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What's new in MonoX 4.5

08/29/2011Categories: MonoX
A new version of MonoX is just about to be released (the target date is September 9th), so we thought that this might be a right time to give you a taste of things to come. Here are the most important new features that will be available in a couple of days.

Support for mobile devices: as this is the most important new feature,we have dedicated a separate blog post to it. In a nutshell, MonoX uses jQuery Mobile framework to render pages that are compliant with a wide array of mobile devices. All of the existing Web parts can be used in mobile scenarios with minimal code changes. This version comes with a dozen ready-to-use mobile Web parts, and a sample mobile section that includes the most important features for a social networking site: a complete membership infrastructure (log, registration, user profile, password activation and reminder, ...), HTML editor, friend and invitation lists, wall, etc.

Home page of the MonoX mobile section.

A new Web part catalog: MonoX now comes with more than 70 Web parts, and it became difficult to keep track of all of them in the old catalog. In addition, the initial load and population process became too slow. The new catalog is organized into tabbed groups, and it is very easy to locate and use any part that you may need.

New and improved Web part catalog makes it easy to quickly locate and use the target part.

Drag and drop: WebParts drag and drop has always been compatible with Internet Explorer. The support for other browsers was announced by Microsoft, but it never made it into the official version of ASP.NET. We like to think about drag and drop as an essential feature of our dynamic personalization mechanism, so we've decided to redesign it to fully support all other major browser platforms. The new drag and drop mechanism is based on jQuery UI, and in addition to cross compatibility, it looks better, and allows you to drag Web parts directly from the catalog (in addition to the moving the existing parts on a page). We are now starting to use this feature in several custom projects, allowing non-admin users to easily personalize the look and feel of their pages.

Drag and drop is probably the most intuitive way to personalize your site or application, both for administrators and regular users.

WYSIWYG mode in the HTML editor: the previous version of MonoX editor part was implemented via iframe, and being loaded into the separate browser document, it didn't inherit all styling elements from the page being edited. The new version improves this edit mode behavior, and allows for in-place editing, while applying current styling rules and allowing you to always see the end result.

The difference between the old iframe mode (left) and the new, DIV-based mode (right) can clearly be seen on this screenshot. The new mode allows you to see the effects of your editing actions instantly.

We are already moving ahead at full speed, working on new features that will help you build even more powerful Web sites and applications. We are now working on several services based on MonoX (the first will feature a user support and feedback application), and new additions to the Web part gallery will include text and voice chat. Stay tuned for more information and send us your feedback - the application or module that you want might be developed just in time for the next release!

Note: as always, it will take some time for the new release to appear in the Microsoft's Web gallery. In the meantime, please use the package available at this site.
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By yousaid
Where can early adopters download the new version?
The release date is moved to the end of the next week as we want to accomodate as many new features a possible. The preview version will be available in two days, you can contact me for more details.
"new additions to the Web part gallery will include text and voice chat" - have these been added?
We have text chat available (no voice chat) but as a separate package not available in a form of WebPart. So if you need this kind of functionality we can provide you with one as a part of custom development services.

does it use SignalR that Microsoft seem to be adopting at latest update for visual studio 2012 and web tools?
Yes it is using SignalR, but not the latest version, this has to be updated.