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Formulate. An HTML Contact Form For RapidWeaver

Formulate was released free of charge several weeks ago, exclusively for ThemeFlood customers. A paid version that could be used with other themes was requested and has been released through the Stacks4Stacks website. This paid version includes additional code and testing to improve the compatibility and styling with theme frameworks like Foundry and Foundation. You'll need this version of the stack if you wish to use Formulate with a non-Theme Flood theme.

Contact forms are a common component in many RapidWeaver websites. However most services require a PHP 'backend' to process the form data and send it to where it is required. Although most better website hosting companies support PHP, some cheap hosts either charge customers extra for this service or have configured their PHP in such an astonishingly awkward way that it renders any contact form useless. We're looking at you, GoDaddy!

On the surface, Formulate looks and performs much the same as any other contact form. The key difference is that the message data is either sent via conventional email or goes through one of two mail handling services; Formspree.io or Formbucket.com. Both of these services offer a simple and smart method to receive data from a contact form. In some instances, it is even possible for yourself or a client to login to these services and view your form submissions as they come in.

Formulate – Stacks4Stacks

You can immediately begin to see the benefits here - no complications with PHP, fast setup, secure forms that work with virtually any email or hosting service. You can even have your messages sent to a disposable email address - such as a free Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo address.

Spam protection varies, depending on the form processing service that you use. The 'mail to' option supports an obfuscated email address which has surprisingly good protection. Formspree does display your email address in the form action attribute, but a paid account solves this and you get 'honeypot' protection by default. Formbucket provides the options of both 'honeypot' and 'reCaptcha', within your bucket settings. Again you can use a free disposable email address with this stack, so if the spammers and trollers become too much to handle, just change your email address to something else. That's the reason why many companies use rather obscure email addresses.

Many simple form inputs are supported. Formulate provides all the regular form input options, plus a number of specialaity HTML5 options. Each option supports a label, placeholder text and optional 'help' text. Inputs can be dragged and changed into any order. Any number of inputs can be made mandatory. The 'submit' button at the bottom is only shown / activated when all mandatory fields are completed and the user gives their consent to your GDPR privacy disclaimer.

Formulate most defiantly is not a replacement for heavyweight form stacks, such as the excellent FormsPlus system from Chillidog Software. But if you need to publish a simple form and have it reliably delivery messages, then Formulate could be just the job.

For ThemeFlood theme users, Formulate remains a free stack for you to download and use with our themes.


Formatting Privacy Messages in RapidWeaver

If you've updated to RapidWeaver 8, you'll have noticed that there have been couple of neat additions, but not all of those additions have been fully thought through.

One of those additions, in keeping with the new GDPRegulations is the privacy message that can automatically be added to the bottom of your site's pages. Whilst the idea is a helpful addition, unless you care to add HTML into the message box and/or hack the CSS, it can't really be formatted.

Marathia's Stacks to the rescue! PMBeautifier will allow you to reformat the privacy message more or less exactly as you'd like to display it.

PMBeautifier – Marathia's Stacks
Stack settings
Message at Top
Padding – Top, Bottom, Left, Right
Spacing – px
Change Transition Speed
Change Z-Index
Custom Background
Set Border
Custom Font Size
Font Family – Theme Font, Web-Safe Font, Custom Font
Custom Text Colour
Align – Left, Centre, Right, Justify
Link Colour
Custom Link Underlining

PMBeautifier Button
Button Position – Seven options
Custom Font Size
Font Family
Custom Text Colour
Font Style – B, I
Custom BG Colour – Static, Hover, Active
Set Button Border
Set Button Border Radius

Thankfully there are developers that carry on there where Realmac left off the development.
PMBeautifier is a useful stack to have, if you're going to use the Privacy Message function.
PMBeautifier is a stack, so it will only work on Stacks pages, however with YourHead's PlusKit it should be possible to place the reformatted message on RW's default pages. (I've not tried it, but feedback is welcome).


Scroll Mate 2 for RapidWeaver

In April 2015, BWD released Scroll Mate. Now, twelve months after the total rewrite was initiated, Andrew has finally released Scroll Mate 2. This post is a few days late; I didn't have time to test the beta version and it's taken me a while to delve into the settings. Sorry about that.

Scroll Mate 2 will animate any stack that you drop into it, even those that are notorious for not functioning when they are not visible on page load. The animation takes place within the distance that the screen content is scrolled. See below.

Let's take a look at what Scroll Mate 2 can do…

Animation Trigger defines when the animation begins. The options: Top Edge – Animates the stack from when the top of the container enters the viewport to when it exits. Bottom Edge - From when the bottom of the container enters the viewport to when it exits. In view – From when the top of the container enters the viewport to when the bottom exits.
Start and End Percentage define the scroll distance during which the animation takes place. The speed of the animation is controlled by the start and end percentages. The shorter the range, the faster the animation; the higher the range, the slower the animation.
Direction defines the start and end state of the animation. Animate From begins with Scroll Mate's transition settings and transitions to the stack settings. Animate To does the reverse.
The Crop button limits the effect to the vertical scrolling boundaries of the document. Leaving the boundaries uncropped allows elements to remain unaffected by enter effects when they are near the top of the page or by exit effects near the bottom.
Once Only sets the animation to deactivate once it has scrolled up off the page. Elements that are unable to scroll off the page – a footer, for instance – will continue to animate when the page is scrolled.
The Contain button restricts the animation to the boundaries of the Scroll Mate container. This can be unchecked in order to allow animations to proceed across the full width and height of the browser. However, many 'traditional' RW themes limit content to a maximum width. ScrollMate cannot break out of these boundaries. With Freeform themes such as Foundation, FSR, Pure and BootSnap the full width of the browser can be utilised for your animations.
Position allows Scroll Mate to float within its parent container.

Scroll Mate 2 – Big White Duck

Inertia sets the 'mass' of the animated object.
Start Delay sets when the inertia easing begins.
Easing applies easing to the inertia effect.

Opacity sets the translucency of the stack at the beginning of the transition.
Move X – A positive value entered into Move X, will move the content from right to left, whilst a negative value will reverse that movement.
Move Y – A positive value for Move Y will animate the content upwards and a negative value downwards as it enters the transition area. Combining the X and Y axes will cause a diagonal transition to take place.
Units may be set in each of the above cases to determine the amount of movement.
Scale (X, Y Z) sets the size of the stack at the beginning of the transition, allowing stacks to zoom into the page by either getting larger or smaller. Setting the Z scale in combination with X and/or Y translations, causes a transition up or down the Z axis – the '3rd dimension'. It allows your content to get larger and smaller to simulate the 3rd dimension in a 2d space.
Rotate X will rotate Scroll Mate's contents along the horizontal axis during the animation.
Rotate Y will rotate along the vertical axis. Entering values into both boxes will spin the contents along both axis simultaneously but may cause severe motion sickness. A value of 720º will cause your content to rotate twice.
Rotate Z will rotate the content along the Z axis.
Origin sets the origin of the rotation.
Use 3D (add perspective) allows use of the Z axis effects causing your content to appear as if it gets closer or further away.
Touch Devices – animations may be deactivated for touch devices either for each instance of Scroll Mate, or page wide.

The really big changes, when compared to the original Scroll Mate, are new basic positioning controls and child stacks for advanced positioning, backgrounds which allow scroll controlled fade ins of backgrounds etc. (See BWD's demo file). The other really big new feature is the ability to use units other than px. It is now possible to use % or even browser units (vw vh) to move stacks responsively and consistently.
The inertia is really like a transition time so that the speed of movement can now be independent of the % start and % stop settings. In fact, in many of the BWD demo's it is used in "trigger mode" where the start and the stop %'s are the same (or 1% apart) and therefore just used to fire the animation whose speed is completely dependent on the intertia time.

Scroll triggered animations are not supported by some older browsers which shall remain nameless. The stack degrades gracefully, allowing your page to display normally with all content being shown as static content without the animations.

Conclusion: Forget all those other animation stacks which limit themselves to five or ten different transitions! Scroll Mate was great; Scroll Mate 2 is brilliant! Scroll Mate 2 can live alongside the original version of Scroll Mate in your library, these are two different stacks. Oh, and your animations may be nested!
Animate responsibly and don't forget to make a donation, Andrew will appreciate it!


Section X for RapidWeaver

If you're looking for an alternative to tabbed stacks and accordions to present all that information that the client supplied, you'll be in a quandary as to which solution to choose. And your plight just got worse; as if to make the choice even more difficult than it already is, Weavium just released Section X.

Section X is a slider that displays info panels with a row of icons (or images) to navigate through them. Contact details, portfolio, product catalogue; drop in the stacks of your choice and build whatever you need.

Section X – Weavium
In its default setting, Section X displays four columns of icons below a Stacks panel into which you can drop just about any stack you wish. The icons can be replaced with warehoused images or images from the repository. If you choose to add images, you'll need to ensure that they are all the same size. If not, then the columns won't align vertically (see the screenshot above). The info panel content, on the other hand can be of varying length, Section X adjusts its height to fit.
You can decide how many columns of icons are displayed at a time. (Weavium often allows astronomical values; even 1000 columns is accepted in the settings panel.) If you have more panels of information than visible columns, navigation arrows appear to slide in the next n columns. E.G. in the example above, I have left the default of four columns, but have eight info panels. The nav buttons visible below the Jaguar icon will slide in the next four columns of icons.

Stack settings

Min Height – D, T, M - px
Padding – Vertical, Horizontal
Max Width – px
Content Width – px
Breakpoint – Tablet, Mobile

Nav Position – Bottom, Top
Columns – D, T, M
Gutter – D, T, M
Item Height – D, T, M
Item Radius – D, T, M
Inactive Opacity
Item Icon – D, T, M - px
Item Title – D, T, M
Title Spacing
Arrows – Width, Height
Arrow Icon – px
Arrow Radius
Arrow Spacing

Colours and Fonts

Section X. A nice solution to an age old problem (that of adding masses of information to a page) and will save you hours of messing around with other stack combinations to achieve a result that is only similar!

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Swoop for RapidWeaver

Hot on the heels of Split Content now follows yet another new stack from One Little Designer. Swoop, a content slider that gives us yet another method of packing lots of information into a confined space.

Swoop is a stack container that scrolls content vertically when its buttons are clicked. It can be displayed as a page wide panel, or confined to a width of your choice and can contain as many child stacks as you wish. The active menu text is displayed crisply, whilst the menu options above and below the currently active text are set to blurred by default.

The width of the menu panel and the menu text size may be set individually. I find the default settings a little large, but that's a matter of personal choice. Fact is, after taking a closer look at Swoop, I find it to be quite versatile and it also looks quite neat on a mobile device.

Swoop – 1LD
Stack settings
Max Width – px
Max Height – px
Resposive Point

Max Width
Padding – Vertical, Horizontal
Item Size – (menu text) px
Item Font
Item Padding – Vertical, Horizontal
Item Blur
Arrow – BG width
Arrow Icon – Size px
Arrow Radius

Padding – Vertical, Horizontal
Header Font
Text Font

Stack Colours

Swoop is another of those stacks that 1LD currently seems to specialise in: Hiding a lot of information until it's required. My only criticism: I'd like to see more than three menu items displayed at any one time. Swoop isn't a stack that can easily be emulated by combining other stacks, so I suggest you take a look at the demo page!

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