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  1. #51
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    Default Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Acorn View Post
    @Chris, sorry my 'Alt+Select' is hold down the Left Alt key while dragging the rightmost middle control with the Left Select mouse down for the FlexGroup.
    Only needed is Smart transform is Off, which is the way I always work to preserve my sanity. I didn't say anything about left aligning the Variant.

    Not essential for the bottom middle control of the Web Block but again it maintains a consistency my muscle memory can accommodate.

    Left Align is essential for a full-sized image as it does its own thing if Centre or Right Aligned.

    It should not be the case that making an image too big throws so much off, hence my barb at Xara.

    Acorn
    The confusion 1 about the main variant being involved was your first line. "Sadly, needed on both Main and Variant." I see what you meant now...it can happen on BOTH, as opposed to need to apply the FIX on both.

    I'm going to upload my project file, as I'm still failing to reduce the width of the FlexiThing. I can't even find the 'middle control'. The cursor changes to 'I'm In Adjust Mode', Smart Transform is off, background is way less than page width, as is the object. I drag left, I release, the FlexiThing springs back and flips me the middle finger.

    >>> FlexiThing.xar <<<

  2. #52
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    Default Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    Whipping through the second page. No real problems, just a few observations:
    I started with the Mobile Variant. The page is literally text area followed by image, repeat. So I made each section a Flexible Block as centring each object is what I want.
    Moving to the Main Variant and I realised I would like to have some of the images arranged around the text area, as opposed to squarely above. I knew the following may well cause problems, but I had a go anyway:

    I have FlexBlock with text, then FlexBlock with image, then another FlexBlock with image. My idea was to rip the two images out of their FlexBlocks and ALT drop them into the text Flexblock so I could arrange them more aesthetically. I was happy to leave the Mobile as is, but, since 23.8 there HAS to be the same blocks in both variants, so I was more than happy to have the Mobile arranged with all three items in one Block.

    It worked, nearly. I dragged an image out, dropped it in no-mans land, then ALT dropped it into the FlexiBlock with the text. Checked the Mobile and the image is dutifully sat below the text. I repeated with the second image, and again, success.
    I then tried to move and resize the images to where I wanted them in the Main Variant. Apparently, the ALT drop is a one-trick pony, the image was no longer free to roam around the FlexiBlock. I did some fiddling and messing and somewhere alog the way I lost the second image. Putting the second image back in created an identical copy in the Mobile Variant. I now have twins.

    Not hard to recover from. In fact, all the problems I've encountered are easy to recover by simply deleting the Block and popping a new one in. Not something that can be done so quickly with a traditional site (I might change my mind when Layers are employed).

    It would be nice if I could toggle between Flexible and Freestyle.

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Barnes, London
    Posts
    958

    Default Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    When one grasps where to use Flexible Blocks and where to use Freehand Blocks, design gets easier:

    Here's today's update: included the use of Clip View to create an interesting effect that stretches the full browser width, and a full browser width slider (the latter being in use on several traditional sites):

    https://initiostar.co.uk/demo/blocks2/

    Sadly, I can still replicate chaos by placing an object or group of objects, where the horizontal dimension of the object or group of objects is bigger that those of the FlexGroup within the FlexBlock. The FlexGroup extends the FlexBlock and one has a lot of fiddling about to reset it.

    @ Chris, the only block I could see in your example with its width extended beyond the page width was the widget: I went to the P&L Gallery, SOLO select the FlexGroup, dragged all contents out the block, resized the FlexGroup, BlockBackground and Block; made sure the Widget size was reduced to fit the within the FlexGroup, added it back; all is well (though no content as it was not connected).

    FlexiThing_Widget_Alighment_1.xar

    I did get a message (copied into the above file) that the number of matching Web Blocks in variants were different, but that might be historic.
    Gary
    www.initiostar.co.uk


    Xara Designer Pro+ and Xara Designer Pro X 19.0.1.65946 DL x64 Feb 7 2023

  4. #54
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    Default Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Initiostar View Post
    @ Chris, the only block I could see in your example with its width extended beyond the page width was the widget: I went to the P&L Gallery, SOLO select the FlexGroup, dragged all contents out the block, resized the FlexGroup, BlockBackground and Block; made sure the Widget size was reduced to fit the within the FlexGroup, added it back; all is well (though no content as it was not connected).
    Emptying the Block is the trick. I can easily resize once the content is removed. I didn't make that connection. I tried, on many numerous occasions, to adjust with the content in place. Once I reached the 'empty the sucker' stage, I automatically banished the whole thing to the bowels of the recycle bin and deployed a new, shiny one.

    The number of blocks mismatch is an anomaly to this copy. I have had that before, but not after the 23.8 update.

  5. #55
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    Default Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    >>> AUZLINK <<<

    50 odd posts ago, I wrote about my first attempt at making a small site that incorporated both Flexible Blocks and Freestyle Blocks. I used the blank, transparent Blocks from Elements and no predesigned templates. I had horrendous issues, which were mainly cured with the 23.8 update and my journey up the learning curve.

    I remade the same site from scratch so as not to bring over any mistakes. This time, things went ahead a lot smoother. There were a couple of 'huh' moments, but they were me not doing things correctly. The Xara Blocks system (in this simple site) worked as advertised.

    Observations:
    1) I started with the mobile variant. The reasoning being, it should be easier to make things bigger to suit a large Block, rather than shrink them to fit in a small Block. This led me, on several occasions, to want to move objects from one Block to another. This was easy and worked well. However, I wanted to arrange Feestyle in the main, whereas I had used Flexible in the mobile. Not too hard to remove all the objects and then delete the Block so I could replace it with a Freestyle Block. A bit of messing about, but not a real pain.
    2) I whinged about not being able to have repeating objects. I would still find it useful to be able to repeat whole blocks, but copy/paste was a breeze.

    Things I feel need improving sooner rather than later:
    1) moving multiple objects within a Block
    2) marquee selecting within a Block
    3) snapping to objects

    Things I'd like to see on a to-do list:
    1) ALT and SHIFT when dropping is great. However, move the object, and it forgets you've ALTed of SHIFTed it. It would be nice if they retained their altered state whilst in the Block
    2) The Block stack hierarchy on the page should be reflected in the P&L Gallery. If you move a Block up or down the stack, it doesn't change in the P&L Gallery

    The 23.8 update appears to have smoothed things out tremendously.
    Good job Team Xara, return to base for debriefing and new orders.

  6. #56
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    SW England
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    18,079

    Bug Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    @Chris, thank you for all the additional effort required for you to fight through all the dross to get it working for you.
    Not really plug 'n' play.

    • MY WBs moved up and down in the P&L gallery and then didn't.
    • I had also managed to move WBs independent of their paring to different positions in Main & Variant and then they didn't. Something I would want as a vital feature.
    • Also if you Group two WBs you get a WB wrapper of a Group of the objects. The grouping and ungrouping of two freestyle WBs results in missing objects.
    • The grouping and ungrouping of a flexible and freestyle is even worse.
    • The grouping and ungrouping of a WB and non-WB objects converts all to a group of objects and disappears the ones on the Variant.

    Not really safe for any serious design work.

    I would also like some Help detail to explain why the WB P&L Gallery entries do not have a Hide or Lock option.

    Acorn
    Acorn - installed Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+ and most others back through time (to CC's Artworks). Contact for technical remediation/consultancy for your web designs.
    When we provide assistance, your responses are valuable as they benefit the community. TG Nuggets you might like. Report faults: Xara Cloud+/Pro+/Magix Legacy; Xara KB & Chat

  7. #57
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    Default Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    It hasn't entered my head to group Blocks together, I can get images to disappear quite easily, and they don't always reappear by double-clicking the Scale Within Frame control. It may be coincidence, but I think if you add an image using the ALT drop, then remove it from the Block, there's a 50/50 chance one of the images will pop on the invisibility cloak. I'll have a go at grouping, so I can follow along.

    I want to be fair though. The improvements are noticeable and welcome. I had problems with Stretch Full Width, random objects marking themselves invisible in the P&L Gallery, objects altering their layer position in a group. All these appear to work correctly now.

    Talking of layers. I'm going to try adding layers to a page next.

  8. #58
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Melfort, Saskatchewan Canada
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    1,032

    Default Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    Chris M mentioned … “ Before Blocks were released, we were told on this very forum, that something new and exciting was about to be released, that we would love it. It would change the way we build websites forever. A site could be built in minutes. Well, here we are, fudging, creating workarounds, spending hours on one simple thing because it doesn't work.”

    Great hard work on this Chris. Opinion .. The creative mind is out weighing what blocks actually can do, which is what I’m finding. The creative mind is far ahead of Blocks 2. The creative mind is already on Blocks 3 or 4. Blocks 2 as Gary mentioned is plug and play. The YouTube instructions are elementary Blocks 2. I want my flexible and creative blocks to echo what my creative mind wants. It’s not possible “yet”.

    Heartily agree with Chris that blocks should not be shared on variants. Far easier for blocks to be independent on separate variants.

    Thanks again Chris, Gary and Acorn.
    Bill Wood
    Charity Web Design
    XARA Pro+. WD17, Designer 17. Premium packages.

  9. #59
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    SW England
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    Lightbulb Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    Quote Originally Posted by bwood View Post
    Heartily agree with Chris that blocks should not be shared on variants. Far easier for blocks to be independent on separate variants.
    Bill, not a solution, more a bodge.

    Take @Chris's suggestion of hiding WB elements by totally hiding things at the FlexGroup level (or all content in a Freeform layout), on the Variant page.
    Then set the Variant Properties' Width to 12800px so the cut is at 7040px, way wider than most screens can show [Yes, you could set the browser zoom to 20%].
    The Variant content does not get published.


    The saner approach is to work with WBs on both until Main is complete.
    You then clone your design file so you have XYZ-Main.xar and XYZ-Variant.xar.
    Mangle XYZ-Variant around after changing Main's Width down to your required 'variant' width.
    Finally, copy page-by-page from the Main design of XYZ-Main into a non-WB design and do the same from the design of XYZ-Variant.

    I'm hoping Xara gets the clue that WBs are problematic.

    Acorn
    Acorn - installed Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+ and most others back through time (to CC's Artworks). Contact for technical remediation/consultancy for your web designs.
    When we provide assistance, your responses are valuable as they benefit the community. TG Nuggets you might like. Report faults: Xara Cloud+/Pro+/Magix Legacy; Xara KB & Chat

  10. #60
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    SW England
    Posts
    18,079

    Default Re: Version 23.7 Blocks

    If you copy a FlexGroup from a Modular Website to a Freeform (Conventional) website, you retain the FlexGroup functionality but lose the toolbar.
    I am sure Xara can re-implement this.

    Do not just drop a Web Block onto a conventional website design; Xara zaps out all the new functionality.

    Without the toolbar, you cannot adjust the Flex Layout (toolbar values).
    Instead you have to pick what you want in advance.

    Next you select the FlexGroup and apply a Push to it and all other objects on the page.
    The page bottom extends or decreases automatically.
    Objects can be added, removed and rearranged.
    Push can be switched off while passing a FlexGroup over another and then re-applied (Shift+Ctrl+H). Not as slick as a Web Block.

    All without the need for a Variant.
    Yes, you can include a Variant but you can now re-arrange the FlexGroups as you choose, adding or removing FlexGroups and enwrapped objects at will.

    Sadly, pasting into a non-Plus application loses the FlexGroup capability so not block work for Magix software. Not checked for the Perpetual version.

    @Xara - With the inclusion of the Flex Layout, 95% of current functionality in a traditional design is achieved.

    Acorn
    Acorn - installed Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+ and most others back through time (to CC's Artworks). Contact for technical remediation/consultancy for your web designs.
    When we provide assistance, your responses are valuable as they benefit the community. TG Nuggets you might like. Report faults: Xara Cloud+/Pro+/Magix Legacy; Xara KB & Chat

 

 

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