I’m proud to announce the public release of Xplug 1.4 for Google chrome.
Today, I’d like to talk about the “Model, View, Controller”-Design pattern and how all this is reflected in APEX Page Designer.
This is the first part of a series of blog posts where I’ll share my knowledge on Page Designer internals I gained while working on the Xplug browser add-on.
I apologize in advance for any errors my blog posts may contain.
Perhaps some good advice first: don’t take anything for granted and always double-check yourself.
That being said, I’m a speaker at APEX Connect 2016 and the MVC-topic is part of a presentation I’m currently preparing for the Web Technologies track. It’s called “Lernen vom Page Designer – Auf den Spuren von Jules Vernes” .
Please bare with me. It’s going to be a rather long and somewhat theoretical blog post. I’ll do my very best to keep it interesting.
ok, here’s a little experiment I wanted to try for a while now.
What I didn’t like in Page Designer that much is, that any (error) messages are displayed in a separate tab taking away focus from what you are working on.
Work has been a killer lately, and unfortunately that did not include any programming whatsoever. Luckily this evening I finally got some spare time to play with APEX Page Designer again.
When I do am doing development stuff I have many browser tabs open or even multiple browsers at the same time.
I thought it would be cool if you could see the current application and page id in the browser tab.
The release of Xplug v1.2 was quite a success. The possibility to add a “dark” style and customize it via a configuration dialog seems to be something many APEX developers appreciate.
But what if you just want to do a small modification like changing the background color of the properties group header? Until now that was hard -if not -impossible- to do, because the CSS that is injected by Xplug is focussing on a dark style.
One of the things I wanted to do for the Xplug browser plugin, is to check if I can somehow change the Page Designer colors and come up with a custom look-and-feel (style) and
perhaps add some more contrast along the way. In particular I was excited to do a “darker” style. Something you would use at night while you are working on your next fantastic APEX application.
Note that I’m not calling it a theme, because then it could be confused with an APEX theme which definitely is not the case here.
I do am planning on adding a configuration dialog, so you can change colors yourself. Would be cool if these could then be exported as JSON and put online in a gallery.
Anyway, what I find kinda cool is that there’s a button that let you switch between “daylight” and “moonlight” mode.
The daylight/moonlight feature will definitely be part of the next Xplug release (along with some other goodies).
Before that happens I have to refactor the code and work on the “moonlight” mode some more. Adjust colors work on the tabs style, etc.
If you want to take a peek. Here’s a quick Youtube video I did that shows some of the features. Have to apologize for the bad quality. Will need to find a good screen recorder.
I’ve been playing with the grid layout in APEX 5.0 Page Designer.
One thing I personally don’t like that much, is that the regions get “stretched” to full-width of the grid pane. This kinda makes it visually hard to get a good overview.
Look at the below image for an example:
I checked if I could make the regions not stretch to full width and stick a background image to the grid pane.
Planning on adding this functionality to the next Xplug version and make it configurable. What do you think?
Even though I like the idea of getting some additional details by hovering over an element in APEX 5.0 Page Designer; if you are working on the same page for a longer time and going back and forth between the tree and properties editor, a tooltip can be distracting.
It may overlay part of the content you wanted to look at in the first place.