Working with Classes


#22

Daniel,

Your ‘amateur’ method is the same method I am using all the time for all of my Blocs projects. As for planning, of course it would be helpful to plan a new website for any website building software, but it is not something you need to do. I always do just a simple sitemap, and go from there.

In any case, I am always happy to learn from other users’ experiences with Blocs, so if you have time, lets do a Skype call or something to talk about the ‘amateur’ way. :slight_smile:

Cheers,
Eldar


#23

Hi teeters – Unfortunately this has not been my experience, which is why I started this post.

And, of course, I’ve qualified my post by stating the kind of user I am, which of course is critical to understanding my experience in learning Blocs. I would not contest the view that Blocs is easy to just plop down a custom design of any kind, as I can imagine a custom design in which Blocs is easy to do, if you plan and manage and become proficient with the app. So it’s not so black & white.

Having used GoLive since the late 1990’s, for my one and only site, and then Muse when it arrived right up to day, I have not found Blocs easy at all when trying to customize out-of-the-box stuff…of course I bet it can be done, so it’s not about the functionality of Blocs, it’s about the process and ease of getting it done when you are first leaning the software.

I also don’t feel this is about unlearning a long lived with process from using the apps I know, and though learning an entirely different paradigm in software philosophy does carry a learning curve, still this doesn’t explain the efforts I’m experiencing with Blocs custom classes, at least not as far as I can tell at this time.


#24

Okay, but you’re a professional user & teacher of Blocs…please don’t unintentionally imply a devaluing of your ability by comparing it with someone such as myself, who is not a professional, who comes from Muse where plopping together a site is in fact easy, and customization on the fly by a non-professional via a direct and immediately testable and alterable method with just a few drags and stretches and incremental up/down arrows, and use of the menu tweaks, requires no planning or other software to do.

Blocs is not designed to be that, I appreciate that, and is trying to be easy using a different modality, framework, philosophy, etc, but I am struggling to do some pretty simple things.

AND, I would not be surprised to learn that there are simple ways to do what I’m wanting to do, but what is missing for me is a Blocs For Dummies book to explain that.

While your videos are highly useful, and I appreciate you’ve taken on the project and hope you gain financially from doing so, I do often feel more primitive trainings about bootstrap, section-structures, column-grid, etc, would fill in some rudimentary gaps that are missing. [see the webflow videos for examples that do a darn good job of that].

One example: in your long awaited visibility videos, you demonstrate what you say yourself is an undesirable outcome, meant only to show how to use the current visibility feature, making the lesson much less valuable in understanding how to actually use the feature – and there seems to be some underwriting knowledge (Bootstrap for Dummies) that defines IDs, Targets, and the interface usage of the terminology Toggle Visibility that is missing for me…so I got lost, until I figured it out: Toggle Visibility is about a state-change, not at root about visibility, it’s just that visibility is the state that is being toggled, toggled based on the initial default state, which can be visible or not visible such that the ‘toggling’ reverses that default state.

This is critical piece of explanation that was not stated in the video and took me much time to figure out, and likely is common knowledge for professionals, but not for beginners of bootstrap based apps.

I do not mean to sound critical, but it appears I must be a bit more forceful, as many responses to my post from other folks is missing the bigger message I put forward – my sense is this comes from a good-faith investment and belief in Blocs…and for its heroic and deserving leader Norm.

My questions are best received as feedback from a user who is in specific category of user, the one that I consistently state I am in, in order to help responders to respond accordingly, rather then encourage me to be a professional like them!

Whew…oaky, I’m off my warmhearted soap box. :slight_smile:


#25

For me, the goal for each video is to explain what a feature does, not to show each and every case it con be used in. (in this case, the feature is a type of interaction in Blocs called Toggle Visibility).

If you understand how to use a feature, in this case Visiblity, you can create a desirable outcome. For example, check out the filter button in ‘List of Properties’ section I have created in my latest template. I believe it is something some users might want to use in their websites.

In any case, thank you for your feedback! :slight_smile:


#26

Thanks @webdeersign. Duckett’s book bought for £12.99 off Amazon. I use Blocs for hobby websites and lack of time means it can be three months between touching Blocs. The result is that I forget the simple things…


#27

Yes Chiefsub68…this is an important reply.

And I too did purchase those wonderful books, and have been exploring learning HTML & CSS, and because of the infrequency of needing to alter my one and only site, I will not develop a functional use of coding because I do not need to use it frequently enough to do so…if I did, it would be a no brainer and I suspect enjoyable…which is why I use apps that are “NO CODE NEEDED” software to build my one and only ‘custom’ website.

Blocs is supposed to be just that kind of tool, and hopefully Blocs 3 will come closer to making that so for folks like you and me.

Changing or replacing the ‘Custom Class’ method into a fully functioning side-bar process, where ‘span’ containers are auto-generated in the background when the user wants to change a font color, type, size within a paragraph or any H1 to H6 text within some element with multiple parts [like some of the bric with heading + paragraph] and as well as change positioning, if all this can be done on the fly this would be a fantastic change!


#28

Blocs is a very functional program out of the box. It will allow you to make beautiful websites out of the box. With that said, classes further enhance your ability to do more advanced web design. Classes are not hard, and do not require any coding knowledge.

Just a little research on how to use them. Eldar core training videos provides excellent guidance using Blocs.

Casey


#29

It says it all.

Of course, like any other tool, Blocs requires time to get used to, to learn how to use all of its features. But, it doesn’t require any knowledge of code.


#31

Creating a Class is easy and not hard to do, however as they accumulate within a site that requires them in order to achieve the customization that is sought for, they do become cumbersome to manage and keep track of so that inadvertent changes do not occur when a tweak is made to a class shared by another element in the site, or some, or many other elements within a page or on another page within a site, as other’s have pointed out.

This has certainly been my experience, which is why I started this post to ask how other users manage this inherent challenge.


#32

I think the key to managing a site’s appearance ( I don’t mean the overall architecture ) is to aim for consistency by not just considering the appearance of a single part of a bloc, but understanding that your design decision may need to be replicated across repeated elements. When that is the case use a class to control those repeated elements and do not edit the elements characteristics individually. Name the class according to it’s use in the design and if necessary have different classes for presentation in mobile desktop and tablet views. For example we might have sales-item-mobile and sales-item-desktop. If we don’t need variants we can just have sales-item.

I think that is an important step to consistent site design and efficient working and is the way classes should be used. We all take liberties with a quick fix - I certainly do - but it’s just hacking rather than a professional approach.

The problem with not having some grasp of CSS is that some of the class manager options won’t be so clear ( because they essentially are CSS characteristics ). Similarly a quick look at bootstrap will make you have an understanding of why blocs elements are as they are and ( currently ) why a five-column layout is a pain.

You don’t have to understand CSS or Bootstrap to use blocsapp, but it will make life easier if you do.


#33

That logic sound to me as follows: I don’t need to know how to drive on the freeway (autobahn) to experience the performance abilities of my fancy smartly designed auto, as any side-street will allow me to experience it’s smooth ride well enough. However, if I want to make good use of the abilities of my fancy car, and drive more robustly, then I best become a professional driver using the methodologies professional drivers use on a daily basis. What if I don’t want to be a professional designer (an admirable profession, but not the one I’m in)?

And, as an amateur, I think my custom, Responsive/Adaptive, Bloated Code, fast loading Muse website drives pretty well, and so do those who have taken it for ride (mixing the metaphor, I know, lol) themselves and have let me know that is how they feel…AND, required no-code, and lots of detailing like any fine car does!


#34

Blocsapp isn’t Muse. Blocsapp is essentially ( no disrespect to Norm ) a visual shell thinly wrapping over the bootstrap framework and giving convenient access to CSS characteristics ( so nobody has to write CSS ) and the bootstrap framework…

It’s not about amateur versus professional, it’s about putting websites together poorly or efficiently.

You can do most things in blocsapp without using classes. Go ahead and ignore classes and you can get by pretty well. At some stage you’ll decide that you’d like more control and an easier life.

There are lots of website generators out there and developer purists will hate the HTML/CSS code they produce because the end result can be ugly - inefficient and bloated code. The user doesn’t necessarily notice and the browser works a bit harder, but it’s there for humans to use rather than be picky about the quality of the code it processes.

If you want to talk about cars, we can imagine that Muse is an automatic car, with no clutch, but blocsapp is a manual car with a stick-shift and clutch pedal.

You can drive that automatic car easily. It just works. The manual needs a bit more work. You can drive it OK by crashing the gears, choosing the wrong gear, etc. It will get you around, but when you are skillful at driving the manual car it will outperform the automatic in all respects and be very smooth and have greater fuel efficiency. If you rarely drive a car you aren’t going to be as good a driver as someone that does it all the time.

So you have had a good ride in the automatic, you’re currently enjoying getting about in the manual, but you aren’t enjoying that manual as much as you could and your passengers aren’t getting as smooth a ride as they could, either.

[ edit: I kinda feel this has run the course - enjoy blocsapp without learning more about CSS and bootstrap, but you’ll get more from blocsapp if you take that extra step and do some planning and organisation. That’s all there is to it.

I completely understand why some people don’t want to bother with the extra step. ]


#35

I think the forum members should just stop replying as you just seem to want to argue about the replies.

This forum has many contributors that follow and try to help Blocs users. Many have spent hours helping other members with the solutions to questions. It’s a great community that has professional, part time and casual users.

I like to use this when describing any program “it’s only as good as you take the time to learn” Blocs is no different, we all had a learning curve. Enough said.

Casey


#36

I really appreciate a lot in this reply pauland, as it feels very honest! Thanks. [though did you mean “wrapping over the bootstrap framework…” ?]

As for what Muse is capable of in the hands of pro’s, it’s quite the race car which is evident be looking around here: https://musewidgets.com/collections/site-of-the-day

I hope that Blocs apps matures to be able to do what I can currently do in Muse, and have been able to do for a long time now, but which is not achievable yet in Blocs (that is without advanced coding skills), and hopefully before Muse completely vanishes, so I have a solid replacement, and hopefully Blocs 3 will take a big leap in that direction.

Either way and undoubtedly Blocs will continue on this maturation path with such dedicated, protective, and invested users, encouraging it’s highly responsive developer, Norm. :slight_smile:


#37

Daniel, I have used a LOT of development tools over the years.

There is a common refrain from people migrating from one tool to another - why can’t tool X be more like tool Y, why can’t tool X do what tool Y does, etc.

Experienced developers don’t do this. They understand that they can only use the tools that are available, not the tools they would like to be available.

Another common trait amongst experienced developers is to appreciate simplicity and flexibility.
Lastly there is a reason why Adobe is discontinuing Muse development and there is a reason why not everyone used Muse for their websites. Many of us had access to Muse but preferred blocsapp as their platform of choice.

I am not interested in seeing blocsapp becoming Muse 2.


#38

hi @DanielF , that is maybe not the best way or not for everyone … but it helps me: I simply use the PROJECT NOTES panel from blocs to add the more complex classes there. I categorize them by appearance, kind/category (f.e. typo, image, objects) and usage (do I plan to use the class on a detailed element or could it be used everywhere), I add the name in a structure based on the appearance and the category. if needed I make some notes in brackets below the classes.

it is a more old-school approach but makes it very uncomplicated and helps or rather forces you to work clean and focused.


#39

Good spot - fixed.

There’s no reason not to be honest and I don’t think Norm has ever hid that blocsapp is based on bootstrap. It is to Norm’s credit that he’s made web development easily accessible by using bootstrap as the framework for website development in conjunction with a visual editor. Better still he’s avoided bloat for the most part and blocsapp generates efficient and easily readable, editable code.


#40

Thank you Michaelokraj for answering the original question (and doing so with out adding unneeded commentary).

I wasn’t aware of the PROJECT NOTES panel and it’s value for working with the challenge of Class management.

Your guidance is much appreciated. :pray:


#41

ah, once again we are in agreement!


#42

I’m from a print background (Norsk Data, DPS Pagespeed, Quark, InDesign and Eidos Methode) so I’m used to “components”, “tag wizard” “modify” etc to speed up how you work and enable fine control. I may only do the occasional website but I always want to know more.
www.colchester-cycling.org.uk
birchleaf.co.uk
willbramhill.co.uk
And my magnus opus www.bramhill.net (the Baker and Mulvey pages are the only ones finished so far)

Thanks @norm for Blocs. It is superb.