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Examining existing behaviors

From: Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics

Video: Examining existing behaviors

When creating a behavior, it's fairly standard to create two files: the Action file and its related JavaScript. Now in reality, one file would do, but it's a pretty common practice to put all the JavaScript called by the Action file into a separate JavaScript document. The Action file contains a form that will serve as the behavior's user interface. You can see that user interface anytime you've use the behavior and you enter in different parameters for that behavior. So in order to really get a good feel for what I am describing here, we are going to go ahead and open up an existing behavior. We will open up both Action file and the corresponding JavaScript file.

Examining existing behaviors

When creating a behavior, it's fairly standard to create two files: the Action file and its related JavaScript. Now in reality, one file would do, but it's a pretty common practice to put all the JavaScript called by the Action file into a separate JavaScript document. The Action file contains a form that will serve as the behavior's user interface. You can see that user interface anytime you've use the behavior and you enter in different parameters for that behavior. So in order to really get a good feel for what I am describing here, we are going to go ahead and open up an existing behavior. We will open up both Action file and the corresponding JavaScript file.

So I am going to go to File and choose Open. Now if you are on a Mac, click on Applications and browse to find Adobe Dreamweaver CS3. If you are on a PC, you will go to your Program Files and you will go in the Adobe folder and you will find Adobe Dreamweaver CS3. Now from there, it's pretty much the same path. We will click on the Configuration folder and in Configuration, we will open up the Behaviors folder. Now in the Behaviors folder, you are going to find two folders, Actions and Events. Now the Events are already pre-scripted; we don't have to work with those guys at all.

We are concerned with Actions, so I am going to click on Actions and I am just going to scroll down and find a pretty standard behavior. How about the Go To Url? So we will open up that one. We are going to open up two files. You will notice that we have the Go To Url.htm. That's the Action file, and we also have a Go To Url.js file. And that's the JavaScript that is being called by the Action file when it runs. So go ahead and click Open. And my Mac is going to tell me, oops! both of these files are locked. What you would like to do? I am just going to view them, so I am not going to make any changes to this. You probably will not get that message on the PC, but on the Mac, these files are going to be locked down.

Now if you're looking at the Go To Url.htm file, you will see in Design view, a form on the page. This form is the menu that you'll interact with when you use the Go To Url JavaScript behavior, so you have to create a user interface for your behavior. Now if I move over to the Go To Url JavaScript file, you can see that we have a lot of commenting and that's one of the nice things about looking at these at the preexisting behaviors. You can learn a lot by reading through the comments and checking out the functions. Now as I scroll through there is a function at the very top that says MM_goToURL. This is the actual JavaScript function that's being performed when we add our behavior. So at the top of the page is where your own JavaScript goes.

Now as you scroll down, we are going to run this in preexisting functions that every behavior files are going to need and let's talk about those. There are four of them. The first one is canAcceptBehavior. That lets Dreamweaver know whether the element that you have selected can actually trigger this behavior or not. If the value is true, then in the dropdown menu for the Behaviors panel, the behavior will be selectable; if not it will be grayed out. Now the next function is the behaviorFunction. It sounds odd to say behaviorFunction function but that's what it is. It is named the behaviorFunction, so what this does for us is when you apply a behavior, it takes the JavaScript that goes to make up the behavior and it places it in the head of the document where you have added the behavior.

Well, the JavaScript that it needs to add, of course, would be the function at the very top, this MM_goToURL, and in our case our Style Switcher function. So what the behavior function does is when it's called, it goes out and it finds the code that it needs to add to the head of the document where the behavior is being applied. It goes there and grabs it and then it sticks it in the head of the code. So that's what the behavior function does for us. Now the next function in the row is the applyBehavior and this one typically gets a little longer. What the applyBehavior function does is this. Let's say you have a link selected and you go ahead and choose the goToURL behavior. It will attach the function itself in the head of the document, but on link, you are going to get an event and then you are going to get a function call.

So what the applyBehavior does is it inspects the function and it attaches the proper code to the object that's doing the call. So in this case, it will be the link or the graphic or whoever you are applying this to. So usually there is a lot of functionality in here and instead of trying to break down all this code, we will explore the applyBehavior function in more detail as we are creating our own behavior. Now the last of the four required functions as I continue to scroll down is the inspectBehavior. Now the inspectBehavior function allows your users to modify the behavior after they have applied it. So in our case we have our Style Switcher.

Maybe that they decide that they want to choose a different style for that particular link, so they go back to Behaviors panel, they can double-click it. It brings back up the dialog box and they can change it. So the inspectBehavior what that does is sort of finds out what they entered in the parameters the last time it was filled out. It opens that dialog box back up and repopulates all these form elements with their previous parameters and allows them to modify them. So even though most behaviors are going to have more than those four; those four core functions are required for every behavior that you are going to create.

So now that we understand what those functions do, we need to explore them in a little bit more detail as we hand-code ours. There is one more point I want to bring out. Adobe has a very large shared JavaScript library and that makes creating our behaviors a lot easier. Rather than having to write really complex JavaScript functions that parse strings or explore the structure of the page. There are functions that we can call and that will do all the stuff for us. So we will examine those a little bit later as well. So in our next exercise, we are going to begin the code or behavior using these four core functions.

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This video is part of

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Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics

102 video lessons · 38688 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
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  1. 2m 3s
    1. Welcome
      1m 17s
    2. Using the exercise files
      46s
  2. 1h 23m
    1. Reviewing the Coding toolbar
      8m 42s
    2. Customizing the Coding toolbar
      9m 52s
    3. Taking advantage of Code Hinting
      7m 20s
    4. Using snippets and shortcuts
      11m 10s
    5. Using the Quick Tag Editor
      5m 18s
    6. Using Find and Replace
      9m 50s
    7. Regular expressions
      5m 39s
    8. Using Bridge with Dreamweaver CS3
      8m 28s
    9. Round-trip editing with Photoshop CS3
      3m 40s
    10. Leveraging image variables in Photoshop CS3
      7m 32s
    11. Integrating external variables into your workflow
      6m 16s
  3. 37m 26s
    1. Understanding the CSS Styles panel
      7m 59s
    2. Understanding the Cascade
      5m 50s
    3. Understanding Inheritance
      5m 8s
    4. Understanding Specificity
      7m 5s
    5. Managing CSS styles
      5m 4s
    6. Using Design-Time style sheets
      6m 20s
  4. 2h 19m
    1. Using the new CSS template pages
      5m 59s
    2. Understanding DIV tag structure and layout
      12m 0s
    3. Understanding the CSS box model
      10m 0s
    4. Using absolute and relative positioning
      8m 35s
    5. Understanding floating elements
      7m 9s
    6. Clearing floats
      7m 19s
    7. Using floats to control page layout
      3m 45s
    8. Building structure and assigning IDs
      10m 19s
    9. Applying basic styling to structured content
      11m 14s
    10. Positioning container elements
      11m 4s
    11. Enhancing layouts with background graphics
      11m 48s
    12. Creating faux columns with background graphics
      8m 55s
    13. Creating rounded corners with background graphics
      9m 17s
    14. Building navigation with CSS
      16m 57s
    15. Using Dreamweaver's Browser Check feature
      5m 31s
  5. 53m 22s
    1. Creating properly structured forms
      6m 30s
    2. Creating accessible forms
      6m 41s
    3. Using CSS to lay out form structure
      7m 40s
    4. Creating vertical columns for form elements
      7m 48s
    5. Adding user feedback
      5m 52s
    6. Applying advanced styling to forms
      8m 11s
    7. Client-side form validation
      4m 17s
    8. Validating forms with the Spry Validation tools
      6m 23s
  6. 1h 20m
    1. Understanding the Spry framework
      3m 43s
    2. Defining a data source for use in Spry
      3m 56s
    3. Creating a Spry table
      8m 8s
    4. Using the Spry widgets
      8m 11s
    5. Connecting various data sets
      4m 50s
    6. Understanding Spry widget structures
      7m 1s
    7. Applying custom styles to Spry widgets
      6m 24s
    8. Applying additional custom styles to Spry widgets
      8m 46s
    9. Controlling Spry widget behaviors with JavaScript
      6m 0s
    10. Controlling Spry widget animations with JavaScript
      9m 31s
    11. Creating effects with Spry behaviors
      4m 42s
    12. Hand-coding Spry
      9m 11s
  7. 1h 11m
    1. Creating a base template
      8m 6s
    2. Creating editable attributes
      6m 26s
    3. Creating a new page from a template
      7m 42s
    4. Applying a template to an existing page
      4m 36s
    5. Creating nested templates
      5m 24s
    6. Using repeating regions
      6m 34s
    7. Creating editable and non-editable optional regions
      6m 0s
    8. Using template parameters
      7m 26s
    9. Using template expressions
      9m 59s
    10. Using conditional template expressions
      8m 54s
  8. 54m 40s
    1. Examining XML structure
      2m 44s
    2. Creating an XML document
      9m 9s
    3. Using the CDATA structure
      5m 7s
    4. Creating an XSLT file
      4m 33s
    5. Binding data from an XML to an XSLT document
      5m 6s
    6. Inserting repeating regions into an XSL document
      5m 16s
    7. Creating a client-side XSL transformation
      2m 52s
    8. Styling a remote RSS feed
      7m 29s
    9. Creating a server-side XSL transformation
      5m 31s
    10. Writing XSL expressions
      6m 53s
  9. 1h 2m
    1. Overview of building dynamic websites
      1m 35s
    2. Installing PHP, MySQL, and Apache on Mac
      3m 22s
    3. Installing PHP, MySQL, and Apache on Windows
      3m 54s
    4. Creating a MySQL database
      3m 16s
    5. Defining a testing server and database bindings
      6m 14s
    6. Creating a database recordset
      4m 35s
    7. Adding dynamic content to the page
      5m 14s
    8. Creating repeating regions of dynamic content
      7m 6s
    9. Filtering database records
      7m 39s
    10. Using the Live Preview
      10m 22s
    11. Passing URL parameters
      4m 23s
    12. Dynamically generating links
      5m 18s
  10. 57m 9s
    1. Understanding behaviors
      5m 16s
    2. Installing additional behaviors
      3m 39s
    3. Planning to create a custom behavior
      3m 42s
    4. Examining existing behaviors
      5m 32s
    5. Building a behavior function
      7m 23s
    6. Creating an Action file
      6m 48s
    7. Enabling behavior functions
      9m 1s
    8. Initializing the user interface for a behavior
      3m 9s
    9. Loading behaviors in Dreamweaver
      6m 47s
    10. Testing and debugging behaviors
      5m 52s
  11. 27m 12s
    1. Running reports
      7m 41s
    2. Checking and validating links
      3m 40s
    3. Using cloaking
      5m 42s
    4. Using Check In/Check Out
      4m 3s
    5. Using Design Notes
      6m 6s
  12. 20s
    1. Goodbye
      20s

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