Welcome to the first post in a new series called “A Different Approach”. Often when I search for a solution to an issue, I find multiple posts that solve the issue in a similar fashion. Since I have a strong need to be unique, I try and come up with a different approach. In this new series, I’ll share the most common solution found, cite the source(s) and explain my unique alternate approach. In the event my approach is not all that unique and is similar to another, please inform me and comment below. I will happily update my post giving credit to the developer and providing a link to their post.
Last week in my “Mister Rogers” themed post, I presented an issue a client had with the Experience Editor and then showed you my solution to that issue. My code contained some HTML markup with custom CSS classes. In order to complete the video demo by the end of last week, I took a shortcut and hardcoded the style definitions above the markup in processor. This is unacceptable for numerous and obvious reasons.
Remember that time when developing for the Page Editor (now known as the Experience Editor or “EE” for short) was an afterthought or often just outright ignored? If you are like me, you’ve buried those memories hoping to forget those days even existed. Today, having a friendly Experience Editor… experience is one of the more important aspects of a successful Sitecore implementation. Whether the client has plans on using personalization, xMarketing, etc. or not, neglecting the EE is a huge mistake that’s still commonly made.
These videos should be beneficial to those developers who want to make custom Sitecore fields that can be rendered and edited with Glass. I am still in the process of cleanup and code refactoring. I also am going to attempt to improve the documentation of the code. As I have mentioned before, I am a perfectionist and this “Proof of Concept” is not up to my standards… yet. I got into a little fight with a few small bugs last night and that battle’s remnants are still scattered throughout the solution. However, the code will still be available in its non-pristine condition.
It’s been a LONG two days, but I am finally finishing the last post in the 4-part series. My idea took weeks longer to implement than I originally planned. I procrastinated by mistake. I don’t know why, but I was under the impression ‘procrastinate’ was a synonym for being ‘proactive’; turns out, I was incorrect. I guess I am still capable of learning new definitions at my old age.
The next two posts are for those who love the to tear apart Sitecore, Glass, etc. and figure out how things work and find ways to implement your new and awesome ideas.
We are finally going to see how we can render the ‘Live Photo’ field using Glass and the final post will explain how to edit the ‘Live Photo’ field in the Experience Editor along with the Sitecore field item and demo items and the source code; all cleaned up and refactored.
Let’s pretend today, April 27th, a fictitious development agency’s oldest and best client finally read about the awe inspiring iPhone and its weirdest camera feature. The article mentioned Apple developed a camera feature with the ability to capture motion pictures! The client was so shocked, he fainted. When he came to, he wasted no time calling his agency contact and began demanding the ability use these Live Photos on his Sitecore site ASAP. In this “pretend” situation, I decided to solve the issue by pretending he was the type to own a ‘non-explody’ maybe even a ‘possibly-explody’ Samsung phone instead of the iPhone. No Live Photos for him and he was bummed.
You probably pretended (or ignored the 1st paragraph entirely) a more realistic scenario. The client does own an iPhone and he’s just “Live Photo’d” every product in the warehouse and he insists you upload these cool moving assets to his Sitecore/E-Commerce powered site ASAP!
April 20th, Apple released LivePhotosKit JS API that includes web support to the public. In my opinion it’s about time. If you are not aware of what a “Live Photo” is… please take a seat, hold tight and prepare to have your mind blown as I explain this simple concept! LOL.
A “Live Photo” is essentially a photo… PLUS MORE! When activated, the photo switches over to play a short video that was recorded slightly before and after the picture was captured. Apple essentially combined 2 existing technologies and with the help of their great marketing team, they made this technology sound like it was new and innovative.
The module formally known as “Enhance the Editor Experience” is now known as the “Editor Enhancement Toolkit”; it has been refactored and includes cool new features. The source can be downloaded from GitHub and the module is available on Sitecore’s Marketplace.
The “Editor Enhancement Toolkit” is based on my “MySpace the Content Editor” blog trilogy. The concepts are similar but the code, features, and approach have improved.
What benefits does this module provide you and your Sitecore implementation?
The module was initially created as a tool to improve a content author’s experience editing content in the Content Editor as well as the Experience Editor. It’s useful in disguising architectural mistakes, but shouldn’t be used as an excuse to purposely make poor decisions. Continue reading “Editor Enhancement Toolkit: Module Overview”