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All new Weaver's Space

Just over a week ago, Joe Workman's Weaver's Space went live. No, not the forum that's been online for a long time, but a new site with news around RapidWeaver and web design, Tips & Tricks, design presentation and, of course, all of JW's stacks.

The site went live with two new stacks. Pen and Wallpaper.
Pen is a free stack that will save you a lot of time and will also remind you what the heck you were thinking when you positioned those new stacks after a night out with friends. Pen is a container stack that can group stacks together and allows you to add notes to the new group. The notes can be coloured to differentiate your page sections.

One of Pen's advantages is that you can copy or drag whole groups of stacks to move them around on the page, or between pages. As far as I know, it's the first stack that allows you to both group stacks together and add notes to the groups.
The Pen stack itself is not published to your website – only its content. As such, no code whatsoever is uploaded.
Oh, and did I mention that it's free?

Wallpaper is a new background generator with over 180 different gradients and customisable SVG background patterns that can be added behind single stacks, sections, or whole pages. Patterns and gradients can be combined and the height of the stack can be adjusted within the stack settings. The stack's contents can then be positioned vertically within the Wallpaper stack – Top, Centre, or Bottom.
The SVG patterns are interesting because opacity, colour and scaling can also be adjusted within the stack settings, but the pattern will also scale depending on the viewport width.
Both the gradients and the patterns are set to 'Fixed' by default, but can also be set to static so that the stack's content scrolls over them.
Two Sample stacks, Gradients & Patterns, are included with Wallpaper to make it easier for you to choose the background that you prefer.

You can add extreme combinations:

Wallpaper – Joe Workman
Or you can take the more subtle approach:

Wallpaper – Joe Workman
Whichever road you choose, you're bound to find the right background for your RapidWeaver stacks, sections, or pages with Wallpaper!

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Poster for RapidWeaver - an upgrade

In February of 2017, I reviewed the Poster stack from In Stacks. At the time of the review, I mentioned that this was a soft release and that Jannis was still working on the stack.

Poster has just received an important update. It is now possible to add posts outside of RapidWeaver!
Yes, you read correctly; if you are building a client site, it is now possible for your client to edit the Poster page and add, or delete content.

So how does this work? Poster can load markdown files. This means, of course, that

  • Your client will need to learn markdown (which is actually very simple) and
  • Your client will need an FTP solution

The FTP solution would be above most client's heads, but wait! Jannis has a solution for that too. Remember that I also tested InStack's Repository Stack? With Repository, you can very easily add a (hidden) page to your client's site that will allow him to drag in new files – in this case, the new markdown files that should be loaded via Poster. Nothing could be simpler!

You can see a simple test post here: https://rw-ninja.news/Poster-blog. I haven't played around with the formatting, so this is 'out of the box'.

And there's more to come – Poster is still a work in progress; it will take some time, but Jannis plans to add an online editor, making things even simpler.

Last year, Poster was already highly recommended as a replacement for the inflexible RW Blog page, today, I can only endorse Poster as the ideal replacement for a blog page; in fact, once I can work out how to transfer my Armadillo posts to Poster, I'll be moving on.
Why? Because Poster is now much more flexible; the stack will finally allow me to design my pages the way that I want them.

Stay tuned; in the near future the RapidWeaver Ninja News page will hopefully look very different!

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Kalendar for RapidWeaver

Websites that display calendars have two core functions: They show upcoming events and they display event details. Ideally, the calendar should be aesthetically pleasing with an uncluttered user interface. Beyond good looks, the design should help you tell different kinds of events apart and present a bird’s eye view of them at any screen width.

Kalendar from Weavium not only fulfils all of the above, it also offers tons of styling options and supports 20+ different languages. Kalendar can display public calendars from Google, Outlook, or any other calendar that has an iCal address, and event details written in markdown will automatically be converted. And, of course, Kalendar looks great on mobile devices too.

You can, of course, also create calendars and events within RapidWeaver and publish them directly.
Kalendar can load calendars from multiple sources at the same time and if you feel so inclined, you could display a Google, an iCal (sorry, Apple Calendar) and a manually published calendar etc. at the same time.

Kalendar – Weavium
Kalendar is extremely simple to set up; just add the iCal-URL of the calendar that you wish to display; configure the colours, fonts, sizes and breakpoints – and in typical Weavium fashion, there's hardly anything that can not be configured – and you're good to go.

I already have two calendar solutions for RapidWeaver, but the next time I need to publish a list of events, Kalendar will most likely be my 'go-to' solution, most especially due to the configurability (i.e. markdown) of the events.

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Srcerer for RapidWeaver

The buzzword for a few years now has been Mobile First, but how much do you really care about your mobile visitors – those that pay for their internet experience by the kilobyte?
Previously, we've seen stacks that automatically produce an image of reduced size for mobile devices. Even today we have stacks that allow the manual addition of a second image that is loaded for mobile devices, but none of the solutions to date have been truly optimal.

I have two websites online that display a full page mobile optimised image on desktop devices for a couple of seconds until the browser recognises the fact that I'm on a desktop computer and replaces the image with the higher resolution version. Not really optimal.
I previously had a stack that produced two versions of an image and loaded the low-res image on mobile devices, but, more often than not, the low-res would display on a tablet in portrait mode. Not really optimal.

What if there were a solution to load and display an image that has been optimised for each breakpoint? Well, actually there is now a stack that can do that – Srcerer from Shaking The Habitual!

Srcerer queries the browser width when a page is loaded and can deliver up to eight different images at various sizes with each image optimised for each screen width it is being viewed on. Srcerer even takes Retina displays into consideration and will deliver an optimised 2x image.
Using Srcerer means that your site's visitor only downloads (and pays for) the image that has been optimised for her/his device.

This does, of course mean that you are saddled with extra work for your site. You will need to produce, optimise and link the eight separate images manually, but there's workarounds for that too. Srcerer will automatically generate the code for linking to a folder of optimised images and an app called Retrobatch (a super efficient node-based batch image processor from Flying Meat Software) will allow you to program a workflow to automate the process (Stuart will even supply a pre defined workflow), However a Photoshop Droplet can do the same and it's even possible to resize the images via Preview.

Now personally, I'd be happy if this were the limit of Srcerer's abilities. But Stuart wasn't ready to stop programming there and has added properties to the stack that other image stacks simply don't have; Srcerer can produce cards with seven different shadow effects, Srcerer can add image captions, hover effects and blends and it can even add parallax effects. What more would you want from an image stack?

Srcerer – Shaking the habitual

Stack settings
Stuart has given detailed descriptions of each of Srcerer's settings on the homepage, so I'm not going to reinvent the wheel, but instead would recommend that you take a look at the Srcerer product page.

Srcerer is not only the most advanced stack to date for delivering optimised images for each viewport, but it is also an otherwise extremely versatile image stack that I can highly recommend!
Until 9th November 2018 you can get a 25% discount with the code: sth-ninja-srcerer

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Limelighting in RapidWeaver

When 'PopView' was launched as a BWD beta a little over 16 months ago, it instantly became one of my favourite stacks. Unfortunately, I personally helped delay its release by asking too many questions and making too many suggestions.

PopView – never an especially cool name – eventually morphed into "Limelight" and was tested by others, who also had questions and suggestions and so the launch was delayed again and again until we had a stack that is almost entirely different to the one that saw the light of day. But that's just the way with BWD. An idea is born, then it is tested and re-tested until finally – and only when Andrew has decided that it is ready – it is sprung upon an unsuspecting public.

Twelve months ago Limelight was already the perfect stack for lightboxing anything – anywhere. It can display text/image combinations; it can display Google maps; it can display iFrames; heck! it can display anything and everything with lazy loading – i.e. instantaneously!

When Limelight finally received its production name, I built two pages in anticipation of its imminent release: Galleries and Tabs, but then other testers joined the fray and numerous other changes took place.

Limelight – Big White Duck

So what happened along the way?

Rob: Hi, Andrew, I have twelve images which can all be viewed within PopView/Limelight. It would be cool, if I could navigate from one image to the next.
Andrew: It's supposed to be a simple lightbox, not a slideshow!
Rob: Well that's a shame. How about the Google Maps – they take an age to load?
Andrew: Let me look into that…

Two days later and "Limelight" can navigate between images in a lightbox and Google maps are lazy-loading. I.E. if either an iFrame, or a Google map is called via a Limelight lightbox, it can be set to preload with the page and can be viewed instantly when a Limelight stack is opened.

Limelight is a lightbox stack. It will change the way you perceive lightboxes – it's the most flexible lightbox available.
Limelight comes with its own launcher and visibility stacks and can easily be launched by adding a Class to a link. It also arrives with Limelight Bar, which can add buttons or tabs to your lightbox.
You can have a Limelight that covers your page, as with regular lightboxes, or have it open within a SectionPro or a Blueprint. Limelight stacks can be nested so that one, or more can open within another*. I could probably go on for hours, but I'll let you make your own discoveries…

Limelight is without a doubt my favourite, the most flexible lightbox available. No matter what I want to display, it's there instantly. Hardly a site goes by without me having to plant a Limelight firmly within its pages. Most of the rjh-store is based on Limelight.

After numerous Limelight beta iterations these two pages have been completely rebuilt: Galleries and Tabs demonstrate some of the capabilities of Limelight and feature nested Limelight stacks.
You can receive a download link to my gallery projects free of charge, you just need to contact me.
The Tabulated content will be available in just a few days…

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