With the release of the Forge in December the way people contribute to MooTools has changed. The quality, amount, and the variety of plugins has amazed all of us. There are already more than 100 plugins available.
The real strength of MooTools, however, is you — the community. Here are a few of the many great MooTools plugins that were released during the month of December.
Created by MooTools contributors Luis Merino (@Rendez) and Nathan Querido (@nfq), PassShark duplicates the iPhone’s method of password masking. A great method for making your passworld fields a bit easier to use.
If I was to highlight the single most important thing for MooTools in 2009, I would say without a doubt it’s been its community. This year has seen the involvement of many individuals from all over the world that have contributed their time, expertise, talent and charm. Our San Francisco & London hackathons are clear confirmation of this.
Today we’re introducing a tool that has been in the works for the past few months that we believe will change how our community collaborates forever. Meet the MooTools Forge.
That Google search will probably return thousands and thousands of results. Many people have even approached the same problem in many different ways (try searching for a mootools slideshow plugin!). This distributed model, although relatively effective, represents problems for both users and developers.
For the users, it becomes hard to establish comparisons between the plugins as every developer will represent them differently on their websites. Sometimes it’s hard to find a demo, sometimes you just don’t know how to use the thing. Other times the website will be offline for a couple hours, or maybe you don’t know on what other components the plugin might depends to function.
But can we blame developers? Creating a plugin that you can distribute to people takes work. And for some of us, experience shows that writing documentation, uploading it to our cumbersome blog systems, preparing screenshots (and then upgrading them upon a new release!) can sometimes be even more difficult than writing the plugin itself. Still, there are some good reasons to consider releasing your code.
The Solution: for users
For people trying to find plugins, we wanted a simple interface with visual focus on what’s available. Going through lists of plugins whose names are not always that intuitive or descriptive is both boring and inefficient. You might find yourself opening dozens of tabs just to see what the plugin can potentially offer. We want to try and put all the information you need to make a choice right in one place.
While each plugin can have tags that you can browse, we also came up with a concise list of categories that group the most recurrent functions: Effects, Forms, Interface, Media, Native, Realtime, Request, Utilities, Widgets.
For plugins themselves, we wanted to make three basic tasks easy: seeing a demo, downloading, learning how to use. This is the result:
We believe it’s important as well to know who is behind the scenes. To see who is that guy or girl that spent the time to create that amazing piece of functionality that impressed your clients or boosted your website usability. As such, the MooTools Plugins repository comes with simple to tools support to allow you to stay in touch.
The solution: for developers
We’re very proud of how straightforward and efficient we’ve made it for developers to add plugins that:
have descriptions with syntax highlighting
are easy to maintain
We decided to integrate with GitHub, the social coding website, to enable developers to focus on the code and nothing else. By following a few simple guidelines, you’ll be able to deploy code to the source control repository (git), and then only click one button in our website: either the one to add it, or the one to update it.
In the following video, I’ll show you how I create an account, upload my plugin, and then update it in 30 seconds.
We hope you like this new website feature as much as we do, and we look forward to your involvement and contributions.
As an user of the system, if you see something off or have a suggestion, please drop us a note.
As the developer and maintainer of the project, I want to give my special thanks to Chris (for his help with Markdown parsing), Oskar (for his design help) and the Symfony project, for providing us with a great framework to build on, as well as the entire MooTools development team who helped find bugs and provided countless suggestions on how to make it better before we launched it.
But the plugin repository itself wouldn’t be anything without you - the MooTools Community. As much as the plugins catalog is for you, it must by definition be by you, too. As excited as we are to have this finally online, it doesn’t compare to our excitement to see what our awesome community comes up with every day.
On another note, the technology that empowers the Forge has been opensourced, for the use of any other open source project.
Anyone that follows any MooTools Core Developer or Contributor on Twitter may have seen us talking about a ‘hackathon’. Last weekend a large number of the dev team met up in London to work on various parts of the framework. We thought we’d share with you what we got up to, some pictures, and give you a quick update on what to expect over the coming months.
Significant progress was made on MooTools 2.0. Additionally, we will be releasing a 1.3 version shortly, which will include some of the awesome stuff from MooTools 2.0, so you can get your hands on it a bit quicker.
MooTools ART also was given some love. One sticking point has been that Internet Explorer does not support the <canvas> tag but now thanks to Simo Kinnunen(sorccu) we have a VML adapter so we can push on with this development. We can now combine this with the work Aaron Newton has done with Cloudera and we should be able to launch a beta in the coming months. We’re really excited by ART and hope you are too.
Another way we want to improve the MooTools experience is by adding demos to the documentation, particularly for some of the UI components in More. The Mootorial has always been a fantastic resource and thanks to Piotr Zalewa(zalun) and the awesome MooShell we are now beginning to prepare embedded examples in our documentation. We’re writing some great snippets and demos and you can expect to see these appearing on our documentation pages over the coming weeks. We really love MooShell and the team have some great improvements to this valuable tool almost ready, including user accounts and versioning. Keep your ears peeled for a blog post with more details soon!
Next year we hope we can organize similar meet-ups that you, the users, can attend. We certainly intend to hold one in London in the spring, and are discussing other venues across the world. We’re really excited by the prospect of being able to meet people face-to-face and hope that some talks and workshops are something that the community want.
We also want to give a big thank-you to Abacus e-Media for hosting the event. Here are some pictures of the dev team at work:
Written By David Walsh, on Monday, November 2nd 2009, 5:43pm
You’ve probably noticed a flurry of MooTools 1.2 updates recently, including updates to both MooTools Core and More. We’re happy to give them to you and hope you continue to upgrade your existing MooTools 1.2.x builds. We would like to bring to you attention an upgrade to the MooTools 1.1.2 build and MooTools 1.2.4 build which should be considered a mandatory upgrade for developers still using MooTools 1.1 and MooTools < 1.2.4.
Written By David Walsh, on Tuesday, September 1st 2009, 12:35pm
The foundation of every great open source project is its community. The MooTools Team creates the base framework code but it’s all of you that take the framework and build outstanding plugins. Here are some great plugins and tutorials that have been released recently.
MooTools Dependencies Checker
InputMask is a useful MooTools plugin by Core Developer Christoph Pojer. InputMask allows you to set a template or “mask” for which a string should be formatted like. This plugin is great for date, time, or phone number formatting.
DatePicker is a great plugin by MonkeyPhysics. DatePicker allows you to provide your users with a calendar to choose dates from instead of making users type in the date. DatePicker is very customizable and allows for easy styling/theming.
MooTools Core Developer Christoph Pojer shares methods for speeding up your applications through the use of optimized CSS selectors. Consider this article a must-read if you use Selectors frequently in your large web applications.