The Web Moves Fast

One of the never ending battles developers have is the constant sea of updates to their tools. Case in point, I recently started working with Sass (a CSS preprocessor), but Dreamweaver CS5.5 has no clue about Sass files (or Less, another CSS preprocessor). This means, it does not provide code hinting or hilighting.

Well, Greg Rewis, Adobe Dreamweaver evangelist and co-keynoter for the upcoming Designer/Developer Workflow Conference, outlined the steps necessary to tweak some config files in Dreamweaver and be coding away. Here is the full article.

Also, he has a great post on how to update the Dreamweaver templates to use the later versions of both jQuery and jQuery Mobile.


Adobe releases PhoneGap Build extension for Dreamweaver CS5.5

One can only guess as to the level of support the next version of Dreamweaver will have for PhoneGap… But if you are already doing mobile development in Dreamweaver CS5.5 and Phonegap, Adobe has released a new extension that leverages the PhoneGap Build service. For those unfamiliar with the build process with PhoneGap, there are two versions: build locally (aka install and manage the native SDKs) or the build on the server (aka PhoneGap Build). This extension is for the later development model.

Here is the full announcement from Adobe.

I have not tried this extension out yet, but hope to shortly.

Latest Project: NASA!

This week NASA is holding its annual IT Summit and I was asked if I would assist in creating a mobile conference application for them. Being a space geek, how could I say no? This web application was developed with a suite of Adobe-based solutions. The majority of the development was actually done with a custom AIR application I have been developing to assist in the creation of my conference app solutions. Built using Flex, this application allows me to manage the sessions, speakers and sponsors for a conference. Originally built to create the data updates for the iOS based applications, the tool has been evolving to allow me more functionality.

Conference Builder Interface

One new area of functionality, is the ability to export the conference data as a mobile web version. Once, I had an application not be approved in time for the conference. Earlier versions of the export module published the content using the iUi framework, later versions used jQTouch. Starting with the Designer/Developer Workflow conference, I converted the module to use jQuery Mobile as the framework of choice.

Now since JQM is still in beta, some care and testing was required to work out a few of the kinks. With a few pointers from my friends, I had a the export module up and running. Most notable was the change in beta 2 of JQM of how the on-screen back button functions. In beta 2, you now had to tell the framework that you want an on-screen back button. Ah, such is the life of a mobile app developer.

Since I had not finished my Map module (I am still not done with it) in my conference builder application, I had to hand code the section to include the session room maps. Not ideal, but it got the job done.

Once I exported the html, I opened the file in Dreamweaver CS5.5, and performed some minor clean-up. With the new mobile features in CS5.5, I could easily preview it for a variety of mobile devices. Normally I don’t spend a lot of time with Dreamweaver ( I am usually switching between Flash Professional, Flash Builder and Flash Catalyst), so it was nice to put it’s new mobile features through their paces. I had hoped that we would be able take the web app and use PhoneGap to create native applications. Unfortunately, the NASA team did not have the time.

Iin the end I think I was able to create something useful for the conference attendees.

Home Screen

I want to thank Kevin Schmidt from Adobe who helped sync up this effort with the folks over at NASA.

jQuery Mobile Updated

The jQuery Mobile team just announced the availability of Beta 1. You can read about all the changes on their blog. Note that jQuery Mobile 1.0 will require jQuery core 1.6 as a baseline, so you might need to also update your copy of jQuery as well.

So, that means I need to go and manually update my copy of Dreamweaver to support the latest version. Greg Rewis has an excellent post on how to update Dreamweaver. The post refers to JQM 1.0a3, so just insert JQM 1.0B1, and you should be good to go.