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Release 1.3: Apps are starting to get real
jducoeur wrote in querki_project
I decided to bump Querki's major version number today, because this release crosses a major rubicon: Apps are starting to become visible to the end-user. This is an *enormously* big deal -- the most important enhancement to Querki in a long time -- and I'll probably go into more details about what it means in my personal journal later today. The summary is that an "App" is basically a template: if your Space is based on an App, it gets to use all of the Models, Properties and Pages in that App automatically. This is how Querki lets you build something once, and then share it with other people to build their own Spaces using your example.

Suffice it to say, though, for now you'll now usually see an "Apps" menu at the top of the screen. This is how (if you have permission) you see what Apps this Space uses, add an App *to* this Space manually, or Extract a new App from this Space.

I do *not* recommend using any of this quite yet: while it's available, it's also highly experimental and only very lightly tested -- it would be surprising if there weren't still some major bugs. More importantly, Extracting an App is rather dangerous for the moment: it makes major changes to your Space, and it's quite possible to lose data if something goes wrong. If you want to play with Extract an App, I *strongly* recommend backing up your Space first. (This problem will go away in a few months, once History is implemented: at that point, it should become pretty difficult to ever lose data in Querki.)

In the coming weeks, I'll be fleshing out Apps more -- testing them more rigorously, and creating some. As that firms up, they should become safer to use. They should gradually become central to the Querki experience -- I expect that most people will mostly work with Apps, rather than building their Spaces completely from scratch.

The more obvious change is that the default Space Root page has been rearranged. The "Space Root page" is what you see when you go to a Space -- it's the Default View of the Space itself.

The heart of that change goes to a more fundamental shift that is in-process: we're beginning to distinguish Pages from Things. By a "page", I mean a Thing that just contains a Default View -- it isn't really *data*, it's just some text, or some queries to *display* some data. Technically speaking, that's just an unadulterated Simple Thing, no different from any other Thing, and that's how it's been treated to date. But from a *usage* standpoint, it's wildly different. I've found that, in practice, if you create an Instance directly from Simple Thing, it means you're trying to create a Page, and you *think* about Pages differently: they're really views, rather than data.

So the default Space Root page now reflects that. Pages have been pulled out from the Thing tree, and are displayed on their own at the top (since they are generally what you care about most). The view has been broken into three distinct parts: Pages, Things (in their Model hierarchy); and Tags. This rearrangement should make the default Space Root more useful, so that you are less likely to need to build a custom one.

You can see what this now looks like in this simple mockup CD Space.

I'm excited -- this is one of the key milestones for Querki, one I've been moving towards for a long time...


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