Goals for v1.05 and v1.06 of Dlayer

With v1.05 I will finally get around to the set-up and reset scripts, I am however going to keep it very simple initially. I am going to add a setup module with actions to reset the app back to demo state, erase all data and also set-up users.

In addition to the set-up module, I am also going to add a config setting to control whether test credentials are shown, fix the live editing previews for content items and do a little more refactoring. The v1.05 development board is up on GitHub.

With v1.06 I will add the initially responsive controls, you should be able to manage how your web pages flow from device to device. I will also work fixing any remaining issues in the core of the Content Manager in preparation for the return of the Form Builder. The v.1.06 development board will appear sometime before I finish v1.05.

Release v1.04

I have just released v1.04 of Dlayer; this version is only a small update, there are three bug fixes and a couple of UX and UI improvements, the UX change should help to reduce the number of clicks as per v1.03.

The full changelog for v1.04 is below:

  • I have updated the styling sub tools, the Form, Model and Tool classes extend from shared classes as per the typography sub tool.
  • If you only have one page in the Content Manager, it is now automatically selected.
  • The title and subtitle set for a form now display in the Content Manager [Bugfix].
  • I have updated the content for the demo sign-in page; it now shows the changelog for the latest version.
  • The heading type is now updateable for heading based content items [Bugfix].
  • If you try to create a new content item when in edit mode for an existing content item you will no longer be met with a nasty error [Bugfix].
  • I have added controls to select the sibling (next|previous) content items in a column; this should reduce the number of clicks when editing [UX].
  • I have added titles above each of the new navigation controls, ‘Parents’ and ‘Column content items’.

Release v1.03

I will release v1.03 of Dlayer today, and this version hopefully improves the UX of the app. I have concentrated on minor UI changes and improving the UX, specifically reducing the number of clicks required to move around your design.

The full changelog for v1.03 is below:

  • The page tool is now auto selected in the designer, both on initial entry and whenever you click the cancel button. It is stupid to force you to choose the page when there is only ever one page which always needs to be selected. [UX]
  • Added select parent row to the column tool, now easier to go back. [UX]
  • Added select parent column/page to the row tool, now easier to go back. [UX]
  • Added nesting support for rows and columns. [Feature]
  • The ‘Add row’ and ‘Add content’ tools are aware of state, they will only display when relevant. [UX]
  • I have added the ability to collapse top level rows so you can concentrate on a particular area of the design. [UX]
  • The min-height on a page is only applied when the page is empty.
  • I have updated the sample site for all three demo users.
  • Creating a default site no longer errors, an issue with insert default text weights. [Bugfix]
  • Removed the log links, not currently necessary.
  • Updated the code hinting in all view files, now correctly shows all view helpers.
  • Added select parent row and column to content item tools, now easier to go back. [UX]
  • I have reduced the size of all the buttons in the designer. [UI]
  • I have updated the content for the demo home page and the Content Manager home page.
  • Set the stable version to v1.03
  • Refactoring

Goals for v1.03

With v1.03 I am hoping to improve the UX of the designer, it should be easier to move around your design and reduce the number of clicks you need to make to select elements.

The page will be auto-selected on entry into the designer, and whenever you click the cancel button, there will also be controls to choose the parent element (row|column) and to select sibling content items.

In addition to the above, I’m hoping to make a couple of other small changes which will clean up the UI.

Release v1.02

Earlier today I released v1.02 of Dlayer, in this version I have added supported for shared tools and added one additional option to the Typography sub tool, text weight.

The shared tool support is rudimentary; there is a shared folder within the tool directory that tool classes can extend if required. For now, the typography sub tools are all the same; there is barely any code within each tool folder.

The full changelog for v1.02 is below:

  • Initial support for shared tool classes, for now just extend from a Shared folder [Feature]
  • Fixed a bug with typography sub tool, font family and text weight values not getting set, query had an excess inner join that wouldn’t work if font family was null [Bug]
  • Added text weight to typography sub tool for Form content items [Feature]
  • Added text weight to typography sub tool for Heading content items [Feature]
  • Added text weight to typography sub tool for Jumbotron content items [Feature]
  • Added text weight to typography sub tool for Image content items [Feature]
  • Added additional support for shared tools, simple to now have a shared form, tool, model or ribbon class
  • I’ve updated the colour of the action buttons for all tools; there were too many blue buttons
  • Added a divider to tab p[ages that have multiple forms, for example, add row
  • Added typography sub tool to HTML tool [Feature]
  • Initial help text for Page, Column and Row tool tabs hidden behind a collapse

Release v1.01

So much for releasing later today, I had a spotty connection over the holiday so couldn’t risk the release, the release is now live though.

I am going to work on shared tool models next and then I will add the font weight control to all the other typography sub tools, I don’t want to duplicate anymore code so adding shared models now makes sense.

Release v1.01

I have just packaged release v1.01 of Dlayer; it fixes a couple of silly release bugs, and I have added one more control to the typography sub tool for text content items, the full change log is below;

  • I corrected the ordinal in the v1.00 release date [Bug]
  • The directory separator was incorrect for Linux [Bug]
  • I have added the ability to set the text weight on text content items [Feature]
  • I’ve updated the typography tool model, it now only saves data when necessary
  • Initial work on shared models
  • I’ve added a preview for text weight changes [Feature]
  • README updated to show latest stable/complete release

I will update the demo site later today.

Shared tool models

The tools within Dlayer are modular, 99% of the functional code for each tool sits within a folder in the library, the 1% remaining is the code which goes in the base ribbon handler to load the appropriate ribbon object.

The view logic and tool definition/validation are not modular, over time I plan to update the system to deal with that but for now, it is low down on my list of things to do.

There are up to four classes per tool, the model, the form, the tool class and a ribbon class that binds things together. At the moment there is duplication in the system when multiple content items support a feature, the most obvious example being the font family setting. I’m going to add support for shared tools models; this could be as simple as a base model class which each tool model extends, we will see.

Fun small tasks

I am going to develop a set-up/reset process for Dlayer; this will hopefully make it very simple to reset your development environment after every new release and also make it easy to control what demo sites exist, their users and content. I’m aiming for a functional set-up/reset process; I’m not planning to take on WordPress who have their famous “Five-minute install”.

However, to reward myself for releasing Dlayer I am going to work on a few smaller, fun tasks, to start with additional controls on the Typography sub tools.


Dlayer now has a blog of its own, with the release of v1.00 it now makes sense to move all updates to this site, my other blogs can go back to focusing on my Business and personal musing.

I’m hoping to iterate the app quite quickly, for the v1.00 release I stripped the app back to the minimum I could while still showcasing the core of my idea.

There is a lot to do, over the coming weeks I will develop a set-up, reset process and work on re-integrating the Form builder which I removed a couple of months ago.