Dlayer – Release 0.55

New version up at Dlayer.com.

The text content item tool is back and I’ve also added a dependant content visual notification into the Template designer, you will see place holders when the selected content area has dependant content items.

There have been other changes but nothing worth mentioning here, as always please check the development log.

The import form tool is next on the list.

Technical Debt

Technical debt can be a problem for any project and being an alpha level project Dlayer has a large amount of what Fowler describes as prudent-inadvertent debt.

Each of the Dlayer designers share the same base code, I started the development of Dlayer with the Template designer, moved onto the Form builder and then onto the Content manager, in moving from one designer to another I had to modify the base design each time, the largest changes being made when I developed the Content manager. With the benefit of hindsight I’ve been able to see how I should have developed the original base system, the Bootstrap update enabled me to make all the changes required to create a far more solid base than I had in July.

With this release I haven’t removed all my technical debt, as above Dlayer is an alpha level project, sections are always going to need to be reworked, I am however much more confident with the design I have now as well as the fact that the base system now spans five designers rather than three.

Dlayer – Release 0.54

A new version is now up at Dlayer.com

Access to the Template designer and Content manager has been restored, both designers have been updated to support the new page structure required to generate Bootstrap based web pages. In addition to adding initial Bootstrap support I’ve also hit the Content manager and base tool system with the refactoring hammer, if felt great.

The number of available tools in each designer has been severely reduced, there is currently only one tool in the Template designer, create rows, and two tools in the Content manager, add content row and heading content item, obviously this is very temporary, this release was primarily about updating the Content manager and Template designer to provide a new base to build upon.

The missing tools in the Content manager will be added very quickly, after that I will work on the sub tools for the Content manager and then finish off a few things in both the Template designer and Content manager before moving on with my original commitment from July. Unless you haven’t already guessed I’m not going to hit my milestone, it will now probably be the v0.60s before image support is officially added.

Very minor delay

Adding content row support to the Content manager is proving a little more complicated than intended, there are several quite complex view helpers that generate the web page view, to add row support I need to efficiently inject something before the view helper calls and the template output.

I’ve got the design sorted on paper but it will take a few days to put in place, whilst I’m jumping in and out of the view helpers that build the web page and the models for the content item data I’m going to tick off a few refactoring tasks that have been bugging me.

In the mean time I have started releasing the high level specification for Dlayer, you can read it here on this site, it will catch up with the alpha over the next couple of months and then either match it or be slightly ahead as I release new features.

Current development branch tasks

I wanted to write an update to my ‘Backward to go forward‘ post, specifically what is required for Release 0.54. The majority of the changes will be in the Content manager, I need to simply the Template designer to create the simplest page template with which to use in the Content manager.

  • Remove all but the split horizontal tool from the Template designer, for now blocking out a heading, content area and footer is enough to enable me to work on the Content manager changes. (Done)
  • Add a tool and visual notification to the Template designer to allow the height of a container to be set as either fixed height or dynamic height, by default all containers have a dynamic height in the Content manager, they are only fixed in the Template designer to allow the user to select the container.
  • Content checks in the Template designer now need to check for the existence of content container row rather than content items themselves. (In progress)
  • The Template designer needs to provide a visual notification if a dependant content page has content in a content container block.
  • Disable the modifier system, until the system evolves further the problem previously solved by the current modifiers no longer exists, the modifier system will return later. (Done)
  • Add row support to the Content manager, a user will add rows to a content container into which they then add content items. (In progress)
  • Update content items to support setting their widths as twelfths of rows.
  • Create a helper to monitor the number of columns in each row, should not be more than 12.

I’m hoping to have Release 0.54 out within around a week.