. We will be dealing with HTML fragments, unobtrusive Spry and a slick CSS selector utility.

But in the meantime, we just posted a widget that we couldn’t quite get in for 1.5. We are happy to preview our new Tooltip widget. You can find that and additional links, including the overview doc, on the Preview page: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/spry/preview/

Also, we have had many questions lately about styling the Menu Bar widget. Towards that, we posted a few more styling samples on the samples page: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/spry/samples/#widgets

Lastly, I just found this toolkit for IE7. http://www.ie7pro.com/ It does many things, but mostly, Spry developers finally have a way to View Generated Source for IE7. Of course, I presume that everyone already has Firebug installed for Firefox…

Thanks,
Don

Hi Spry:fans,

It’s been a while. This part of the Spry team is in Europe, splitting time between vacation and visiting Adobe offices and attending user group meetings. I wanted to talk about some Spry 1.5 things, now that it is out in the world.

First, we are happy that we finally got to release our JSON and HTML data sets. That’s a big advance for the data portion of the toolkit. People have been asking for Nested data sets for some time now and we are pleased to get it out there. The effects got a nice boost too, with smoother action and more transitions. Check it out of you haven’t already.

One thing that has come up since the release is Spry 1.5 and Dreamweaver CS3. People are asking how to update Dreamweaver to use Spry 1.5. Let me explain the DW/Spry products and workflow.

First, a note on timing. Dreamweaver CS3 was released with Spry 1.4. This is because the DW team have to ‘lock down’ Dreamweaver well before the April release date. So they had to lock the Spry features this past winter, therefore Spry 1.4. In the meantime, the Spry team continued to work on its next release. It so happened that Spry 1.5 was finished shortly after the DW release date.

The Spry team develops our features as we see the need and in response to customer requests. And having a much shorter release cycle, there may be 3 or 4 releases of Spry between the next release of Dreamweaver. But since Dreamweaver supports Spry, the Dreamweaver team and the Spry team will work together to add Spry features to Dreamweaver in subsequent releases. So Spry will always be ahead of Dreamweaver, feature wise. This may be frustrating to Dreamweaver users but both teams are looking into ways of updating Spry support in DW.

But by taking advantage of Dreamweaver’s extensibility layer, we can do some things to let Dreamweaver keep up in some ways. We can update the Spry source files used in the sites and update the code hinting for new features. To do so…

Dreamweaver has 2 sets of files: One set of files are the actual Spry files that are used in the browser. It is these files that DW copies to the site folder and are uploaded. There are also a series of ‘design-time’ Spry files that DW uses to work with Spry IN Dreamweaver. These files allow the widgets to render correctly and show the different panels/states. You don’t need to worry about the design-time files. Those will never change.

There are a couple ideas about updating Dreamweaver sites to Spry 1.5.
First, there is updating the Spry files in your site. If you download the Spry 1.5 zip, you can simply copy the new javascript files (and CSS if you need it) to the local root folder and upload the new files and the widgets and data should work as expected.

The second idea is having Dreamweaver copy the Spry 1.5 files to your site when you use Spry components. To do this, we need to update the Spry files in the Dreamweaver configuration folder.

Keep in mind, only the Spry widgets and data that Dreamweaver supports may need updating. Also, not all uses will need or want to update Dreamweaver. If your Spry files are working well and you have no need to update, then no problem.

The Dreamweaver team is working on an extension that will help users update files and copy the new features over to the site. We expect to have that ready for the Spry production release, which will be released this summer. Until then, we are thinking about releasing a simple extension to Labs that would update the Spry source files in Dreamweaver. It would also provide code hints for the new functions and data sets. While we finish this extensions (it takes some testing before we release anything), there are ways to update Dreamweaver to use Spry 1.5 files. For now, it takes a bit of manual file moving.

In short, the Spry files exist in: ‘DW application folder/Configuration/Shared/Spry/’

If you want to update SpryData.js to 1.5, copy the new file and replace the file in DW/configuration/Shared/Spry/Data/

Repeat for the other files you want to update. Spry team member Kin has posted a detailed list of files and instructions on how to update here on the Spry forums:

http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/webforums/forum/messageview.cfm?forumid=72&catid=602&threadid=1269066&enterthread=y

It’s a wise idea to make a copy of the Shared/Spry folder before hand, in case something goes amiss…

Only the files that currently exist would ever need to be updated.

The Dreamweaver team is however, looking into the idea of providing extensions that will add additional Spry support in DW. This would allow DW to keep with Sprys quicker release schedule. Nothing final on that yet; there are still questions to be answered there…

To be clear: these new files (other than the code hinting) will not add any new functionality to Dreamweaver. It will simply allow DW to copy over new files to your site when you use the features.

Also, DW will detect if you have, say, SpryAccordion.js in your site. If it already exists, it will not copy over the new file. It doesn’t know the file is new. You can just manually copy the new files to your site folder..or, more tediously, delete the Accordion files (or whatever component you are using) from the SpryAssets folder and then insert an accordion onto a new page. DW will then copy the new files to the SpryAssets folder again.

So, more on this later. We have some things in the works that will help with this scenario.

Thanks for reading,

Don