Simo Virokannas

Writings and ramblings

Dashcode, part II

After using Dashcode for almost a year now, this is the bottom line:

“Don’t make any big projects with it.”
– A random Dashcode user

After a while, when the project gets bigger, you’ll have some 20+ Javascript files, thousands of lines of code, several data sources (which are great, btw), it gets really slow. First, basic things like moving controls to places starts to take time. Then saving the project becomes really painful, not even mentioning deploying the project. If you want to use undo, just forget about it – for some reason, each undo takes as much time as saving the project.

Then, debugger stops working. The Dashcode’s small embedded fake HTTP server can’t handle the simultaneous requests made by the main page to load all the scripts. You might circumvent this by making a script loader that somehow loads them gradually, one by one. I tried it but it didn’t work, instead started giving way more exotic error messages.

This is until the project grows even bigger and you reach the point where Dashcode crashes when autoloading your project.

Dashcode preferences

It didn’t happen on Snow Leopard, though, so I guess this is some random incompatibility problem with OSX Lion. Even choosing the setting “Do nothing when Dashcode starts” doesn’t disable the autoload completely. This is probably because closing the big project on Dashcode crashes it and it reloads the last project when starting again.

I found a workaround for that:

  1. Open Dashcode
  2. Quickly press CMD-W when the project loads up
  3. Quickly press CMD-Q when the project is closed
  4. Open Dashcode again
  5. Open the project from the Recent projects menu

Handy and easy.

Another possible solution for this could be if someone figured out a way to include JavaScript files to the main page in a way that Dashcode wouldn’t understand them and wouldn’t load and parse the sources every time you open the project. I guess that is what crashes the editor.

Anyway, it’s a shame that it seems this program has been neglected by Apple for some time now. Hope they’ll get more active on it one day again.


One response to “Dashcode, part II”

  1. I agree with you. Dashcode could certainly be what jquery mobile has become to the world and more. I moved on primarily because I just couldn’t get good information on how to add to the stacks. Bought Dashcode for Dummies and even took a class from the same author via VTC, both left a lot to be desired. I did manage to cobble together one program, but found it to run slowly due to the images that I included.

    LOVE the way that you use databases in Dashcode. I’m so challenged when it comes to all of this stuff.

    Would appreciate any information that you are willing to post to help me find more information on Dashcode. I keep hoping that I can get proficient enough to use it.


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