World? ERModernLook. ERModernLook? World.

ERModernLook is a modernized DirectToWeb look added to Project Wonder this morning. My sneak peek post from yesterday has a short screencast that gives you an idea of what it looks like.

Some additional details:

ERModernLook Frameworks

  • ERModernLook – contains the standard look page templates
  • ERModernDefaultSkin – contains the css and style resources
  • ERModernDirectToWeb – contains modernized versions of components from ERDirectToWeb

ERModernLook Applications

  • ERModernMoviesDemo – a demo application based on the ERMoviesLogic framework


ERModernLook was designed with the following features in mind:

  • Tableless semantic markup – tables are used but only for tabular data (i.e: list pages).
  • Uses the Ajax framwork to supply pragmatic ajax behaviour.
    • When paginating
    • When switching inner page tabs.
    • In-line editing of related objects.
  • CSS inspired by: “Object-oriented CSS”
  • CSS and style resource are located in a separate skin framework making customizing easier.
  • All buttons/background images are references via CSS and are contained in the skin framework.
  • Enhanced edit relationship page that is embeddable and supports in-line related object editing and creation.
  • Enhanced edit date component based on Unobtrusive Date-Picker Widget V5.
  • Professionally designed default skin.

Getting Started

The easiest way to get started is to watch the demo videos (OK, not just right yet, but there will be demo videos) and then run and play with the ERModernMoviesDemo application. ERModernMoviesDemo uses the ERMoviesLogic framework which has an embedded H2 database and shouldn’t
require any configuration to get running.

The ERModernMoviesDemo can easily be copied and modified to use any business logic framework.

  • Modify the NavigationMenu.plist to customize the main menu.
  • Duplicate and modify the MoviesNavigationController referenced by the session to support your Entities.
  • Modify the user.d2wmodel to support you Entities.

Using your own skin

The CSS resource components in the look pages obtain the name of the framework that contains the css files from the
er.modern.look.skinframework property. This makes creating your own skin as easy as duplicate the ERModernDefaultSkin framework
and change the value of that property in it’s Properties file to match it’s new name.

Known issues

  • The look has seen VERY little testing on IE. Feel free to file bugs, but since I avoid IE at all costs, only bugs with patches will get serious consideration (and probably not at all for IE prior to 7).
  • The look is pretty young, so expect to there to be bugs. We will be using it in production apps so expect any obvious ones to be squashed pretty quickly.

That said, enjoy!

Enabling development rapid turnaround for D2W and RuleModeler

There are a few things I skimmed over or skipped in my WOWODC D2W presentation (too much information, not enough time). One particular item may trip up a new D2W developer, it is an important setting that allows RuleModeler to communicate with WOLips and enables rapid turnaround when you edit rules during development.

Luckily there is a page in the wiki that details the steps you need to take.

WOWODC West Direct to Web Presentation

I received a lot of very positive feedback about my Direct to Web (D2W) presentation at WOWODC West this year. A lot of it was along the lines of: “Wow D2W is very cool, it’s sad that everyone doesn’t know about it” Well, I agree, D2W is very cool, and everyone should know about it. So, I suggested to Pascal that we release the video for my D2W presentation for free.

The first half of the presentation has been available for a few weeks now but the second half was delayed, waiting for the processed audio.

Well, I’m very pleased to announce that the post-production work is now complete and both halves of the presentation are now available from the WOCommunity site (part 1, part 2) or from the WO podcast feed on iTunes.

Direct to Web is a phenomenally powerful but underused part of WebObjects. I hope these videos do a little to help it gain some wider recognition.

For those of you who would like to play along at home, the Movies framework and MySQL database dump I used in the presentation are available here:

Finally, I hope that these videos give you a sense of the quality and depth of the presentation at WOWODC West in general (they were uniformly awesome). If you found mine interesting, I’m sure you will enjoy the others. Pascal should have them available for sale shortly – or better yet – tickets are still available for WOWODC East in Montreal at the end of August.