Tuesday 20 January 2009

V8.5.0 designer - my first play

I have had about 4 hours playing with the v8.5.0 designer client and I could be all serious and professional and say how well it fits the paradigm of a modern designer interface. How the interplay of the various components react together with a synergy that excels even my jaded sensibilities .. on the other hand I could yell ...

and run around the room naked waving my arms like a demeneted dervish. Since I am at home and everyone is in bed i think I will [pause for silliness]

Now as you may have noted I am not at LS so I don't have the benefit of listening to thoses that know how it all fits together AND I have only just this weekend downloaded the 8.5.0 code so I have had 2 hours yesterday and perhaps 3 today to play with it.

I of course dived straight into xPages and yes I can see how wonderful it is going to be. However I couldn't get CSS to work the way I wanted it, floats and clear's didn't seem to work and you can't set the left and right margins to "auto" ... as in (margin-left: auto; ) from the properties panel of an object. But this is probably me not doing it right rather than any fault of xPages.
I did manage without the aid of the help, or of my collegaues on the web to get a view working which is "bloody marvellous" and a testament to how easy it is to code! I will have to do a deep dive or two in the comming weeks to get to grips with all the bells and whistles!

On ordinary matters I really do like the fact that when I edit external style sheets I don't now have to remember to refresh the damn things. You just double click, edite them in the IDE, with a very nice properties panel at the bottom (no more typing maargin-botom: for me) enter your CSS, save and refresh your page in the browser. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! Remembering to refresh the CSS file in the NSF was the bane of my life and made many of my colleagues blush when I gave vent to my frustration in that regard!

The new editing layout or as it is called in designer "the perspective" is good, everything is at hand and easy to find for those used to the older designer clients. However I would challenge the "perspective" label. To an artist this means and image that is an approximate representation, on a flat surface, of an image in three dimensions as it is perceived by the eye. The two most characteristic features of perspective are that objects are drawn smaller as distance increases and are foreshortened along the line of sight but I suppose in this context it means the faculty of seeing all the relevant data to do with a project in a meaningful relationship ... ok I DO have my pedant hat on .... but because I have drawn and painted for a lot longer than I have coded it does midly annoy me. ;-)

I digress ... (as usual) ... my first impressions of V8.5.0 designer are very good but I can see a whole new set of tricks that will need to be learned to leverage max value out of it. So LS09 dev session folk we non-attenders really do need your examples and presentations so we too can get up and running ASAP with all these new toys! Pretty Please!

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