[B4X] BANano 1.21 Christmas gift!


BANano is a new B4J library to create one-page websites/webapps with (offline) Progressive Web App support. Unlike its big brother ABMaterial, BANano does not rely on any particular framework like Materialize CSS. You will have to write that part yourself, but on the other hand, you have the choice to pick which one.

Why a second framework? Well, from the start ABMaterial was build with a back server in mind. B4J has great support to setup a very powerful jServer to handle web requests. Which does mean all intelligence is at the server side and you have the full power of B4J to do whatever you want (secure database access, serial communication, cache control etc). With B4JS, some of this intelligence could be transferred to the browser side, but the app still needs internet/intranet access so this is as far as it could go.

BANano is a different animal. It can use a Service Worker to ‘install’ the web app in the browser, so it can also work when the user is offline. While ABMaterial builds the page from the server side, BANano builds it from the browser side. This means EVERYTHING you write in B4J is transpiled to JavaScript, HTML and CSS.

But with great power comes great responsibility! Unlike ABMaterial, knowledge of HTML, CSS and to some extend JavaScript is needed to build BANano apps. It makes excellent use of B4X’s SmartStrings to create the HTML part of the app. BANano gives you a set of tools to write your own wrapper around any framework (MiniCSS, Skeleton, Spectre, Bootstrap, …), which then can be easily used to quickly build webapps/websites.

v1.21+: Abstract Designer support:

It is a rather simple and elegant system I think:

1. You set BANanoDesignElement elements in the designer (Add View, Custom view).

Only these properties apply:

2. Each has a Build event where you can do your specific html stuff

3. You load a layout with BANano.LoadLayout. At this time, the bjl file is parsed (as B4J custom components do not support a different parent than main yet, I had to write an alogorithm to find the parent myself) and translated to _Build commands (you will see it in the DemoUI library file).

Sub Class_Globals
End Sub

'Initializes the object. You can add parameters to this method if needed.
Public Sub Initialize

End Sub

Sub Div_Build (el As BANanoDesignElement)
<div id="${el.Name.ToLowerCase}" class="${el.Classes}"></div>

End Sub

Sub Row_Build (el As BANanoDesignElement)
<div id="${el.Name.ToLowerCase}" class="${el.Classes}"></div>

End Sub

Sub Column_Build (el As BANanoDesignElement)
<div id="${el.Name.ToLowerCase}" class="${el.Classes}"></div>

End Sub

' extra: the level of h;the text
Sub H_Build (el As BANanoDesignElement)
   el.target.Append($"<h${el.Extra(0)} id="${el.Name.ToLowerCase}" class="${el.Classes}">${el.Extra(1)}</h${el.Extra(0)}>"$)
End Sub

Sub P_Build (el As BANanoDesignElement)

End Sub

Sub Button_Build (el As BANanoDesignElement)
   Dim btn() As BANanoElement = el.target.RenderAppend($"<button id="${el.Name.ToLowerCase}" class="${el.Classes}">${el.Extra(0)}</button>"$,"").Children("#" & el.Name.ToLowerCase)
   ' defining events is very simple. Note that it has to be run AFTER adding it to the HTML DOM!
   ' eventName must be lowercase!
   btn(0).HandleEvents("click", el.ModuleEventHandler, el.Name.ToLowerCase & "_clicked")
End Sub

' extra: image source;alt text
Sub Image_Build (el As BANanoDesignElement)
   el.target.Append($"<img id="${el.Name.ToLowerCase}" src="${el.Extra(0)}" alt="${el.Extra(1)}"/>"$)
End Sub

Using this in a real app is now very simple:

Sub Process_Globals
   Private BANano As BANano 'ignore
   Private Builder As BANanoMiniCSSBuilder '<-------- defining our BANano Library
End Sub

Sub AppStart (Form1 As Form, Args() As String)

   ' you can change some output params here
   BANano.Initialize("BANano", "BANanoMiniCSS",12)
   BANano.HTML_NAME = "banano.html"

   BANano.Header.Title="BANano MiniCSS"
   BANano.ExternalTestConnectionServer = "http://gorgeousapps.com"

   ' start the build

End Sub

'Return true to allow the default exceptions handler to handle the uncaught exception.
Sub Application_Error (Error As Exception, StackTrace As String) As Boolean
   Return True
End Sub

Sub BANano_Ready()
   Builder.Initialize '<------- initialize the library

   BANano.LoadLayout("#body", "Layout1", Builder, Me) '<--- load the layout
End Sub

Sub MyButton_Clicked(event As BANanoEvent)
   Log("Clicked on " & event.ID)    
   BANano.LoadLayout("#r3c2", "SubLayout1", Builder, Me) ' <---- load a sub layout
End Sub

Builder is the library (the one who will handle the Build() events)
Me (the one who will handle e.g. the MyButton_Clicked event: so like all other events except Build)

An example project using the MiniCSS javascript library is included in the zip (both the library and a demo project using it) in the DemoUi folder.

Couple of important notes:
1. Both the library and App must be a B4J UI project, not a console project
2. When you now run BuildAsLibrary, the assets in the Files folder will be zipped to Files.zip, next to the .js and .dependsOn files.

I think this is cool! Very happy with it…

DOWNLOAD: FREE library and some basic demo projects

I wish you all a fantastic year-end end and a very productive and happy new 2019!


Click here to Donation and support BANano & ABMaterial


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