As a developer for Appcelerator, Inc. one of the most important aspects of my job is keeping in touch with the community through our Developer Network community site. It’s where people ask for help, suggest ways to make our product better and discuss all things Appcelerator. Therefore, the Groups page is always open in a browser tab on my desktop.
This approach has a few drawbacks. The groups page does not automatically refresh. There’s also no real good way to tell if there is something new to look at. Now, of course, I work for Appcelerator, so I can grab the Developer Network source, make the necessary changes, and push a new version. But what if I was just a plain user of another site using Appcelerator? Is there anything I can do to get the experience that I want?
By itself, this is really neat, but there are a few problems. If you auto-refresh a page, you’re going to lose all client state. This is less than useful if you want to show a notification if something changes.
This is where the SOUI (service oriented user interface) paradigm of Appcelerator really shines. To refresh the groups page, all I need to do is send a message. To display a notification, all I need to do is read the message response. That’s it. No funky regex based parsing required.
If you want to set this up for your Fluid Developer Network app, then you can grab the latest version of the user script, and a nifty icon off the Appcelerator svn server.
This post is cross-posted on the Appcelerator corporate blog, Appcelerant.
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