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I don’t normally blog demo’s when I make them, but this one was a little special … it began as a simple Drag and Drop / Constrained Mover example, and with the help of a couple #dojo community members took shape into a fully featured demo showing the power of the Dojo Toolkit.
Pictures are worth a thousand words, so visit the demo first. I call it Dojo:Zoomer.
The demo is broken into clearly separated roles of content and presentation. The Markup is valid, with two external <script> tags are loading progressive enhancements to an otherwise plain list of anchors and thumbnails. There is a single CSS file, though as can be seen in the source file, it is being concatenated from a couple different .css files as part of the build process.
The drag / preview component was separated into a module “image.Preview“, and is reusable, configurable, and otherwise just a “standard widget”, extending from only dijit._Widget to use the framework provided therein.
Thanks to Nic Rizzo and Ben Hockey in #dojo — both who, after seeing the initial example late one evening, had patches pasted into my IM client when I awoke the next morning, ultimately finishing the nasty glaring bugs for me. Kudos guys, thanks!
I had decided it was a fairly good looking demo, but needed many more images in order to be considered a true “demo” … It needed some kind of UI going on, so I quickly hacked together some code to progressively enhance the list of thumbnails into a paging/switching mechanism with dojo.fx and some onclick events. Initially, i’d left this module out of the build layer, and had a link to issue the dojo.require() appropriate for that navigation, but it was non-obvious to viewers, so it is there by default. (Though nothing will break if you omit the module, should you happen to obtain this code from svn / etc).
The additional thumbnails are being sent to the client via XHR (Ajax) in JSON format, and is just a static list of filenames. This isn’t being generated, but clearly could be had I assumed a server side language for this demo. Dojo itself is server-agnostic, though most servers support some form of JSON processing. The list could be used, for instance, on the server side to generate the initial page of valid links, and then progressively add more and more via lazy Ajax calls. JSON is a great compact format for mixing client and server data and communication …
Not bad for a couple nights hacking. Thanks be to mi hermana, Allison Wildman, for contributing all the beautiful imagery, Ben and Nic for coming through on the advanced math and coordinate calculation, and thanks to Dojo for providing such out of the box components as a dnd.parentConstrainedMoveable and dojox.widget.ResizeHandle, making this exercise simply one of wiring the parts together and supplying images.
ps: the “image.Preview” widget really is largely generic, and if Dojo were not so close to 1.3, I would consider making it an “official” widget within the dojox.image project. Perhaps for 1.4.
About: Peter “dante” Higgins is the Dojo Toolkit Project Lead and a UI Designer at Joost.com
This entry was posted on Monday, January 19th, 2009 at 3:15 pm and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.