Once the next stable version of Clay is online, I'm going to split my blog between here and a new clay web site. I'll start blogging about other things here, clay stuff there. ClaySS and a few other projects will be released through the other site as well. I haven't had time the last couple of days to code, so I've been thinking about blogging more.
I upgraded to Linux Mint 18.3 last night. Smooth update, even on my older laptop. Mint continues to impress me, each incremental update makes it a little better. This update has several nice features, such as progress on the program icon on the task bar, more login settings, and an improved software manager.
Give Linux Mint a try if you are tired of Windows 10 bogging down your PC or just want a full featured solid desktop.
I've decided I'm going to drop my current email provider and start using my own. I haven't had any problems, I just feel like a few companies are getting too big and I don't want to contribute to them any longer. The power of the internet is getting too consolidated. Who knows, maybe I'll build an email client into Clay. I've built one before...I wonder if I can dig up from the backup graveyard.
I started using Firefox again, after using Chrome for several years consistently. The new version of Firefox is a winner, they made a lot of good choices with it. I honestly forget I'm not using Chrome. I was testing with it and the next day I opened it again and now a few days later I'm still using it, it just happened.
Give the new Firefox a try, if you haven't.
I'm getting closer to the next stable version of Clay so I'm working on a redesign of the Blog app. It'll have a more modern style, along with some multiuser features that won't be enabled here. I'm really liking the markup I designed for it, now I just need to work in the changes to ClaySS so I can try it out within Clay. My goal for the next stable version is to have it live by Christmas, or at least a beta version of it. So far I'd say it's doable, but if I run into any issues they may push it into January.
I smoked a Boston Butt for Thanksgiving for 12 hours today. It was falling apart in the pan when I put it in the fridge :) I really wanted to do a ham, but none of the butchers here sell them raw, so I went with the next best I could find. I'm frying my first turkey in the morning, don't worry, it isn't frozen.
Earlier I talked about deprecating Summernote, which was a difficult choice. I've decided I'm going with Markdown for an editor, instead of HTML. HTML is difficult to manage in the database over time, because site styling changes and you could end up with several different HTML content structures. I've always hated storing formatted text anyway. Markdown allows me to store it unformatted and format it on the fly, which is nice. I can also store the formatted text AND the Markdown, so if my Markdown formatting changes it can just reprocess the text to be stored. Pretty handy I think. I can reformat HTML, which I'll have to do on my blog for the update, but working with DOM structures is far more complicated than Markdown, in my opinion. Luckily Markdown is gaining popularity and is easy to use once you get the hang of it. I find it even faster, because I don't have to stop typing to click a formatting button.
Anyway, that's what's been going on for me, Happy Thanksgiving!
With all of the CSS and JS changes, I've decided to retool the dashboard, mostly to cut down on ajax calls. It'll also give theme designers more options for the dashboard and allow me to build in more features that were being restricted by the ajax calls. The dashboard will still use ajax, but it'll be more for background processes and not as much for loading content. The downside is it drops one of the features I liked best, which was to use the dashboard and never change the page I was on. To solve that, the dashboard close button will take you back to the page you were on before entering any dashboard functions.
Lots of changes, but overall I think Clay is getting better everyday.
I'm still working on ClaySS and I love it more everytime I work on it. Choosing universal labels for colors has been a pain, but I think I have it figured out. The problem is how many colors to have the theme developer select and then where to put them. To compensate for the opinionated design, there are also color utility classes that let you pick a color (text and/or background) in the template. I haven't had to use them yet, but they are there.
I'm currently updating app templates and when I am finished with that I'll be adding ClaySS component classes for various parts of the page, such as heading, footer, aside, section, etc.
Someone asked me why I'm building ClaySS, instead of using Bootstrap or one of the Material Design frameworks. Honestly, I could use one of them, but I'd rather use all of them. There are things I like about all of them and things I don't. ClaySS is essentially a bunch of variables tied to classes with variable names. I can assign whatever styling I want to a variable or even change the name of the class with a variable. I can set color schemes with a few variables or individually set every color with it's individual variable. If a class isn't what I want, I can override it completely. I can do that it it be totally independent of any other theme within Clay. I can also build a few utility classes that do almost everything and then modify them with as many extra classes as I want. That's why I'm building ClaySS. If I only use bootstrap, somewhere someone will see something and say, "oh, they are using Bootstrap." I don't want that. Most people won't care or even know what Bootstrap is, but I do. I don't want to be tied down to someone's opinion, it's the same reason I built Clay, I care and that's why I do it.
I've been working on a new navbar for the top of the page. It has been hardcoded into a template in the past, but it will soon be customizable from the Dashboard. I plan to build a few different types of drop-down menu options and some other goodies into it. It will also have several options for responsive display that add different effects.
This is all part of the CSS framework and the Clay 1.2 upgrades. I'm also moving ahead and knocking out some of the milestones for 1.4, which should get us to 2.0 a little faster. More on that later.