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IOS 5 Finally Supports WYSIWYG Editors 

More and more people are accessing the web using smart phones and tablets and while much progress has been made to provide a good web experience for those devices, until now one major shortcoming has been the lack of support for use of web based WYSIWYG editors like CKeditor and TinyMCE. The problem has been that while the WYSIWYG editors would display ok, they did not trigger the keyboard input so they were not usable because clicking/touching them did not put the focus in the editor and did not bring up the keyboard. The best solution we could come up with was to force the use of a plain old textarea which would trigger the keyboard but required entering raw html making it more tedious to use and requiring knowledge of html from the user. We tried to make it a little better by using MarkitUp to at least provide a toolbar with some helpful html elements as shown below in this screen shot from an old iPhone 3.

iPhone 3 editor

HTML 5 actually defines a contentEditable attribute which is intended for use in making web pages editable but it wasn't supported in previous versions of IOS/Mobile Safari until now with the recent release of IOS 5. Fortunately for us the makers of the popular open source WYSIWYG editors have been working on this using the beta versions of IOS 5 so that now since the official release both of these editors can work in iPhones and iPads that have IOS 5. Shown below is a screen shot of TinyMCE used in iPhone 4S.

TinyMCE in iPhone

We've modified mojoPortal to take advantage of this and not force the plain textarea if we detect an IOS 5 device. This change is already in our source code repository and will be in the next release of mojoPortal. You can also try it out on our demo site using your IOS 5 device. For other devices we still use the textarea approach but I suspect that over time we will be able to enable the WYSIWYG editors for even more devices.

I'm very excited that this major limitation has been overcome in IOS 5 and especially for iPad which is a great web browsing experience and now is even better since you can actually edit your content easily. Huge kudos to the developers of TinyMCE and CKeditor for their great work in supporting mobile devices.


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Posted by Joe Audette Monday, November 07, 2011 2:19:00 PM Tagged In: Features Mobile

IndieConf 2011 in Raleigh NC 

Any mojoPortal community members in or near Raleigh, North Carolina?

I'll be attending IndieConf on Saturday November 19, 2011 in Raleigh, NC. IndieConf is a small conference for independent web developers and designers, freelancers and entrepreneurs. I'll be participating in a panel discussion about transitioning from a consulting business to a product sales business. It was kind of a last minute thing so I'm not scheduled for any presentations about mojoPortal, but I'll be hanging out and attending various sessions in addition to the panel I'll be participating in. I'd certainly enjoy getting to meet some mojoPortal community members there.

indieconf 2011 Raleigh, NC November 19, 2011

If you are in the area and interested in attending contact me (joe dot audette at g mail dotcom). I can give the the first 3 people who contact me a discount code for free admission, and after those are gone I can give any number of people a discount code for $30 off the registration fee.


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Posted by Joe Audette Monday, October 31, 2011 11:15:00 AM Tagged In: Community Events

Installing the Latest Version of mojoPortal Using the Platform Installer 

As many of you know mojoPortal is in the Windows Web Application Gallery and can be easily installed using the Platform Installer. However when we make new releases of mojoPortal it can be several weeks before we get the new version into the Web Application Gallery. We usually wait a little while to make sure we shake out any bugs before submitting updates to the Gallery and then once we do submit it it may take a few days to a week before it is updated there.

Now we have a custom product feed that can be used in the Platform Installer and we can update our own feed immediately when we make new releases. Our custom feed also has packages for SQL CE, SQLite, PostgreSQL and Firebird Sql packages of mojoPortal, in addition to the package for MS SQL, whereas the only package we have in the Web App Gallery is for MS SQL.

The product feed is brand new and I just revamped our article Installing mojoPortal Using the Web Platform Installer to provide full step by step details about how to add our product feed and install mojoPortal.

Once you've added our product feed to the Platform Installer a new mojoPortal tab appears and shows all of our latest packages for .NET 4.

mojoPortal Feed in the Platform Installer

The Platform Installer can install SQL Express if you don't already have it installed. Of course the packages for SQL CE and SQLite are the easiest to install because they are file based databases and have no database software that needs to be installed. You can install the packages for PostgreSql or Firebird but for those packages you would have to manually install the database server software and set your connection string in user.config.

We're always looking for ways to make things easier and I've been meaning to get this product feed put together for quite a while now. I once had made a feed as a static xml file but it was not easy to keep up to date so I ended up not keeping it up to date. The new feed is a custom .ashx file that I can easily edit with the new file information and it generates the feed, so it will be much easier to keep it updated as we make new releases of mojoPortal.


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Posted by Joe Audette Wednesday, October 26, 2011 12:47:00 PM Tagged In: Hosting Tutorials

Form Wizard Pro Released 

I've just uploaded a new release of Form Wizard Pro version Like the previous version this release requires mojoPortal or higher.

As always it is a free upgrade for existing customers who have purchased Form Wizard Pro (sign into this site as the user who purchased, then click the "My Account" link at the top of the page then "Order History").

Form Wizard Pro

For those who don't know, Form Wizard Pro makes it very easy for you to create custom forms and simple surveys on your site with drag and drop arrangement of the questions. It can be used for a variety of things such as custom contact forms, quote requests, job applications (it supports file uploads), simple surveys (multi page forms), etc. You can browse the submissions as a grid or page through them one at a time and you can export to Excel or Word. You can also import and export questions or even complete form definitions. Give it a try on our demo site.

What's New in This Release?

  • New setting to enable question aliases. Question aliases allow you to use a shorter question name in the grid views and data exports. This can be very helpful since long question text can be unwieldy as a column heading in a grid.
  • New setting to enable option aliases for list type questions (checkboxes, radio buttons, drop down list question types). Similar to question aliases, you may want to display a longer value to the user but use a shorter value as the actual result. For example you may show a list of stores and display the street address which is more understandable for the user who is submitting the form, but internally you may want to use store numbers as the actual submitted result.
  • A way to visually group questions. We added a new setting for "Flatten Pages as Groups", if chedcked then what would normally be a multi page form will have all the questions on a single page, but the questions will be grouped into divs with a CSS class="qgroup qgroup1" where the numeric part of the second class is based on the page number. This way you have a class that can be used to style groups consistently or style specific groups differently.
  • It is now possible to override the text on the "Submit" button.
  • Vertical layout instead of grid layout when exporting to Word.

The sales of our add-on products is what makes the continued development of mojoPortal possible. Why not make your site even better and support our work?


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Posted by Joe Audette Tuesday, October 25, 2011 10:54:00 AM Tagged In: Features Pro Products

mojoPortal Sightings for October 2011 

This month's mojoPortal sightings includes the Appraising in Delaware site designed by IndigoTea, as well as the IndigoTea site.

Appraising in Delaware a site powered by mojoPortal

I like the retro 50's style and the laid back pastel colors.

I also like the IndigoTea site, and its always nice to see designers that use mojoPortal for their own sites as well as for their customers.

IndigoTea a site powered by mojoPortaal

IndigoTea is also giving away a couple of free mojoPortal skins this month, one of them naturally has a Halloween design since it is October

We'd love to hear about the sites you are bringing online with mojoPortal. If you have a high profile site or a design that you're particularly proud of, or a site showing custom features you've built on mojoPortal, let us know, maybe we'll feature your site(s) in a blog post.

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Posted by Joe Audette Monday, October 24, 2011 3:20:00 PM Tagged In: Community Site Design Sites Using mojoPortal
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