Resource Bundle Roundup


#1

I’ve recently made a first release of what I’m calling
“bundled_resource” which is a plugin that makes our lives much
easier when we need to use javascripts, stylesheets and images in
conjunction with one another to deliver a special effect or tool on
the client (browser) side. If you missed the release, read about it
on my blog at http://blog.inquirylabs.com/2006/01/07/easy-resource-
management-re-post/.

What I’d like to do now is make an appeal to each of you to tell me
about or directly contribute to the project so that we can get the
cream of all web tools out there in to this very concise and easy-to-
use framework for add-on resources. Generally, it takes very little
effort to convert a javascript tool or CSS tool in to a
bundled_resource. Dynarch was the hardest so far, requiring 2 or 3
hours to integrate cleanly with Rails. Most others take just a few
minutes–Integrating lightbox is a good example of a 5-minute job.

My vision for this project is that we will create a “resource bundle
repository” that can be browsed for traditional or suggested
solutions to common problems (e.g. sliders, javascript trees, menus,
web form validation libraries, special effects like lightbox). Once
you find what you’re looking for, a simple download to the bundles
folder will be all it takes to get the new resource working for your
app.

There will undoubtedly be some difficulties and potentially some
conflicts between all of these resources, but the more we work on it
now, the easier it will be for all of us in this emerging 2.0 world.
Let’s make everyone else jealous of Rails in a whole new way :slight_smile:

So far I have packaged and tested 4 bundles:

Others that I have in mind include:

So the question is, what other invaluable cream-of-the-crop tools
would you like to see as drop-in bundled resources for Rails?

Regards,

Duane J.
(canadaduane)
http://blog.inquirylabs.com/

P.S. The plugin is now available via subversion at svn://
syncid.textdriven.com/svn/opensource/bundled_resource/trunk. There
are already some improvements to the documentation, one new bundle
(lightbox), and a fix to the dynarch calendar.


#2

On Jan 7, 2006, at 9:44 PM, Duane J. wrote:

Regards,

Duane J.
(canadaduane)
http://blog.inquirylabs.com/

Duane-

I just wanted to say I love this plugin and I am already using it on

a new site I am working on. I have a few ideas for bundles but I want
to flesh them out a bit before I let on. This is a great idea though
and I think its a great addition to my dev tools.

Thanks-
-Ezra


#3

Hi Duane,

nice work!

Perhaps this one is sth for you (althoug it’s a bit flash):
http://www.measuremap.com/developer/slider/

Beate


#4

On Jan 12, 2006, at 10:10 AM, Duane J. wrote:

Beate

Thanks, Beate. I saw that earlier and thought it was too
constricted, but now that I look at it again, it looks quite nice.

Duane J.
(canadaduane)
http://blog.inquirylabs.com/

Rick O. aka techno-weenie has already written a plugin for that

measure map stuff. I

http://weblog.techno-weenie.net/2006/1/10/
using_the_measuremap_date_slider

Cheers-
-Ezra Z.
Yakima Herald-Republic
WebMaster
http://yakimaherald.com
509-577-7732
removed_email_address@domain.invalid


#5

On Jan 11, 2006, at 4:06 PM, Beate P. wrote:

Hi Duane,

nice work!

Perhaps this one is sth for you (althoug it’s a bit flash):
http://www.measuremap.com/developer/slider/

Beate

Thanks, Beate. I saw that earlier and thought it was too
constricted, but now that I look at it again, it looks quite nice.

Duane J.
(canadaduane)
http://blog.inquirylabs.com/


#6

On Jan 31, 2006, at 8:44 PM, David M. wrote:

Dave M.
This looks pretty interesting. I’ve been considering the pros and
cons of heavy- vs. light-weight editors. So far, my favorite light-
weight editor is Dojo:

http://dojotoolkit.org/docs/rich_text.html

Have you shopped around for a heavy-weight solution? Would you
recommend TinyMCE above all others? Since I’m not as familiar with
these heavier ones, and I’d rather include only one in the bundle,
I’m willing to trust your opinion (and anyone else with experience)
on this. The only other I know of is FCKeditor.

Regards,

Duane J.
(canadaduane)
http://blog.inquirylabs.com/


#7

Duane,

I kind of hesitate to suggest it, but how about considering TinyMCE?
It’s big, it doesn’t work on some browsers (Safari?), but it’s also
incredibly useful and probably the most advanced/robust/active tool of
its type around.

Regards

Dave M.


#8

Duane,

I think actually having a relatively simple facility to include an
editor on your page would outweigh the differences between TinyMCE and
FCKeditor (not sure about Dojo, but it looks a lot “lighter” than the
other two). In other words, whatever you decide to go with could well
be fine for 90% of the cases where you’d use it.

For the one app where I’ve deployed TinyMCE, the challenge I’ve found
is to have it render the page in a reasonable amount of time - it
really crawls on Firefox on both Linux and Windows (haven’t tested on
IE or anything else at this stage). I tried FCKeditor and found it
was about the same. The link between my dev box and the boxes running
the browser is 100Mb/s, so that’s not likely to be a factor in the
performance drop, nor is the performance of either of the two systems
likely to be an issue. I haven’t yet gotten to the point of sniffing
the traffic to see the quantity of bytes being moved around.

From my (very selfish) personal perspective, I’d like an editor to
allow a user to put in quite a large subset of the entire HTML feature
set - they should be able to create tables, subscripts, superscripts,
change colors, include links to pictures, horizontal lines and so on.
The reason I think this level of capability (and not some subset) is
useful is that it lets a user essentially input their text in a
ready-to-print fashion; this gives more “hints” as to how the text
should be rendered to e.g. PDF if it needs to be printed later. Using
something simpler, like Dojo, means there’s a order of magnitude more
“speculation” required in interpreting what the printed output should
look like.

Example: “If I go to print this user-entered text as a document,
should titles be printed in green Verdana 24pt?” - well, if the user
has the capability to input green 24pt Verdana within the editor, then
you can pretty safely assume that’s what any printed version should
look like! If the editor doesn’t have the capability to input e.g.
green text, then the printing app would have to make some sort of
assumption about the color that should be in the printed document.

From that perspective, FCKeditor probably beats out TinyMCE, but I
haven’t used either enough to make a definitive recommendation between
the two. I think FCKeditor lets you turn off functionality that you
don’t want; not sure about TinyMCE.

All absolutely IMHO, and obviously open to debate and further
discussion from others.

Regards

Dave M.


#9

On 1/7/06, Duane J. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

resources. Generally, it takes very little effort to convert a javascript
get the new resource working for your app.
(http://www.dynarch.com/projects/calendar/)

Having played with the web editors discussed, I went with TinyMCE,
although if Dojo works (or has worked out) its Firefox issues, it’d be
far and away my 1st choice. And TinyMCE works fine in Safari, but
some features are missing.


Kyle M.
Chief Technologist
E Factor Media // FN Interactive
removed_email_address@domain.invalid
1-866-263-3261


#10

Having played with the web editors discussed, I went with TinyMCE,
although if Dojo works (or has worked out) its Firefox issues, it’d be
far and away my 1st choice. And TinyMCE works fine in Safari, but
some features are missing.

The latest version fails on a fully updated 10.4.4 system it seems.

Best regards

Peter De Berdt


#11

Here my experience with Richtext editors:

Within my rails app, the latest DOJO editor crashed Firefox 1.5, when
used
in AJAX-loaded forms, otherwise (non-ajax) the DOJO editor is my
preferred
choice. I also experimented with something like an inplace-editor based
on
TinyMCE, it worked well under most circumstances, but was a pain to
configure.