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The Extension Manager has become the standard method of installing and sharing extensions. Although you could share your extensions by just giving away the raw files, along with instructions on where to put them, it's much safer, and more user -friendly, to provide an installation package or MXP file for use with the Extension Manager.
Luckily, the Extension Manager not only installs extensions, it also neatly packages them into special installation files. The process is even relatively painless:
Figure 29.15 shows a sample folder containing all the proper files to package the Copyright Statement file.
This last exercise takes you through the steps to create an MXP file from this extension.
You can download a PDF file containing detailed instructions for creating installation files from the Macromedia website. Go to the Macromedia Exchange for Dreamweaver page (www.macromedia.com/exchange/dreamweaver), and click the Site Help topic Macromedia Approved Extensions.
For the author name Enter your name. (You've already entered Tom Thumb, Big-Time Genius there's no law against being fanciful.)
For the filenames Enter the relative path from the MXI file you're creating to the copies of the extension files you've saved for packaging. If all these files are in the same folder, you can just enter the filename.
For the destination Enter the complete path from the Dreamweaver application folder root, as shown. If you want your extension to create any new folders in existing folders, enter them as part of the path. (You have entered ThumbThings to create a new folder within the Objects folder.)
For the version number Your extension, like any other piece of software, gets its own version number. Start with 1.0, and increment the number if you later revise the extension.
For the insertbar-changes area The insertbar-insert element governs where the new category will be inserted. Set the insertAfter attribute to the ID of whatever category you want your category to follow. (In this case, the ThumbThings category follows the Application category, which has an ID of DW_Insertbar_Server .) Within the insertbar-insert tag, the code is the same code you entered in insertbar.xml when you created this object. This code tells Dreamweaver to automatically enter that code.
<macromedia-extension name="Copyright Statement" version=" 1.0.0 " type=" object "> <!-- List the required/compatible products --> <products> <product name="Dreamweaver" version="3" primary= "true" /> </products> <!-- Describe the author --> <author name=" Tom Thumb " /> <!-- Describe the extension --> <description> <![CDATA[ Inserts a formatted copyright statement, with user input for name and year. ]]> </description> <!-- Describe where the extension shows in the product's UI --> <ui-access> <![CDATA[ Access this extension via the ThumbThings category in the Insert bar. ]]> </ui-access> <!-- Describe the files that comprise the extension --> <files> <file name="Copyright Statement.gif" destination="$dreamweaver/configuration/Objects/ThumbThings/" /> <file name="Copyright Statement.htm" destination="$dreamweaver/configuration/Objects/Thumbthings/" /> </files> <!-- Describe the changes to the configuration --> <configuration-changes> <insertbar-changes> <insertbar-insert insertAfter="DW_Insertbar_ Server"> <category folder="ThumbThings" id="DW_Insertbar_ThumbThings"> <button enabled="" file="ThumbThings\Copyright Statement.htm" id="DW_ThumbThings_ Copyright" image="ThumbThings\Copyright Statement.gif" showIf="" /> </category> </insertbar-insert> </insertbar-changes> </configuration-changes> </macromedia-extension>
The ultimate in sharing is submitting your extension file to the Macromedia Exchange. After you have the MXP file, the procedure is simple: Go to the Macromedia Exchange website, and click the Uploads button (in the Your Exchange category, on the right side of the page). Then follow the instructions to submit, as shown in Figure 29.19.
After you submit an extension, Macromedia engineers run it through a series of tests. One of three things will happen:
If it fails, it gets returned to you with comments.
If it passes the basic tests, it gets put on the website with Basic Approval.
If it also passes the more comprehensive tests, it becomes a Macromedia Approved Extension.
To keep track of your submission's progress, visit the Uploads page periodically.
To learn more about the testing process and how to get your extensions accepted and approved, visit the Dreamweaver website, and click any one of the Site Help FAQ topics. This takes you to an extensive categorized list of questions and answers.
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