Thursday, July 31, 2014

Setting up a Sandbox for Google Polymer

    In the last article, we got introduced to Google Polymer which implements Google's Material Design for the web. Google Polymer is based on the concept of Web Components and provides users with 2 types of components that can be readily utilized - the Polymer Core Elements and the Paper Elements.

    Polymer's core elements are a set of visual and non-visual utility elements.They include elements for working with the layout, user input, selection and scaffolding apps.


    Polymer's paper elements collection implements material design for the web. They are a set of highly visual, highly interactive elements that includes things like controls, layout, hero transitions and scrolling effects.


    We will be taking a look at the implementation of the Paper Elements in the next few posts, but before that we need to set up a sandbox to try out Google Polymer on our local systems. Follow the steps below and you can successfully set up your Google Polymer sandbox.
  1. Download the zip file of Polymer Paper Elements from the link - http://www.polymer-project.org/docs/start/getting-the-code.html
  2. When you download a component or components (we are downloading the entire components set for development) as a zip file, you get all of the dependencies bundled into a single archive. You need not install any additional tools.
  3. Extract the zip and add the folder to your local web servers home/htdocs folder.
  4. That's all that you have to do get Google Polymer components and set it up on your local system.
    You need to set the paths of the platform js file, the Roboto font and paper-elements html in the head section. Refer to the code below to get an idea.


    Do not worry about the code above as of now. We will take a look at it in detail from the next post onward, where we take a look at each Paper Element in detail. Stay tuned for the fun!

If this post has helped you, leave a comment or show your love by liking the Spatial Unlimited Facebook page. You could even consider buying me a coffe! Till next time; happy coding!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Celebrating 200K visitors!



    I’m so excited that I have finally reached this milestone. 200K blog hits! Yes, we have crossed 200K visits.

    I never thought when I started this blog in November, 2010 that I would have much to offer that people would appreciate so much. But today with more than 200,000 page views, more than 500 followers and several Likes and +1s the response to this blog has been nothing short of amazing. Now I have the added responsibility of contributing better code samples and better articles.

    At the end, I would  like to thank all visitors and members for making this blog successful. I am so happy to have readers such as you. Thank you all who have been reading. If you are a regular reader, or if you just dropped by today, do comment and tell me what you liked about the blog!

If this post has helped you, leave a comment or show your love by liking the Spatial Unlimited Facebook page. You could even consider buying me a coffe! Till next time; happy coding!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Material UI, Google Polymer & Web Components

    Google introduced Material UI during the Google I/O a few days back. Since then the web is all abuzz with articles about material UI and what Polymer is and how these 2 fit together. In this article today, I will try and helps us all to get a better understanding of these new concepts.


    So, let's start with Material UI first. Google has for long been trying to bridge the gap between the Web and the Android worlds with a unified user interface and Google's Material UI is a big step towards this. The new design philosophy is about dynamically adjusting the elements according to screen size, add more white space between elements, provide a lot of user feedback using animations, make use of bold UI colors and be flat and 3D about the design at the same time. Now that sounds really cool, isn't it? Well, actually it is and you will actually appreciate and enjoy it all the more when you watch the following video from this year's Google I/O.


    Now let's shift our focus to Google Polymer. Google Polymer is not new and has been around for about more than a year now. Though it is still available as a developer-preview sort of a thing, it is being used to create applications. Polymer is a pioneering library that makes it faster and easier than ever before to build beautiful applications on the web. Polymer is built on top of a set of powerful new web platform primitives called the Web Components. Web Components has been around for quite some time now, after it had been conceptualized in 2010. This is a great article that you should definitely read to understand what web components are.

  
    Now, we have looked into Material UI, Google Polymer and Web Components. How does this all fit together? Polymer is the embodiment of material design for the web. The Polymer team works closely with the design teams behind material design. In fact, Polymer has played a key role in material design's development. It was used to quickly prototype and iterate on design concepts. Watch this next video where Eric Bidelman speaks about how web components are a complete game changer and how this revolution will make developers more productive and reduce the cognitive load of being a Web Developer.


    Till this point, we now have a clear understanding of the Material UI, Google Polymer and Web Components. Now let's get a brief overview of what components does Polymer offer the web developers. Watch this next video again from Google I/O 2014 by Rob Dodson.


    Hope you are all excited by now to try your hands at Google Polymer and embark on a new design jouney with Google's Material UI. I will soon be sharing sample codes on how to use the various components of Google Polymer - that means there is more fun on the way! Stay tuned!

If this post has helped you, leave a comment or show your love by liking the Spatial Unlimited Facebook page. You could even consider buying me a coffe! Till next time; happy coding!