Better Export Functionality [added in 2.4.2]

Forums Ideas Better Export Functionality [added in 2.4.2]

This topic contains 27 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  ta1db 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 28 total)
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  • #770
    Martin Angelov
    Bootstrap Studio Developer

    Exporting your designs doesn’t work very well right now, and we want to improve it. Currently, when you click the export button you must choose a folder where the exported files are going to be written to. But this might lead to accidentally choosing the wrong folder and overwriting other files.

    We are planning to fix this with a new “Export” dialog:

    • It will be shown in place of the current folder browse dialog.
    • It will remember the export paths for your designs, so you won’t accidentally overwrite other files.
    • It will be possible to export only a single page, instead of everything.
    • It will have options for minifying JavaScript and CSS and removing unused images.
    • Features that you suggest which we haven’t thought about.

    Do you like this idea? What else would you wish to see in this dialog?

    #771
    Chris Hackwood
    Member
    Valued

    Like the idea to minify js and css. Think it’s a great idea

    #772
    Saj
    Member
    Valued

    @martin, all sounds good. If there is one thing that I would like is that I dictate where each JS/CSS/Image file gets exported too. We don’t have everything under the layouts folder we have images in a completely different folder as well as JS files and CSS files

    So when I export I have to copy stuff out of the assets folder to where they go and then edit the files for relative linking.

    Saj

    #773
    ViralPatel
    Member

    Like your ideas with export dialog, That’s great…Thanks.

    #786
    Frank
    Member

    These export options would help much… I can’t wait for them…

    #1604
    Jo
    Member

    I would agree with Saj here on the ability to classify our own file structure for exports, which would of course be integrated into our projects while using them as well since we’d then set them up as so.

    I have to say I’ve actually gotten used to the export of everything into the “assets” folder as it is now, but I’ve never set my files up this way before and it took some getting used to. Unlike Saj, I am much lazier and I don’t intend to edit my pages any more than I have to so I will adjust to whatever structure we are able to use to keep editing after exporting to a minimum. As I’ve said before in other threads, I intend to use this as not just a page/site builder, but as the app for editing them along the way as well and so far that has proved to be totally doable. I commend the devs highly for the amount of work they’ve put into this to allow this.

    So back to the structure. I for one would love to see it editable within the app so that we can tell it where we want our files to go while building the sites. This would keep the system simple for adding folders in our Design structures so that they go where we expect them to on export. Hopefully that makes sense. 🙂

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by  Jo.
    #1624
    Martin Angelov
    Bootstrap Studio Developer

    @saj, we can do it like the following:

    • In the new export dialog we can show the tree of all files in your design.
    • Next to each file we can show a “Destination” textbox, which is prefilled with the file name by default. By editing this text box:
      • You can change the file name or extension
      • You can add “../../somefolder/”, or “C:\Users...” in front of the file name to change the folder it will be exported to.

    Renaming and changing the extension is straightforward. But changing paths can lead to many issues. For example, if you modify where an image is exported, what should we put as src attributes in the HTML pages?

    #1629
    Jo
    Member

    Not sure if that message was all to Saj, but …

    For changing paths I would suggest maybe removing the “assets” folder from the equation first. Make all the default folder locations go to the root directory (unless we choose to keep it [a toggle maybe for those that choose to use the current “assets” setup?]). That would probably solve 1/2 the issues with people needing to alter file locations after export. From there, give us the ability to move even those default folders to wherever we want them (without the “assets folder at all).

    Then we’d need the ability to create folders at the root level rather than just within folders that are default app folders. With this, then the app would read the “src” from whatever location is in the Design tree (or external links of course).

    I guess what I’m saying is we need more freedom to create our folders trees in the Design tree. You could still keep the JS and CSS setups so they do the automatic setting up of the file structure in the <head> of the pages, just that the files would go into the root directory (or wherever we move them to) instead of within an “assets” directory.

    Just rambling here on thoughts with it. I’m not a programmer, just a designer so my head can many times come up with things that I think are doable and maybe they aren’t lol. I figure it can’t hurt to voice the thoughts and at least the ideas are out there just in case something of them is usable. 🙂

    #1634
    Saj
    Member
    Valued

    Ok, after many rewrites and even an image 🙂 I think I came up with my final solution.

    Based on what @martin is describing, this is what I’m thinking. Everything you recently said in your post seems like it would work for me.

    However, I would change this on it. In the destination give the full path as the app would write it i.e. /assets/img/filename.extension as default.

    Editing it changes the SRCs in exported CSS/HTML accordingly. Possibly add an option to update app SRCs (i.e. create folder/move files into folders etc..) so you don’t have to do this every time you export. I realize that might be stretching things a little far though.

    Add a Change Path button to browse to folder for where the file will physically export to if it’s going to be different then the Destination input. The CSS/HTML source would remain as written in the Destination field. So clicking the button put the physical path as wording under the Destination input and export it there. If that isn’t set then use what is in the Destination input. Maybe a clear button for the changed SRC.

    And one more thing, I export directly to a DEV web server and most of my images I already have physically there on the web server. So possibly add a checkbox for “Update Source Code Only” so it doesn’t physically export the file.

    I think, that covers it. 🙂

    Saj

    #1652

    I LOVE IT

    I didn’t even think about improving the export system, but each thing you listed here would be insanely helpful.

    #1660
    Frank
    Member

    You want to set an special dialog for EACH file???!??!?
    What should that be good for? You have to program around each file – that will be confusing. And you have to handle it all on an extra level.

    I think “keep it simple” should be the first way. The more complex the program will get – the more errors and bugs will find the way in.
    What reason for should the exported version different to the intern version???
    IF there is a reason ( I have some) then it is much too complicated to set it up in BTS. It’s much easier to setup special folders in the next IDE that will used for php-developing e.g.

    When I have an exported structure that don’t fit my mind… and I have 200 folders, and images, and files – I don’t want to spend hours of changing EACH file and folder in BTS to change – I use “search and replace” after the export – that are some minutes to go.

    You should use your time to make inside BTS everything work easier.
    – Renaming the links of used images when they moved to another folder, or if they are renamed.
    – setup the drag-and-drop to move folders and files

    If someone dislike the asset folder for their design – that should be enough to make it variable.

    The BIGGEST and most IMPORTANT thing in the export is – MAKE it that each design REMEMBERS where the last export was. So if there are more than one design open at the same time, that you don’t have to switch each exportdestination back and fore manually. If you forget to switch… the wrong export is overwritten.

    And as Saj said… maybe the check before overwriting the same existing file, and save only newer ones.

    #1664
    Saj
    Member
    Valued

    I see where your coming from Frank.. And I do like some of your points. This is why we are discussing it to fleshing out our ideas 🙂

    One of the main things for me is that at work here we use .shtml file extensions in all our HTML files. And we have a few areas were our images are outside the “ROOT” of the project yet referenced in our code as if they were. All handled by the webservers use of symbolic linking.

    So here’s some ideas of mine after reading Franks post.

    Maybe what could be done is that right clicking the Pages section in Design pane add an option for Default Properties.

    In the Pages Default Properties you can set default extension and folder path. When you go to export, each file has an option where you change from the default if need be, such as the Destination input as @martin described where it contains the full folder path/file.extension as indicated in the Default Properties, or if not changed then the BSS apps default setting.

    Then for the Images section do something similar as the Default Properties where you can set the default path. Then on export similar to pages a Destination input where you can change specific files if need be to be different and add the checkbox of update source only.

    I like your idea of saved config for each project as well as in the project if I move an image to a folder, update the projects HTML/CSS accordingly.

    Saj

    #1675
    billfly
    Member

    I find the fact that the Export function does not request an html filename and always creates index.html to be very bad. It wiped out our landing page. Fortunately, we had multiple backup copies. It definitely should request the name of the html file for the page you are creating.

    #1676
    Chris Hackwood
    Member
    Valued

    @bilfly – did you change the name of the page you built in BSS before exporting?

    By default BSS creates index.html on new designs and you have to edit the name yourself – if you do that it shouldn’t export as index.html then

    #1863
    Jo
    Member

    +1 to Franks comment about the app remembering where each project is exporting to. It’s a good thing I check that closely before I save, I almost saved a project in another project’s folder a couple times now. Would love it if the app could please remember the last place a project was exported to… per project setting.

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