Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Plugems - Why views in plugems?

When we started to develop Plugems we had multiple applications that all shared a similar look and feel. One concept that emerged recently for me was that layouts can act like objects. In our suite of applications, we have a base layout that each application can derive from to satisfy it's unique set of presentation requirements. For example our UI plugem has the following:


Using a little magic from fora.pragprog we can extend our default layout writing the following:

<% inside_layout 'default' do -%>
<%= @content_for_layout %>
<% end -%>

As well as with layouts, there are also smaller blocks of UI that make up a page that can be shared. I've always thought of these as widgets, which in many cases can be defined as a set of partials and helpers. An application may place a widget on a view, feeding it the data needed to bring it to life. This is different from components because there is no controller logic. Really the presentation side of a widget can be expressed by a set of partials, Javascript, CSS and a healthy dose of ruby [e.g. helpers]. In this way partials are the basic building block on which many UI components can be built. By themselves they are incomplete, but within the context of an application they are alive...

Plugems enables you to share common UI widgets across multiple applications. Common assets (css, js, images) can live in a plugem, but be shared across applications at deployment time. I hope to post more in depth on this topic in near future.

1 comment:

Bear said...

really a good design for the ror who loves the django app-design