You might know that Agile Toolkit 4.3 has been in the works. One of the new components is a completely revamped CSS Framework. Although a lot of things are still moving around, we have a first website out and running on this up-coming CSS framework.
Me and Mayack started it as a simple rewrite of the CSS framework to improve look and feel of Agile Toolkit, however we realized that the this new CSS framework have a tremendous value on it’s own. We are evaluating the decision to release the CSS framework separately under the MIT license and make it free for use for everyone. Here are some of the features of the framework:
Focus on customization and theming – a standard way to fully change the look and feel of the site.
Be simple enough even for developers to understand how to write good HTML code
Provide standard set of classes for building layouts, UI elements – something you could copy-paste into your code.
Similar concept to jQuery UI CSS framework, combining multiple classes on a same div to achieve effect
Would come with large amount of widgets, comparable in size to Bootstrap
Would come with several default themes – demonstrating HOW you can tweak everything about your page
Support for color schemes (swatches)
Take full advantage of LESS language
Here is what a “theme” could look for Agile CSS Framework: https://github.com/agile55/agile55-theme/blob/master/css/agile55.less - and in addition you would need some images. Surprisingly a new theme will no longer require Theme Designers to write a lot of CSS. Instead they only configure the framework and some customizations through a flexible LESS file.
We have rebranded agiletech into Agile55, and that is still the team behind Agile Toolkit and related services. We decided to create our now homepage using up-coming CSS Framework. Furthermore – we decided to fully open-source the source of the website and the theme:
Finally we have nailed it. After many attempts at making a half-decent screencast / tutorial, he have now created two amazing episodes, clean, structured and well articulated. We have also came up with a regular schedule for the up-coming recording.
Agile Toolkit Tutorial #1 – A better web development
Web development does not need to be complex. You have reinvented the wheel way too many times. It’s time to reinvent web development altogether. The source of inspiration for Agile Toolkit – the new web development framework – comes from Desktop and Mobile application development and object oriented toolkits. Our first tutorial episode will give you a very brief, 25-minute introduction to this new framework and will highlight some of main benefits.
Agile Toolkit Tutorial #2 – How to become a web developer
You might have installed WordPress or Joomla for your friends, but have you thought about earning your living with Web Development? To became a successful web app developer you will need to be efficient. You must know how to build software quickly and how to improve it over time without compromises. This tutorial episode will guide you through a prototyping phase of the application. Putting together a basic screens and UI elements just to show to your client or investors is easy and fast in Agile Toolkit. The best part is that you will be able to continue and enhance your prototype until it becomes a fully-featured scalable web application / service.
Take part in the next hangout
We are recording Agile Toolkit Tutorials now on a weekly basis, every wednesday. If you have a microphone you can participate too. We use Google Hangout and ScreenFlow to record and edit episodes. Come along for the next one, register on our Google Event page.
The next episode will focus on the awesome back-end features of Agile Toolkit – Active Record, Object Relational Manager, Multi-table Models and how to use full potential of your SQL database to build scalable web software.
If you have heard about Agile Toolkit but haven’t shared with your developer friends yet, now is a great time. This video is a great introduction to the basics of Agile Toolkit starting from the very start. What is Agile Toolkit? Why was it created? What is it best for? How it compares to other Web Frameworks?
Your questions are answered and the guide gives a great taste of what can be done with Agile Toolkit just in a few moments. This is the first podcast in the series with a new episode scheduled every week.
We are recording episodes live and if you are willing to participate and ask questions, here is the link for the second episode event:
After I have personally whitened the transformation of computer industry with unification of User Interfaces (by Mac and Windows) which is possible through use of Object-Oriented programing techniques. Object-Oriented programming offers many powerful tools to a skilled developer. Similarly Model-View-Controler concept have proved to be easy to understand and use. Unfortunately the typical MVC implementation is not very object-oriented.
If you combine object-oriented principles with Model-View-Controller paradigm properly, this will result in a much more efficient web development environment. In this article I explain object-oriented principles can be combined with MVC paradigm.
NOTE: I am the author and maintainer of Agile Toolkit. Me and my colleagues have built Agile Toolkit according to the principles I describe here. This article, however, is for promoting the fundamental ideas. If you would like to see a fully-practical implementation of Object-Oriented MVC, read introduction to Agile Toolkit. You are also welcome to implement ideas described here in your favourite programming language / framework / development environment or simply extend your out-look and expand your vision of Software Development.
Janis Volbergs and his web development company (Ambient Technologies) have been one of early adopters and supporters of Agile Toolkit. He have been using it before first 4.0 versions even went public year and a half ago. Recently Janis have started his own blog, where he shares some of his own experiences with Agile Toolkit.
Through Agile Toolkit I’m sharing with the world my improved vision for a better Active Record Implementation. I believe that the widely popular Active Record implementations are examples of a bad software design. Here is the reason.
Have you seen some potential in Agile Toolkit? If you are still unsure if you should adopt it in your critical product, read the following introduction to Agile Toolkit. This introduction is oriented at senior software engineers and describe some of the problems Agile Toolkit will help you solve in the long run.
Agile Toolkit 4.2 is now available to download from http://agiletoolkit.org/.
This release is the result of a half year effort and is based on the feedback we have received on 4.1 version. It brings a lot of improvements and enhancements but the primary goal is to create a fully transparent and fully-documented underlying architecture and promote extensibility through add-ons. The syntax of a new version is compatible with 4.1 with some exceptions outlined in our upgrade notes.
Agile Toolkit have always had a powerful ORM manager, but the Active Record support was lacking. With 4.2 the base classes for Models and Relational Models are completely rewritten. The new structure is much more extensible and efficient. The syntax has been simplified considerably.
The Agile Toolkit have been well received in the small companies and with new release it now targets medium companies. Support for variety of relational databases now includes SQLite, PostgreSQL and can be extended very easily for any database supported by underlying PDO architecture. Agile Toolkit now also have a set of models which can be used with no-SQL databases, caches and transparent APIs.
Support for additional databases, techniques and protocols will be coming through add-ons.
New CSS Framework
Although the interface retains the similar look, the underlying CSS framework is now much more powerful. It’s been re-writen using lessCSS and is based on 12-column grid system. CSS classes are much easier to use and build your interface with. The alteration of the look can also be easily achieved, things like line radius, spacings, number of columns, footer behavior can be very easily changed through a very simple CSS configuration file.
New Add-on architecture
With the version of 4.2 minimum requirement for PHP is now 5.3. That enables the use of namespaces. With namespaces developing add-ons for Agile Toolkit is pure enjoyment. You will find a add-on developer guide on our documentation site, but what’s really important is that your add-on can rely on core user interface, other addons and contain both the library and UI elements. This makes it possible for addons to be quite awesome. Developer of payment gateway can now provide developers with the actual payment form instead of set of functions written in the low-level PHP.
For all web developers either freelancers or working for the companies there are many reasons for using Agile Toolkit in your next project or in your company. If you need to look at some project examples, hereare someexamplesites launched recently and built completely in Agile Toolkit. If your project has already started why not:
develop Administrative Back-end using Agile Toolkit to save time.
re-build your model structure on Agile Toolkit ORM and improve security.
use Agile Toolkit for serving static pages and improve speed.
Are you looking to join a great team to join which values great software design and your artistic programming skills? Would you want to collaborate as a part-time freelancer or a full-time employee? We have some great employment offers and real projects you can join. Contact jobs at agiletoolkit.org.