Blocs 3.4 Beta Build 5

Hey everyone,

Here is Blocs 3.4 beta build 5, more fixes, fixes, fixes. Have a great weekend.

p.s this version doesn’t come as a DMG as there is something up with Catalina compiling those on my laptop so its just an .app file to run directly.

This release focuses on an area that is probably the most common issue Blocs users run into and that is the management of project assets. Aside from fixing a range of issues in this area I’ve also added some new features that (when fully tested and stable) should hopefully make working with Blocs even more user friendly and cause a lot less headaches.

Support for Embedded Assets
Blocs 3.4 has an upgraded file format, which allows project assets such as images, videos, additional style sheets etc to be saved into the actual Blocs files. This change took A LOT of work, I’ve tested it internally for weeks, but of course this is a beta so expect the unexpected. This feature is enabled by default on new projects and can be switched off in project settings (misc).

Asset Embed For Old Projects
If you want to embed all of the assets in a pre 3.4 project, you’ll be happy to learn that I’ve added a feature to do that. One click and your projects assets are all embedded into the project file.

File > Project Assets > Embed All Assets in Project

Generate Package Support
So if you don’t want to embed assets in projects, but want a way to make transporting files between Macs easier? You are going to love the new Package generator. One click and everything used in a project is stored in an organised directory ready to be moved to another Mac.

File > Export > Generate Package

Asset Manager Workflow Improvements
The Asset Manager is used to assign assets in Blocs with the exception of the project settings and the class editor. This is now rectified in Blocs 3.4, when you opt to change the project favicon or a classes background image, the Asset Manager is now used.

Minimum MacOS Requirements
Blocs 3.4 now requires MacOS 10.12 minimum, the app will no longer boot on anything lower.

This is just a few of the improvements in Blocs 3.4, you can view the full change log on the download page for a more detailed breakdown.


As this version of Blocs (3.4) makes heavy changes to project files and structures, please ensure you only use backup projects with it until the dust settles after the first few beta builds.

Download Blocs 3.4 Beta Build 5

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Thank you Norm! I’m going to test the latest beta build as soon as possible. Keep up the good work!

These are two of the bugs that I mentioned in the Beta 4 thread. They are still present in this Beta as well. I don’t know if this is just a Catalina related issue or not but I will test on another machine later today.

The strange thing is that, I had this issue as well: images not showing up in the editor and in the image assets panel, but only once. I closed the project in beta 5 and I opened in beta 4 then beta 5 again and everything worked well as it was supposed to do. Hmmm, not sure what is going on the resources, but it works fine for me now (even the animated SVG image).

test

A bit of a quirk when opening up a 3.4b5 project (with 3.4.b5 app) and a 3.3 project (with 3.3 app) at the same time. Previously the 3.3 main edit window was locked in place. Now it’s unlocked and I can scroll the edit window left or right. When I open the 3.3 project later with the 3.4.b5 project closed, it’s still unlocked. So apparently using 3.4.b5 app did something to 3.3 app. I don’t think this anomaly occurred when running 3.3 and 3.4b4 at same time.

It’s not a big deal for me though since the 3.4 betas are working pretty well. It would be nice in 3.4+ if there was an option to have a main edit window lock capability. When using my trackpad, the main window drifts back & forth quite a bit when doing 2 finger scrolls up/down. To eliminate, I have to grab the scroll bar in main window.

Btw, when using 3.4b5 app, I can see all my assets in asset manager and in edit window using MacOS 10.14.6. Thanks to Norm for all his good work!

UPDATE: I just closed out both apps again and reopened, and now the 3.3 app has the main edit window locked! Not sure what’s going on, but apparently the anomaly went away. Weird since when I originally ran into problem, I closed and reopened 3.3 and 3.4b5 apps/data multiple times with same anomaly occurring. Now it’s not. ??? Will let you know if it occurs again.

It’s defo Catalina. Are you running Blocs from your main HD ?

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It’ll be an issue with having both apps open. They share a lot and the architecture of Blocs is not currently designed for multiple windows.

Window panning is a requirement now the sidebars can be made wider.

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I’m normally less risk averse, however I have only dabbled with 3.4 since I’m wary of potential bugs on client jobs with a new project file format that is not backwards compatible. Putting new features aside, I am wondering how others are finding 3.4 for stability and working as expected. I am not using Catalina, so that is not a factor for me and 3.3 is pretty solid with Mojave.

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Yes. This is the main partition of which Blocs is running from. There is a new read-only System Partition that Catalina Beta creates during installation but I don’t believe the Blocs app or any of its Application Support files were moved there.

I don’t know if it’s a beta problem but I have problems with the preview in the browser (any browser)

MacOS Mojave V 10.14.6
Google Chrome V76

The localhost page could not be found

No web page found for the web address: http://localhost:8080/index.(null)

Try using static preview it’s in the prefs.

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thanks Norm

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Some fantastic features there Norm!

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I tried to install the beta5 and export a package to use it on another computer but I lose the visualization of the images. The images are present as files in Assets but are not displayed


OSX Mojave

Are the assets in the package directory? And are the images embedded in the project or external? If they are linked they will have a little link symbol in asset manager.

Also are you opening in beta 5 on the other Mac? Packages require the latest version of Blocs too.

I’ve seen this with earlier builds of Blocs, but it’s here in b5 where I sometimes click on a bloc and there is no trashcan icon on the canvass to delete the bloc, however this only occurs at LG breakpoint. If I switch the MD it appears.

I’ve had some issues with b5 applying colours to icons from the side panel. I made an icon turquoise, but when switching to preview it became black i.e no colour.

It appears that while colour was visibly applied on the editing canvass it wasn’t sticking and after switching back to edit there was no chosen colour in the side panel, even though the icon was still turquoise on the canvass.

It remained black if published online and I only got around this by applying the colour several times until it stuck properly and remained in the side panel as well after switching from preview back to edit.

I don’t know if this was a factor, however all the column elements were inside a Div, so that I could make the contents of equal height.

Yes the files are stored in the Assets folder that created blocs V3.4.0.b5. The Blocs V3.4.0.b5 is present on both computers. now I have merged all the assets into the project but now it no longer opens the pages linked to the project: it only opens the home.

if you want I can send you the complete folder and you can use it to check if it’s a bug

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Yes that would be best.

Are the assets also running from the same drive as Blocs?