I’ve spent some time this week ironing out issues related to making Picklet Builder an ajax-driven web app, instead of a page-refresh driven web site. It’s turned out quite well. b.picklet.net is tagged ‘version-3’ as of today.
The motivation to convert to XMLHttpRequest handling of page content was to make a more iPad-like app. This uncouples the site navigation ‘sidebar’ from the app content ‘workspace’, leaving the user free to browse through structured listings of content in the sidebar without disturbing the workspace (or seeing unsightly page reloads), until s/he locates the picklet to work on.
It’s an evolving design, and aligning with iPad interface conventions implies a bunch of other implementation details (implicit saving of work? undo changes?) that are still to be worked out.
Another significant development this week was to get the authored picklets deployed to actual real iPhones, and installed as offline cached web apps. This involves generating a cache.manifest for each picklet based on the image resources it needs. In the end quite a straightforward task, but very satisfying to see the workflow functioning through to device test stage.
Still waiting for Dropbox to toggle my Dropbox application ‘Picklet Builder’ to ‘production status’ so other people can use the Picklet Builder web app. I plan to restore WebDAV support in the meantime so at least some of my beta testers will be able to get their content into the app.