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How to make the best even better?

Thread began 10/21/2009 12:31 pm by anonymous | Last modified 10/21/2009 12:31 pm by anonymous | 887 views | 0 replies


How to make the best even better?

Hi all,

I think I own and have used almost all of the WA extensions and love them all. I've been able to create very complex web applications and websites with WA tools.

However, there's always room for improvement. Here's a short list of improvements that would make the WA extension unapproachable in terms of any competion, IMHO.

I've come across a project built with PHPMaker 6.0, a popular php code generator. While the generation process and other issues make it difficult to build custom web apps (doesn't play well with DW), there are a few features that I think would really make WA DataAssist fantastic. For example, they provide an option to add values to combo boxes based on tables on the fly, without page refreshes. They even allow you to pick which fields in the support table to include in the add option, so you can have a select list based on a table with 5 fields and you can add all 5 or just a few. A pop up form with the fields selected let's the user add a record to the table and refreshes the select list only using ajax. Great feature.

Also from PHPMaker, an autofill feature that allows you to auto fill form fields with based on the selected value of another form element. For example a select list that is based on the products table (productID, product_name) can populate the product price, description, inventory and any other data in the products table to any number of form fields in the form. I've found this very handy. ADDT also had this feature, I think it was called Dependent Form Fields, or something like that. Again, DA 2.07?

I'd also love to see a multiple file upload feature added to DFPro with real progress bars. I know it's already been suggested, but repetition never hurts.

One feature that I would love to see in the suite somewhere is a built in php template system. I never use DW templates, I don't know how anyone does with large sites and lots of dynamic content. But it would be great if there were an extension, maybe similar to SiteAssist, that is designed to use php includes to put together sites. That way only one file for each section ever needs to be updated and uploaded for site-wide changes. You could then include your CSSWriter menu in the nav include, the DA forms and lists in a content include, etc... The html code for the design elements would go in standard includes for header, content area and footer, etc... I do all this by hand now, but it would be really slick to have it buiilt into DA for example. This one may be a bit pie in the sky, but what the heck...a developer can dream.....

Another issue, which should be easily addressed, is to add a No Preset option in DA and any other extensions that provide the standard WA list of predefined styles for forms and lists. Not that the presets don't make it easy for folks to generate completed sites quickly, but I'm often working with designers and have to strip out the WA styles and head tags for every generated page to pass it to the designer. Seems like it would be an easy fix to add "None" to the list of presets which adds no css includes and no styles to the pages. DA 2.07?

Thanks for listening and if I can be of any help in providing more details let me know. The updatable select list option would really put DA over the top. ADDT had a very simple updatable select list, but it wasn't cross browser compatible and didn't allow multiple fields to be added. In building custom apps and content management systems, this option works really well.


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