Visual Rails Workbench - screencast preview
I’ve written previously about the design capabilities and the import/export tools of the Visual Rails Workbench - the drag and drop web-page design environment which will form part of Ruby In Steel Developer 1.2. Now I’ve just recorded a short (four-and-a-half minute) screencast to show you the Workbench in action.
|Watch the Visual Rails Workbench Screencast|
This movie gives a very quick overview of the design process including resizing and styling visual elements, dragging new components from the toolbox onto a page and ‘round-tripping’ between ERb and HTML. It shows how we construct HTML pages by translating embedded Ruby templates into HTML and creating a ‘composite’ page from the various separate templates (layouts, views and partials) and then deconstruct the HTML back to ERb templates again. It also shows the import/export facility for transferring pages designs between the Visual Ralls Workbench and some external web design tool such as Dreamweaver.
The Visual Rails Workbench will form a part of the next version (1.2) of Ruby In Steel Developer. This will be a free upgrade to registered users.
Will this be extensible? Will we be able to add controls of our own? and write the html/property conversion stuff for our own controls?
In principle it is extensible. However, the initial release (in Ruby In Steel 1.2) will not allow user configuration or extension. In essence, we want to be sure this works reliably with standard controls and configurations using Rails 1 and 2. In our view, it would introduce too many unpredictable (and difficult to debug) ’special cases’ to allow user extensibility in the initial release. We do have plans to add user configuration/extension capabilities later in the life of the 1.x product line, however (i.e. later this year and as a free upgrade to existing users). We plan to work with our users after the release of 1.2 to ensure that our plans for extensibility properly meet their requirements. We’ll announce more details on our future plans in this area after 1.2 has been released.