Just some thoughts about JQuery and FW Actions.

http://line25.com/articles/showcase-of-interactive-websites-powered-by-jquery

I get demands for things shown here. And that makes sense, when this becomes the new trend, it is likely customers are asking for it.

Two scenarios: One has to analise an effect, take it apart into pieces, and rebuild it in FW with standard or additional Actions. When this works, everybody is happy.

Second scenario, the problems begins.
Say you have a site with some nice effects made in FW, thanks to one of the Actions. But one particulair function (read: wanted by the customer) seems easier to be build in by hand using a JQuery library. Now there is a chance that the pages contain too many JavaScript and unpredictable conflicts occur.

Do you recognise this?
If so, how do you deal with that problem? Leaving Actions alone, building everything in by hand, just to be on the safe side? Using FW only as a basic tool?

Or is there another way to avoid these conflicts?


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On Aug 22, 2012, at 5:57 AM, atelier wrote:

Learning jQuery – Tutorial Roundup for Beginners

I get demands for things shown here. And that makes sense, when this becomes the new trend, it is likely customers are asking for it.

Definitely true. Prototype/Scriptaculous “peaked” a year or two ago, and jQuery (with its enormous corporate support, as well as the network effect of being the new hotness) has steadily become roughly synonymous with JavaScript.

Two scenarios: One has to analise an effect, take it apart into pieces, and rebuild it in FW with standard or additional Actions. When this works, everybody is happy.

Second scenario, the problems begins.
Say you have a site with some nice effects made in FW, thanks to one of the Actions. But one particulair function (read: wanted by the customer) seems easier to be build in by hand using a JQuery library. Now there is a chance that the pages contain too many JavaScript and unpredictable conflicts occur.

Do you recognise this?
If so, how do you deal with that problem? Leaving Actions alone, building everything in by hand, just to be on the safe side? Using FW only as a basic tool?

I am lucky enough to know how to do many of these effects by hand or with Prototype/Scriptaculous, and I can hand-code my way out of most corners. I am the exception here, I realize. If a well-written plug-in is used (maybe two) and jQuery.noConflict() is used, you can combine the two libraries quite simply, although you make the page larger as you do. Looking over this page http://docs.jquery.com/Using_jQuery_with_Other_Libraries I can see several approaches that I could take in my Scripty libraries to accommodate jQuery, but I have resisted this so far because I don’t want to encourage this practice of making Mulligan stew out of a Web page.

Or is there another way to avoid these conflicts?

I am not naive enough to think that Freeway will continue to use Prototype exclusively; the winds of change are blowing quite hard, and I imagine it is only the size of the Softpress team and the number of hours in a year that keep them from a wholesale rewrite of all the built-in functions, and an e-mail to me alerting me to change my Actions.

Which will be a shame, really. Prototype is a well-worn tool in my hands, capable of much more than mere visual effects. I’ve often said that you could build jQuery with Prototype, but the opposite is definitely not true. jQuery takes you part of the way, then says, “You can just code the rest in JavaScript directly”, ignoring the very reason that Prototype exists at all – to smooth over the variations between JavaScript implementations on the various browsers where it must run. Having to hand-code anything more elaborate than a DOM search introduces technical debt and raises your test requirements exponentially.

If the time comes, I will go, grumbling as I do, to the dark side. But I will still carry that flame in my heart.

Walter


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What a relief it is, to hear such a refreshing line of questioning… thank
you!

I like to think that as a designer, my audience is as concerned about what
is visually apparent about my work as they are about what is under the
hood. Even when I am the only member of that audience.

Freeway Pro IS JUST A TOOL. For many of us it is also training wheels for
our journey into web design. For some, it becomes an impediment to that
journey. You should not let something handicap you just because you have
grown beyond it. Nor must you abandon something that works well for you,
albeit a smaller percentage of the time.

Once upon a time, I was a QuarkXpress Master. A master’s Master. But when
they took too long to make the jump to OSX, I started using inDesign out of
necessity. My head didn’t explode or burst into flames – I simply learned
new skills. And I never went back to QuarkXpress – in fact I forgot just
about everything I ever knew about it. Today I am every bit the master with
inDesign as I was with QuarkXpress.

So we can add tools, or change tools, to accomplish what we do. As long as
we realize they are only just - tools.


Ernie Simpson


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Ernie beat me to it but I was going to say something similar. If the
tool can’t accommodate your evolving needs then move on if that’s what
it takes. It’s just software, not your best friend. Better to serve your
end goal of delivering a product the client wants.

Todd
http://xiiro.com


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Great minds, Todd. But there is another side to this equation… tool-makers
could make better tools. :slight_smile:

It was so very painful for me to give up using QuarkXpress – I had delayed
my adoption of OSX waiting on them, which put me at risk in my industry.
Struggling to learn inDesign made me actually hate Quark (Actually,
inDesign is a lot like Illustrator, so most of the pain was likely me out
of my comfort zone with all that new stuff). But then, I found myself
getting better with inDesign, and Adobe kept improving it. By the time
Quark released their OSX version, I had long moved on with no desire to
look behind.


Ernie Simpson

On Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 9:48 AM, Todd email@hidden wrote:

Ernie beat me to it but I was going to say something similar. If the tool
can’t accommodate your evolving needs then move on if that’s what it takes.
It’s just software, not your best friend. Better to serve your end goal of
delivering a product the client wants.


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When it comes to tools, I know another one. Coming not from a software but a hardware world I know that tools actually do create shape. So when wanting to make a round hole in a piece of wood, I take a circulair shaped chisel, not the flat one. There is no piece of hardware that can do both. In a professional way. And yes, one must develope new skills, but that is not the point.

Does FW create typically FW websites, with restrictions?

And if we want ‘something else’, what then? Completely handcoding is very tricky business.

The problem here is also that the logic for preferring one system over another (like Walther pointed out) is way beond the understanding of the majority of FW users.


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atelier wrote:

And if we want ‘something else’, what then? Completely handcoding is very tricky business.
I don’t know if anyone can answer that question for you as you have your
own preferences for how you like to work. However, I suppose it depends
greatly on what that ‘something else’ is and maybe more importantly what
are you willing to do (or give up) in order to achieve that ‘something
else’? In short, is FW more of a help or hindrance to how you work and
what you need to build? Will you be better served by hand-coding your
sites? Only you can answer that. Clearly you have coding skills already
ifyou’re writing your own jQuery so hand-coding HTML and CSS isn’t a
stretch. It all comes back to what you want and need.

I left FW because it wasn’t able to grow as my knowledge and skills
developed; it stagnated and I felt trapped by the limitations of tool
instead of by my lack of understanding of what I wanted to build.

Todd
http://xiiro.com


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The thought crossed my mind indeed as well. Leaving FW. Or at least, abandon using it all the way.

When building with EE I inserted the dynamic parts as markup inside some very basic div construction created by FW. Easy coding to start with indeed, but a hinder at the same time because of lack of control. And EE has JQuery build in. From that angle came this post, actually.

Maybe that is a future for FW? An efficient framebuild tool? With more build in flexibility when it comes to CSS and so on? Less WYSIWYG, yes. But I cannot see my results anyway, have to use browser and database.


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atelier wrote:

Maybe that is a future for FW? An efficient framebuild tool? With more build in flexibility when it comes to CSS and so on? Less WYSIWYG, yes. But I cannot see my results anyway, have to use browser and database.
I think you’ve reached the same point many of us have. Although I don’t
use it as such I do think FW would be good for quick
prototyping/mockups, certainly. Maybe in that capacity FW would better
suit your needs and you could hand-code the rest of the way so you could
do things the way you want to do and not feel constrained by how FW
works. It’s not a terrible compromise. The manner in which we build
sites is always evolving, often out of necessity, and I think it’s
mandatory that we periodically assess whether the tools we use still fit
into this ever-changing process. As designers/developers we’re
continually called upon to do “more” and I think it’s fair to expect our
tools to evolve as well and when they no longer can then it’s time to
reevaluate how we work and what our needs are.

Todd
http://xiiro.com


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I think you have a point there. Feels strange though, having used FW from version 2 I think, now softly switching into a direction I never thought of going :wink:


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