[ This post has been updated -- see below ]
The first thing to note is that AIMPages is VERY beta. Most of the docs were written by the main developer (“Kevin Lawver”:http://www.lawver.net).
The next thing is: their heart is in the right place. I am NOT going to pontificate on the future of AIMPages, they have a lot of weight behind them, they’re doing some good stuff, but they are a late-commer to the space. They also have the stigma of being “AOL” to overcome. We’ll see how it shakes out.
But, building a module for them was a cool learning experience.
h3. The Good
h3. The Bad
The code, test, deploy cycle seems a bit broken to me. I had TextMate open with my files, I’d make changes, apple-tab to terminal, hit up-enter to rezip the archive, apple-tab(2x) to mozilla, hit back-back to get to the upload form, scroll down a page with a disclaimer that I had to agree to every time (WHY more then once?!?), then find my archive, then hit “save” (I think ‘upload’ makes more sense in this context, but that’s just nitpicking).
In looking through some other code I found (the flickr module by “Ian Costello” – any relation to Eric Costello from flickr?), I noticed something about “local testing” which looked like it had hurdles of its own. All in all, I think that testing needs to be made much easier.
h3. The Ugly
*Documentation* This is under “The Ugly”, b/c I’m fully expecting it will be worked on. As it stands now, there are 3 or 4 example modules on the developer site, each which does something different (different versions of the microformat maybe?). There was no real documentation for dojo or their dojo extensions.
From one of their VPs:
We’re starting off with a pretty quiet beta, but will start promoting heavily to AIM and AOL users in about a month or so.
I’ll write up how I actually WROTE the thing in another post for now, here is a zip file of the module if you want to look at it:
“Spell with Flickr AIMPages module”:http://metaatem.net/spell-with-flickr.zip
Oh, and a tip for now – dojo.html.getElementsByClass() is your friend.
[ Update at 6:47 pm ]
Both the Kerry (VP) and Kevin emailed me RIGHT after I sent them this blog post.
We JUST rolled out the new site today and it has some more
it if you have the time.
And thank you for the blog post. I need to dig back in and write a
better “setting up your local dev environment” post. It’s not really
see if you’re in AIM Pages or in standalone mode. I do almost all of
my debugging in standalone mode and then usually only have to upload
the module a couple times. The hardest thing about the local dev
environment is if you want to write server-side modules. Testing
locally with AJAX-y stuff is fairly straightforward. Expect a better
tutorial on that next week.
Great feedback. I ran into some of the same issues when I made my simple module.
After we get the documentation updated, I’ll let you know–would love your thoughts on whether we improved the info.
I’m not afraid to say that I went into the building of this module with some prejudice towards the whole project – I was very wrong – not only have they responded to my concerns – they admited to having simliar problems!
They’re really trying to do the right thing here!