Christian Montoya

Construct 0.4 BETA is something I am seriously proud of


Today I decided to postpone my intense videogame testing (on TF2, as always) with a couple hours of serious work on Construct. I kind of forgot about Construct while I was settling in to my new job, but today I was all about it. Plus, I was able to do everything I wanted to do in a short amount of time, so I can still play some TF2 as soon as I finish this post.

So what did I do on Construct? Well, before 2007 ended, I had completed a layout parser that displays the current markup in a very clean fashion, so you can copy that markup and save that as your HTML for your site. This wasn't much without the CSS, however, so I set out to implement that part of the tool… and I have to say, it was easier than I expected. Either I'm getting good at all this string-manipulation in Javascript, or this was actually something simple and I'm far less smarter than I thought. I don't really want to know the answer. The point is that as of now, you can:

  • Create a layout with containers and columns.
  • Expand/contract those columns and toggle "class='last'".
  • Give an ID to any container or column.
  • Generate the clean, final markup for your layout.
  • Generate corresponding CSS for that layout which is compact, only has the classes you used, and also generates perfect, clean rulesets for the ID's you created.

Notice that last point: if you gave every single element an ID, there won't be any classes in your CSS or your markup. You can create a FULLY SEMANTIC layout & stylesheet with the Blueprint grid, without ever having to use the standard grid.css in your final site. Even if you don't decide to use that feature, the resulting CSS is still a lot lighter than what you have with the base grid.css.

I should, however, mention some caveats: I have not implemented all the classes grid.css offers. At this point, Construct is still more of a proof-of-concept than a serious tool. I get paid for making Facebook games, not layout editors, so I'm only doing this to prove it can be done and put the power in the hands of someone who would want to build a complete layout editor with jQuery and the Blueprint grid. That being said, if you are one of those people, let me know. Otherwise, it's entirely possible that I might complete a robust layout editor with what I've done so far on Construct; but at this rate, it will take a few more months. You know how these things go.

In other news, I was quoted in the latest e-mail from IconBuffet where the Chef announced PackRat. I must be famous now.

Oh! A link! Check out Construct 0.4 BETA here.

Thank you for reading • Published on January 28th, 2008 • Please take a moment to share this with your friends