Tag Archives: mobile

Using the SliderFill Sencha Touch Plugin in Sencha Architect

08 Aug 2013

Sliders are pretty cool in Sencha Touch – what makes them cooler is the SliderFill plugin by Thomas Alexander. The plugin can be downloaded here: https://market.sencha.com/extensions/sliderfill.

Before SliderFill the sliders are minimalist – functional yet a tad bland:

sliderfill_before

After SliderFill – one small addition makes them much more appealing:

sliderfill_after

Adding the plugin to your Sencha Architect project is simple – there was one caveat that I encountered – an error within the plugin but it was easy to sort out. Lets walk through the various steps needed to add and use the plugin within Sencha Touch via Sencha Architect.

Create a Sample Architect Project

First thing is first – open Sencha Architect, create a new project and add a slider to your default view. I won’t walk you through that part but if you are lazy here’s a link to a sample project before the plugin was added. What we want is something simple so my example looks like this:

sliderfill_01

Download and Install the SliderFill plugin

Next, download the plugin (link is in first para above) and extract the contents. The archive has the following structure:

  • sliderfill
    • img/
    • src/
    • index.html
    • README

Curiously the README is empty – no worries – within the “src” folder are two files, what you want is the plugin itself which is called “SliderFill.js”. Copy that file and place it within the root of your project, or, if you like, create a plugins folder in your project root and place the file there. For this demonstration I’m just placing it in the project root.

Next you need to add the plugin to your project. Within architect look for the Project Inspector panel – in the screen caps provided here it is on the right. Scroll down to the bottom and look for the “Library” node. Once the plugin is added to the project it will appear as a child of that node.

sliderfill_02

To add the plugin, click the “plus” (+) icon as shown below and choose Resource > JS Resource:

sliderfill_03

You now have a new JS resource added to your project’s library. You can see a red exclamation indicator nexct to it indicating that it needs to be configured.

sliderfill_04

Select the JS library resource and its config will appear. All you need to do is to enter the path to the SliderFill.js file. As I just placed it in the project root all I need to do here is to add the file name.

sliderfill_05

Add SliderFill to a Slider

Now that the plugin is installed lets add the plugin to a slider. Select your slider from the Project Inspector. Its config options will appear.

sliderfill_06

The plugin property doesn’t exist in the config but we can add and configure it by typing the word “plugins” into the config search field and then clicking the “Add” button to create it.

sliderfill_07

We now have a new custom property within the slider’s config.

sliderfill_08

Lets set the property’s type by clicking the “type” button (to the left of the property identified by a circle icon with three dots) and choosing “Array”:

sliderfill_09

We now need to configure the plugin. The plugin will accept a configuration object which is comprised of two things: 1)The xclass that specifies the plugin, and 2) an array of class names to apply to each SliderFill background. I have a single slider handle so I’m only going to have a single class.

To add the config object click the “Edit” button that appeared to the right of the plugins property when you selected “Array” as the property type.

sliderfill_10

The editor appears:

sliderfill_11

I’ll add this object wrapped in an array literal:

[
  {
    xclass : 'Ext.plugin.SliderFill',
    fillCls : ['my_custom_slider_bg']
  }
]

sliderfill_12

Done!

…but one last thing – SliderFill Ver 1 currently generates an error:

sliderfill_13

Ok then, lets go fix it – look in your Project Inspector under the Library node where you added SliderFill.js. Double-click it to open the file as we’ve got a single line to add to fix the error:

sliderfill_14

As the error indicated lets go down to line 46. We want to go back up a couple of lines and add the following line *after* line 44 – but first we need to unlock the file – click the “Unlock” button:

sliderfill_15

Again, create new line after line 44, we will add the following code:

slider = Ext.getCmp('slider.id');

The code should look like this:

sliderfill_16

Save your project.

Style the SliderFill background

Almost done – we just need to setup some defaults and we need to specify a color for the SliderFill background. An easy way to do this is to attach a new style sheet to the project via the Library. So create a new css file, save it in the root fo your project as we did with SliderFill.js (or create a new folder for it if you like) and populate it with the following:

.x-slider-fill{
    margin:0.925em;
    position:absolute;
    height:0.8em;
    -webkit-border-radius:0.4em;
    border-radius:0.4em;
    margin-top:0.75em !important;
    background-image:-webkit-gradient(linear, left top ,left bottom, from(#0A3A86), color-stop(.5, #4C8DE7), color-stop(.95, #6BABF5), to(#0A3A86));
    z-index:1 ;
}

.x-draggable {
    z-index:2;
}

.my_custom_slider_bg{
    background-image:-webkit-gradient(linear, left top ,left bottom, from(#8b1a05), color-stop(.5, #e35e4f), color-stop(.95, #e18080), to(#6f2c22));
}

Note that last style – my_custom_slider_bg thats the class name we specified in SliderFill’s configuration object.

All that is left is to attach the style sheet. The process is the same as what we did to add SliderFill.js, except this time we will add a Style Sheet instead (note that this is a quick and dirty way of doing things – perfectly functional though if you’re familiar with SASS then you’d likely prefer to do it that way).

sliderfill_17

Select the CSS node underneath the Library and enter the path to your CSS – in my case my CSS file is called SliderFill.css.

Save your project and preview – you should see this:

sliderfill_after

Has your design view in Architect gone blank?

Sencha Architect V2.2.2 has a bug where if you add the plugin attribute to the view config the WYSIWG Design View will become completely blank as you can see in one of the above screen captures.

There are a couple of ways around this – the one I think I prefer is to create an onSliderfieldInitialize event in the controller which will apply the plugin to every slider that is initialized within your app.

To do this follow these steps:

  1. Click on your Controller node within the Project Inspector
  2. Next, Locate “Actions” and click the “Plus” button to the right
  3. Select “Controller Action” from the pop-up
  4. Next choose “Ext.field.Slider” as the target type
  5. Then select “initialize” as the event name

Architect will create the new event and display the editor for it – paste in the following code:

component.setPlugins({
    xclass : 'Ext.plugin.SliderFill',
    fillCls : ['my_custom_slider_bg']
});

That’s it, now **every** slider that you add will have SliderFill applied to it and Architect’s 2’s Design View won’t go completely blank on you.

Sencha Touch on Tizen!

14 Jun 2013

I just learned that Sencha Touch is coming to Tizen and is being made possible by a partnership between Sencha, Intel, and Samsung. This is super interesting considering a few things, the main one is that Intel had acquired App Mobi presumably for the same purpose – to provide developer tools for the fledgling operating system. While AppMobi is available today Sencha has not released a timeline for official Tizen support opting instead to mention that the feature will be coming to their toolset at a later date.

One of the features that makes Sencha a competitive toolkit for developing web apps is that you no longer need to leave the Sencha environment to package an app as they offer a native wrapper of their own via Sencha Cmd. Granted, it is young and may not have the breadth of features that PhoneGap has but the lure of not having to find the right mix of PhoneGap builds and PhoneGap plugins for a project, and discovering what is broken and the work-arounds, if any, is pretty compelling in my book.

While the open-source world can likely move faster to squash bugs than a for-profit entity I do like the implied support that comes with using the “all-in-one” development toolsets. Afterall, you’ve just bought their software so they have to offer support. Not so with the free open-sourced PhoneGap plugins. I should say though that you can get support for PhoneGap itself via a paid subscription program (Sencha has a similar support mechanism), otherwise you’re at the mercy of the open-source community for plugin support. True, they seem like a competent bunch but its still a risk and one that needs to be considered given Apple’s proclivity for changing their OS at whim. When that happens there is a cascade of issues and activity that ripples through the entire PhoneGap community. Its not fun being the end user (or customer) waiting for the kinks in that sometimes long chain to get fixed.

While Sencha Architect is a desktop app AppMobi’s approach foregoes that approach in favor of the cloud. The dev environment runs in the browser (Java) and they compile in the cloud, sort of like PhoneGap’s cloud compilation service (which, btw, has at last count 3 plugins supported which severely limits its use). Together both AppMobi and Sencha are offering solutions that are integrated and turn-key – no other software is needed and there are no other environments to learn/sign up for/install/troubleshoot, etc. Having created PhoneGap-based applications for the past two years I’m finding that such advantages are pretty attractive and I’m currently looking for a framework that has them.

As with anything in tech, the promise is one thing, actually delivering is another. PhoneGap is well entrenched and has the widest list of features (via plugins). The first Tizen device is hitting this year (said to be in Q3) and when it happens part of the announcement will undoubtedly be the developer options available. I for one will be reading forums and blogs for developer reactions to the those tools.

HTML5 is the way of the mobile future and has been for a while. Other HTML5-centric mobile OS’s are coming but none have a hardware backer on the scale of Samsung and Intel. Time will tell if Tizen will take off but its exciting to see the acquisitions and partnerships being made toward the initial product launch.

As for Intel’s involvement it is a forgone conclusion that the first Tizen device will have an Intel mobile chip in it (the revamped Atom?). Beyond the hardware and AppMobi tools they also seem to be offering a UI layer for Tizen currently known as “Obsidian”. The assumption here is that by offering a UI that would likely be optimized for the Intel silicon experience that they will be able to incentivize adoption of their chips into future Tizen devices.

It is interesting to note however that Samsung is also a chip manufacturer. As much as Intel would like to get into the phone/tablet market one can’t help but notice potential conflicts of interest in their partnership.

Scrolling in LungoJS HTML5 Framework

12 Jul 2012

I’ve been looking at other frameworks lately, among them LungoJS. After fiddling with the framework I had difficulties creating scrolling views. The docs say that getting a scrolling area is as simple as adding a “scrollable” class to a div – not quite, there are some other requirements.

To get scrolling articles you must have the following structure – notice the DIV that wraps the content:

...
Your content in here
...

If you attempt to create a scrollable div inside an article tag you **must** also set a height for that div, like so:

...
Your content in here
...

Notice the ID in the scrollable divs – ID is **required**, you will see as much in the console if you forget this.

Note the DIV that is the immediate child of the scrollable div – that is also required. No need to style it or add an ID. Your content must be wrapped by a DIV – P’s, Lists and header elements also work. Spans do not.

If the scrolling area is not an article tag then you **must** include the height for the scrolling div, which is illustrated in the second example above.

I noticed a lot of confusion in the forums and was confused myself – IMO the docs should be amended with the above.