A Lovely Box For Your Toolkit

I’m incredibly excited about the SitePen Dojo Toolbox AIR app that just launched. I’ve been using early versions for a couple of weeks now, and in that time it has earned a privileged place on my desktop. Being able to make local builds without delving to the command line is something that I’ve wanted to be able to show new Dojo users for years and this tool finally makes it easy. There’s more work to do around configuring the profiles themselves, but the new tool demystifies many of the build configuration options significantly. Having a searchable API viewer available is also a godsend. Huge props to the team that put it together!

Edit: I forgot to note one of my favorite parts of the project, namely that because the Dojo build system is written in JavaScript (thanks to James Burke‘s awesome work), the build system in the Toolbox doesn’t require Java. Instead, SitePen was able to port the few Rhino dependencies in the build tool to work with the native JavaScript engine in AIR. It’s a minor thing, but it speaks to the excellent engineering behind Dojo’s tooling and the power of having actual web-native technologies inside a desktop app.

3 Comments

  1. Posted July 9, 2008 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    Nice little application. I especially like the API viewer.

    A few things that it would be good to see in there, which my 0.4.x DojoBuilder – http://dojobuilder.skynet.ie – had (by the way, “Being able to make local builds without delving to the command line “…. I made that possible a year and a half ago :-) )

    – A profile builder. This lists the files available in the Dojo directory, and allows you to select which ones to include graphically. It then writes your profile file for you. You should also be able to specify the name and location of your custom namespaces, and these should be automatically placed in your profile file.
    – A SVN client to download various versions of Dojo for you, so users don’t have to have one themselves.
    – The option to use the Packer compression (I know, there’s pros and cons to it, but some people like it.)
    – A preview option for a profile, showing it’s compressed and uncompressed size. This would make it easier to decide just what files you want in the profile.

    All in all though, this is an excellent first release.

  2. Posted July 9, 2008 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Whoa, crazy. So how does the compression bit for the build work?

  3. Posted July 9, 2008 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    I actually went and read the article over on SitePen. No ShrinkSafe support yet. :( That answers my question.

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