February 21, 2007
As I'm working with next version of WebCoder intensely, I realized that there were a couple of things with WebPad.NET which I would like to change. They are mostly minor annoyances, from the Code Inspectors not looking exactly like I want them to, to the Project view flickering when using the Open/Save dialog. While this will mostly be minor changes, I'm open to suggestions, if there's something that the users are really missing, e.g. a feature which is already present in WebCoder. For instance, I've heard that some people are missing the Files tab, with the Explorer-like file interface. However, as you know, this is a light version, so there are limits to what I wish to implement in WebPad.NET, but if you have suggestions, be sure to let me know :). I'm planning to release a beta version of the update first, to make sure that no new bugs have been introduced, so stay tuned for more information :)
So, what would you like to see changed/fixed/added in a WebPad.NET update? Post some feedback here or in the forums :)
February 19, 2007
One of the features I really like in WebCoder, which might not be used as much as I could hope, is the CSS overview tree. It can be found on the "CSS" tab, and it can give you a good overview of a CSS document. However, the really cool part about it is that it can give you an overview of the CSS code in your HTML files as well! It looks for a <link> reference to an external stylesheet, or a <style> block, and then parses the CSS code it finds and shows it in the tree structure. This allows you to see which CSS selectors you can use while you actually need them, in the markup. However, the feature goes beyond that, and allows you to doubleclick the selectors to edit the CSS code - again, without leaving your HTML code. They can even be previewed, and if you're using the QuickPreview feature, it will be updated whenever you edit a CSS selector. In other words, you can do almost anything with the CSS code, without leaving the HTML. Very cool, if you ask me :). In case you've missed this feature, then be sure to have a look at the description, screenshot and demo video at the TSW WebCoder page.
Anyway, for those of you who use this feature a lot, I'm happy to tell you that it will be in the next version of WebCoder as well, in a new and improved version. In previous versions, this feature would only show CSS from one source, but in the coming version of WebCoder, multiple sources of CSS code is not a problem. It can be from several <link> sources and/or several <style> blocks. You can also attach multiple stylesheet files to your project, and WebCoder will look for CSS code for project files in these instead of having to search for them in your documents. Have a look at the screenshot, which will show the CSS overview tree with selectors from both a linked .css file as well as an internal <style> block from the current document.
February 1, 2007
Another part of "WebCoder.NET" I started working on pretty soon, was the good old Image Explorer :). The Image Explorer has been a part of WebCoder for many versions now, but hasn't been improved on a lot, since it did pretty much what you could expect from such a feature in a web editor. However, the next version of WebCoder comes with an improved version of the Image Explorer. First of all, the PictureBox control found in .NET brings new ways of showing images. With the Delphi version, the image could be either normal or stretched. In stretched mode, the image would be fitted into the control, no matter how wide or high it was. With the .NET PictureBox, the Zoom mode works much better by resizing the image to a thumbnail while still keeping the aspect ratio. Here is an example:
Image Explorer in WebCoder 2005:
Image Explorer in "WebCoder.NET":
Exploring images is likely to be a much better experience in next version of WebCoder. As you may have noticed, the new Image Explorer contains a "Create thumbnail" button. It allows you to insert a thumbnail of the selected image on your page instead of the original version - pretty cool, I think :)