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Time Out for Floaters

Floaters. Sounds like jargon that might show up in a bad detective novel. Floaters, in the hard-boiled Dreamweaver world, are another type of extension. Now known as panels, floaters are so called because originally they floated above the interface and, unlike commands, stayed open and available while the page was being modified; Neil Clark’s Flash Expressions panel, available from the Dreamweaver Exchange, is a good example of a custom floater. Floaters are capable of keeping track of selections and edits to the page via two built-in functions, selectionChanged() and documentEdited(); however, as you might imagine, both are processor-intensive activities and they need to be implemented with care. It’s best to include a setTimeout() function to slightly delay processing so that Dreamweaver doesn’t freeze up. (Check out Help > Extensions > Extending Dreamweaver for more info on the setTimeout() function and floaters.) One other aspect to watch out for when developing custom floaters: Be careful not to use a reserved name. Here’s a list of names to avoid: answers, assets, behaviors, btc, css_styles, data bindings, databases, debug, frames, ftplog, history, html, html_styles, layers, linkchecker, objects, properties, reference, reports, search, server_behaviors, server_components, site_files, sitespring, snippets, tag_inspector, tc, timelines, and validation.


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