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Planning to create a custom behavior

From: Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics

Video: Planning to create a custom behavior

Since behaviors allow us to automate the process of adding JavaScript functions into our pages, the first step in creating a behavior is to start with an existing script that you wish to convert. Starting out with a working script will go a long way ensuring that your behavior would function properly. Trying to debug as you create and test your behavior will be a lot easier if you know that all the foundation JavaScript functions are going to work properly. Now while you don't have to been expert in JavaScript to write behaviors, a basic understanding of JavaScript concepts is necessary to understand how these functions are going to work. So in this exercise we will review the JavaScript functionality that we want to add as a behavior and we will talk about the process of properly planning those behaviors out.

Planning to create a custom behavior

Since behaviors allow us to automate the process of adding JavaScript functions into our pages, the first step in creating a behavior is to start with an existing script that you wish to convert. Starting out with a working script will go a long way ensuring that your behavior would function properly. Trying to debug as you create and test your behavior will be a lot easier if you know that all the foundation JavaScript functions are going to work properly. Now while you don't have to been expert in JavaScript to write behaviors, a basic understanding of JavaScript concepts is necessary to understand how these functions are going to work. So in this exercise we will review the JavaScript functionality that we want to add as a behavior and we will talk about the process of properly planning those behaviors out.

So if you are following along the Exercise Files, I am going to scroll down to my Exercise Files, and I am going to open up the index_switcher.htm. Now this page has the JavaScript function that we are going to convert to a behavior, already applied to it. So I am going to test this in my browser and we will talk about the JavaScript. One of the cool things that you can do for your users is actually give them alternative style sheets. This file has two style sheets attached to it, one offers a normal text view and the other one for accessibility purposes offers a larger text view. In a DOM-compliant browser like Firefox, I can go up to View > Page Style, and I can choose between those two style sheets: Normal Text or Large Text. And you can see it goes ahead and changes for me.

Now that has nothing to do with JavaScript. That has everything to do with a DOM-compliant browser, however, from time to time people are going to use browsers that won't afford them that functionality and so when that happens, we use a little bit of JavaScript to help them along. So on the right hand side from our menu, I can see a large A and a small A and if I mouse over them, I can see that one is going to give me my large text, and one is going to give me my normal text. So if I click on large text, text increases, when I click on the normal text, text decreases. We are just switching our style sheets, so this could be something a lot more than just a large text to normal text switched. This could be an entirely different layout and an entirely different color scheme. So this is something that I like to do in my styles a lot, give the user a link to click on to change the look and the feel of the site. That could be for accessibility purposes, it could be just for design or statics, it doesn't really matter.

So this JavaScript is based of Paul Sowden's, a very popular style switcher. It's not quite as complex because it doesn't have all the cookies and everything, so we'll sort of pair it down a little bit to make it easier, to make a behavior out of. So I am going to close Firefox and we will go back into Dreamweaver and I am going to switch over to CodeView and scroll up to the head of my document to find our JavaScript, there it is. It's not a very large function, it's just a few lines of code, and what it does for us, the functions name is setActiveStyleSheet and it accepts one parameter, and that is title and title gets pass into this.

What we have is we have a fore loop that's going to loop through all of the elements in our document, you can see that right there and it's finding all of the elements with the tag name of links, so it's finding all of our link tags and what it's doing is it's looking to see if it has a relative attribute and if they have a title attribute. And if it does, it takes the parameter title has been pass into it and it disables all of the other ones and enables that one. So it basically just switches the styles. So this is a nice little piece of JavaScript and whereas you might save this as a snippet ad just add it to the page, every time you need to use it, you are still going to have to go down into your code, find your links and then hand-code in the functionality.

Instead of going through all that process, it would be a lot easier if these were a behavior. So now that we know what we want our behavior to do, we need to explore the structure of a Dreamweaver behavior and we will do that in our next exercise.

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This video is part of

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Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics

102 video lessons · 38728 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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