If you have been following the comments on previous posts, you will be aware that we have been working on a theme editing suite for about one year to date. What started life as a simple method for changing colors gradually blossomed into a full-featured toolkit. A few other shopping cart software solutions, apart from CubeCart, offer similar theme editors. Unfortunately, these are generally rigid in that the various elements that are editable are fixed. This places limitations on the theme developers as the code is required to conform to a standard predefined markup.
So… What’s different about this one?
We have taken a completely different approach in terms of implementation. Our “Visual Editor” reads through all the stylesheets, recognizes inheritance and presents the applicable properties in a tabular format for the selected element. These properties can then be edited freely at the click of a button. You’re not limited in terms of the elements that can be selected, properties that can be edited or values that can be entered. This means that we can support literally every CubeCart theme. Furthermore, since we don’t rely on the browser’s ability to read the CSS properties, we can theoretically support all current and future CSS specifications (yep, that includes CSS3).
How does it work?
We put out a short video
some time ago as a proof of concept to demonstrate how the Visual Editor will work. Please note that significant architectural changes have been made since this video was released in order to integrate the Visual Editor into the wider suite of tools. We are also now making full use of the jQuery UI library. The appearance has therefore changed somewhat.
We’re ultimately aiming to include three tools in the suite:
- Visual Editor (~80% Complete)
- Code Editor (~50% Complete)
- A/B Test Suite (~10% Complete)
As you might imagine, each of these tools constitutes a rather extensive project. We therefore want to start pushing out a beta version in the near future. The initial beta release will not include the A/B test suite and may or may not include the Code Editor. The entire suite will be packaged as an easily installable CubeCart V5 plugin. If you are interested in beta testing this, please watch out for further announcements in the coming week(s).