1. Mocking Pad 1.40 – User Defined Stencils

    October 10, 2011 by accidentalfish

    I’m really excited to be able to share news about this update as it contains possibly the  biggest single addition to Mocking Pad since its launch last year: the ability for stencils to be created by users and shared through a new website.

    I looked at a couple of ways of doing this. My favoured approach was to use the Lua scripting engine to allow massive amounts of flexibility in terms of template creation but unfortunately this falls foul of App Store guidelines: you’re not allowed to execute downloaded code. That being out I’ve gone for a markup type approach – its not as flexible but is easier for non-developers to use. I intend to iterate quite extensively on this over the next few releases as, as far as possible, I’m aiming to deliver new stencils using this mechanism myself.

    The website I mentioned earlier includes an online design environment for building stencils and a gallery from which stencils can be downloaded. You can browse this gallery from within the Mocking Pad app or download stencils and install them via email or iTunes file sharing.

    There’s a preview of the design environment below (this is using the Lua variant I prototyped but the markup version is otherwise very similar, excuse the Comic Sans font!).

    Design Environment

    The feature will only be available in the full version of Mocking Pad (either purchased directly or an upgraded Lite version) and there will be no charge for access to the website – if you’ve got Mocking Pad you’re good to go.

    I’m also looking to include a stencil to allow you to select an image from your iPad’s photo gallery.

    I’m really excited about these changes, I think they’ll massively increase the usefulness of the app and are proving to be really fun to build.

    Technical Footnote: For those that are interested the website is built using Asp.net MVC3 and makes pretty extensive use of the KnockoutJS JavaScript library along with the ubiquitous jQuery. It’s hosted on Microsoft Windows Azure.