October 1st brings a couple good things.
Thing Number One: the Spry team finds itself in Chicago, for the Adobe MAX conference. It is our annual user conference, with meetings and classes and networking and putting faces to emails. Your humble host, along with other members of the Spry team, and some hard-core Spry users, will be teaching Spry at MAX this year.
Thing Number Two: We released Spry 1.6 today.
As I mentioned in my previous post, this release is about raising our game with respects to web standards, accessibility and progressive enhancement, among other topics. We wrote a set of articles discussing these topics. You can check them out at http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/spry/articles/best_practices/.
We added some advanced versions of our demos. There are a couple flavors of the Photo Gallery: one using the HTML data set. The other with static data that is progressively enhanced. There is also a version of the Products demo that degrades nicely. The default Photo Gallery demo has been updated to be simpler and more modular, using a first iteration of some image widgets we are working on. See the new stuff here: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/spry/demos/.
Ah, the sweet Element Selector. Along the lines of jQuery and DOMQuery, the Element Selector (SpryDOMUtils.js) is a utility used for grabbing multiple parts of the page using CSS Selectors and applying functions to them. Our speed is on par with other tools and we have robust and accurate CSS3 support. Read about it here and check it out here.
An important note: We changed the way we handle text values within the XML Data Set. This will affect folks that send entity encoded HTML or HTML embedded in CDATA in their XML. Read more about it in http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/spry/samples/data_region/XMLDataSetStringHandlingSample.html and also in http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/spry/samples/data_region/HTMLFragsInXMLSample.html
We have a few more widgets: We rounded out our form validation collection with a Password Validation widget and a Confirm Password widget. The HTML Panel is a widget that uses HTML fragments and allows graceful degradation.
A note on the difference. Minimized files are compacted, with whitespace removal and other compression techniques. Packed files are smaller: they minimize the files and then they set up a text replacement table that reduces the string size. They are smaller but there is a small performance hit when the browser initially undoes the packing. You can avoid this CPU spike by using the minimized versions, but the file size is bigger (yet still quite a bit smaller than the regular versions). We provided both versions so you can choose the best path for yourself.
On the data front: We added a new data set: The DataSetShell allows multiple data sets to share a spry:region.
We did want to mention that we do read the forums every day and file bugs and enhancement requests for things that people find. We didn’t get to fix as many as we wanted this time around, especially some of the enhancements, but we do have them filed and plan on getting a bunch done for 1.7.
But on the positive side, we are also releasing the Spry Updater for Dreamweaver CS3! Finally, a simple and easy way to not only update Dreamweaver CS3 to Spry 1.6, but it also allows you to copy over the updated files to your local root folder. It was a great summer project for a couple of the Spry team guys and it should make the updating process very easy. The extension can be downloaded for free from the Labs site. Just follow the usual download link: http://www.macromedia.com/go/labs_spry_download.
Over the next couple posts, we will talk more about the standards stuff, explaining more and responding to any comments you may have.
So go download Spry 1.6.