G3D Development

Development blog for Dlayer.com and G3D Development

Dlayer – Release 20

New release up at Dlayer.com

This release adds two example quick tools to the Form builder, name and email, initially they just pre-set the field values, the intention is to not display the form and when the Form builder supports it auto add validation rules and set other relevant settings.

The Form builder has also been updated to support tools which use existing content types, as per the Content manager the system wasn’t initially developed to allow multiple tools for a content type.

Back to the Content manager for the next release, I’m going to start work on the positioning tab for the content item tools.

Dlayer – Release 18

New release up at Dlayer.com

This release adds a styling tab to the three active tools in the Content manager, currently the styling tab only allows a user to define a background colour for the container, additional styling options will be added in the future.

I have also fixed a couple of bugs in the Content manager, check the development log to see all the updates.

I have a very long list of small tasks that I continue to add to as I develop, all smallish things, either issues with the structure or just very minor bugs, I am going to concentrate on reducing the list before I start adding any additional major functionality.

Snag with Dlayer tool design

The modules in Dlayer all use the same approach when it comes to the processing code for the tools, there is a tool class behind each tool and two processing modes, auto and standard, although this works for the Template designer and Form builder it is starting to cause issues in the Content manager.

I developed it this way to specifically allow tools to have a two functions, the standard mode where a user defines all the values and quick modes. An example from the Template designer is the background colour tool, in the quick modes the user is choosing a palette colour, in the standard mode the user defines the colour using the colour picker. An example from the Form builder is the name and text input tools, although two different tools they both use the text processing tool, it is just the name tool presets all the values to allow the user to add a name input quickly.

In the Content manager I’m adding styling tabs to the tools, these allow the user to define basic styling for the content container. Because they are part of the text tool the processing tool class is already defined, it will however fail on processing because expected values won’t exist.

There are a few ways to deal with this, I can add support for sub tools, have the tools check the mode they are and process accordingly or on the styling tabs  define other tool classes to use for processing.

I’m swaying toward sub tools at the moment, mainly because although the user is defining styling they are defining the styling for a text content item.

Because I have to come up with a workable solution to the above the next release will be a little smaller functionally, I’m only going to add background colour styling support to the text content tool and then extend the system for the next release if everything goes to plan.

Dlayer – Release 17

New release up at Dlayer.com

This release includes the new colour picker, currently only available in the Template designer.

In the Template designer when a user needs to choose a colour, background and border tools, clicking on the colour inputs loads up the new colour picker.

The colour picker shows all the colours defined in the three site palettes, the last five used colours and also includes an input to allow a new colour to be created.

The data for the last used colours comes from the database, tools however don’t yet update the database, as I add the colour picker to the rest of the modules I will add in the calls to store used values.

Dlayer – Release 16

New release up at Dlayer.com, includes a preview for the Web site manager.

The Web site manager allows the user to connect all their created pages. The Web site manager also allows the user to define site level data for widgets, an example being menu widgets.

Initial preview of Web site manager in place, non functional, acting as a starting point for designing how the Web site manager needs to look and work.

Dlayer – Release 13

New release up at Dlayer.com, it is a maintenance release.

The base tools system has been modified, content type and tool type are now distinct values, although they had matched till the last release they will not match in the future as I add more import tools and quick tools.

I reviewed the disabled modules to ensure that they still work after all the base changes, had to make a few minor tweaks but everything is in order, they are ready to be turned on when I deem them functional enough.

In the form builder a user can now move the assigned form fields around, same system as the content manager, hover over a field and up and down controls are shown.

To check the full list of changes review the development log.

Dlayer – Release 12

Major milestone release, three modules are now communicating with each other, much more to do but glad to be at this point finally.

This version allows a form to be imported from the Form builder into a content page as a content item.

When importing a form the user gets to define the size of the form container and the padding around the form. If a form is selected the user can edit the values.

Forms are attached by reference, any changes made to the form in the Form builder will show immediately on all pages in the Content manager that have the form attached.

As per all the previous releases forms don’t yet work, they just display the assigned field, forms will start to function later, I need to work on the layout and styling tools first.

The container width modifier has been updated to support the form content item, it uses the same rules as defined for a text area, if required, forms will resize in relation to the page block they have been attached to.

The development plan lists ‘some’ of the development work upcoming for the form builder.

Developing the import form tool exposed a couple of issues with the base tool system, specifically tool and content type strings not always matching. I patched the app to enable me to make this release but I now need to concentrate on making the corrections to the base system, that is what the majority of the next release will focus on, think of it as 12.1 :)

Dlayer – Release 8

New release up at Dlayer.com

Release 8 was supposed to allow a user to import a form from the Form builder into a page created in the Content manager, I’ve pushed that back to a later release, hopefully the next major release.

During my time off over the holidays I spent some time testing and playing with the app, I realised I kept needing to scroll vertically when working in the modules.

In each of the modules, the Form builder, Content manager and Template designer the design is pushed down below the ribbon, unless I was working on the top third of a design I needed to scroll.

I’ve moved the ribbon to the right side of the page along with the tools, in addition I’ve also adjusted the width of all the modules, now 1366 pixels, 1024 for the design and the rest for the tools and options.

I’ve always had plans to develop multiple versions of Dlayer, at the moment I am concentrating on the browser version, once I’m happy with the state of the browser version I’ll develop the client side version, the client side version of the app will use the exact same layout as the web version, hence the new width.

In addition to the layout changes I’ve updated the base styling, I’ve simplified the styling for the tools and tool options and squashed a few bugs.

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