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Dreamweaver CS3 Projects: Creating Custom Spry Widgets
Illustration by Don Barnett
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Examining Spry functionality


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Dreamweaver CS3 Projects: Creating Custom Spry Widgets

with James Williamson

Video: Examining Spry functionality

One of the most exciting additions to Dreamweaver CS3 was the improved Spry integration. Spry is Adobe's AJAX framework, a combination of JavaScript and CSS that allows you to add functionality to your webpages, that XHTML alone cannot do. Although Spry is a separate library of CSS and JavaScript files, Dreamweaver CS3 assists you in integrating Spry functionality in your pages through the use of Dreamweaver's Spry tools. These tools allow you to create Spry data sets, place Spry information and sortable tables, create master detail regions, insert client-side form validation objects and create richer client experiences through the use of Spry widgets.

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Dreamweaver CS3 Projects: Creating Custom Spry Widgets
1h 0m Intermediate Apr 18, 2008

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Advanced Dreamweaver users wanting to add AJAX functionality to sites will find Dreamweaver CS3 Projects: Creating Custom Spry Widgets a valuable resource. Spry, Adobe's integrated AJAX framework, offers a built-in resource for providing richer user experiences. Instructor James Williamson shows how to go beyond Dreamweaver's installed Spry capabilities by creating custom Spry widgets. He delves into Adobe's online Spry documentation, demonstrates how to download and upgrade Dreamweaver to the latest Spry release, and examines how the Spry framework functions. Users will build a Sliding Panel widget, control the widget through JavaScript, and customize the panel content through the use of CSS.

Topics include:
  • Examining the Spry framework
  • Finding information on customizing Spry assets
  • Defining page structure
  • Using external JavaScript files to add interactivity
  • Modifying presentation through CSS
  • Customizing Spry widget functionality through JavaScript and CSS
Subjects:
Developer Web Projects
Software:
Dreamweaver
Author:
James Williamson

Examining Spry functionality

One of the most exciting additions to Dreamweaver CS3 was the improved Spry integration. Spry is Adobe's AJAX framework, a combination of JavaScript and CSS that allows you to add functionality to your webpages, that XHTML alone cannot do. Although Spry is a separate library of CSS and JavaScript files, Dreamweaver CS3 assists you in integrating Spry functionality in your pages through the use of Dreamweaver's Spry tools. These tools allow you to create Spry data sets, place Spry information and sortable tables, create master detail regions, insert client-side form validation objects and create richer client experiences through the use of Spry widgets.

Spry widgets allow you to create complex interactive structures, such as menu bars and tabbed panels and accordion panels. The Dreamweaver Spry widget tools allow you to create these widgets easily by creating the structure for you and adding the necessary Spry assets to your site, leaving you to simply plug in your content. As with most automated processes, however, you can enhance, improve and extend Dreamweaver Spry capabilities by delving into the Spry framework a little deeper. In this title we'll explore customizing your Spry content by examining the Spry framework, creating a widget from scratch, that is not included with Dreamweaver and then customizing the widget by modifying the CSS and JavaScript.

I have an example file open. This is details.htm. If you're following along with me, you could open this up for yourself in the Chapter 1 directory. And all I want to do right now is take a look at the structure. So I'm going to turn the Style Rendering off, so I'm going to open of my Style Rendering toolbar, and I'm going to turn Style Rendering off say that I can take a closer look at what's happening. I have some thumbnails on the page and when I click one of those thumbnails, I want to display more information about that. Now this is sort of a master detail page set and instead of having to navigate to another page, I want that data to display down below that and more importantly, I want it to animate as displays for increased user interactivity.

So if I scroll down, I can see that below my thumbnails I have some DIVs on the page that contains that extra information. So at its very heart, Spry is really nothing more than structured elements, such as DIV tags with IDs, that are then controlled through the use of CSS and JavaScript. So if I turn the CSS back on, I can see that I'm only showing currently one display region and that is of the default one, the Desolve Hoody. So if I preview this in my browser, and scroll down just a little bit here, as I click on each of the thumbnails you can see that our additional information is animating in.

Really nice. And depending upon where we click and how far it has to go, we're actually running through some of the other items to get to it. So it's kind of like we're scrolling through really big long list. Well, this is a very cool Spry widget I'm sure you're really eager to delve into creating this. But before we start creating it, we need to first download a more complete version of the Spry framework and examine it in a little more detail.

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