Using Front-End Code Assist Features in Developer Studio

Liferay Developer Studio provides extended front-end development tools to assist in Liferay development. You now have access to code inferencing and code completion features for AlloyUI, JavaScript, CSS, and jQuery.

This tutorial covers how to use the code assist features for AlloyUI, JavaScript, CSS, and jQuery in Developer Studio. Each language is covered in its own section, so you can navigate to the language you’re most interested in. Continue reading to find out how to use Developer Studio’s code assist features in your project.

Using Code Assist Features

Developer Studio’s integration of Tern gives you access to code assist in JavaScript, AlloyUI, and CSS. To access these features, you must be working in a JavaScript, JSP, HTML, or CSS file.

You must have Tern features enabled in your project in order to use them. By default, Liferay portlet plugins already have Tern features enabled. Visit the Enabling Code Assist Features in your Project tutorial to learn how to enable Tern features for non-Liferay specific projects.

You’ll begin testing the AlloyUI code assist features next.

AlloyUI Code Assist Features

There are several helpful code assist features that can improve your productivity when writing code for AlloyUI. The example below shows how to access the AlloyUI code assist features in the main.js of your project:

  1. Open your project’s main.js file and type the following code:

     AUI().
    
  2. Press Ctrl+Space with your cursor to the right of AUI().. This brings up the code inference for the AUI() global object. Notice the AlloyUI framework’s own API documentation is also displayed. Press Enter to use code completion.

Figure 1: This figure demonstrates code inference in a JS file.

Figure 1: This figure demonstrates code inference in a JS file.

By default, code inference is triggered by a keystroke combination; however, you can enable auto activation in Developer Studio’s Preferences menu. Follow the steps below to enable auto activation:

  1. Navigate to WindowPreferencesJavaScriptEditorContent Assist.

  2. Check the Enable auto activation box and click Apply. Then click OK.

The figure below shows how to enable auto activation:

Figure 2: The Enable auto activation checkbox is listed below the Auto-Activation heading.

Figure 2: The *Enable auto activation* checkbox is listed below the *Auto-Activation* heading.

Now, if you follow the previous example, code inference activates as soon as you press the trigger key, which in this case is the . (period) key.

In addition to general code inference for AlloyUI, you have access to code templates. AUI JavaScript templates are available in Eclipse’s JavaScript editor as well as in the HTML/JSP editor when working with <script> and <aui-script> tags. Follow the steps below to use AUI code templates:

  1. Type the following code in your main.js:

    AUI
    
  2. Press Ctrl+Space to bring up the code inference for AUI, and you’ll see a list of all the available AlloyUI code templates, along with documentation.

    Figure 3: Developer Studio gives you access to AUI code templates in the JS and JSP editors.

    Figure 3: Developer Studio gives you access to AUI code templates in the JS and JSP editors.

  3. Select your template and hit Enter to paste its contents into your main.js.

In addition to code inference in your JS files, you can also use code inference in your JSP/HTML files using <aui:script> tags.

Open one of your project’s JSPs and add the AUI taglib directive if it is not already in your JSP:

<%@ taglib uri="http://liferay.com/tld/aui" prefix="aui" %>

You can also add the import from the Snippets menu under Taglib importsLiferay AUI Taglib Import v6.1.

  1. Add an <aui:script> tag inside your JSP and configure it to look like the following code:

     <aui:script>
         aui
     </aui:script>
    
  2. Press Ctrl+Space with your cursor placed to the right of aui to bring up code inference.

There you go! Whether in a JavaScript file or inside a JSP, you now have access to code assist features that improve your workflow.

Next, you’ll examine the JavaScript code assist features for Developer Studio.

JavaScript Code Assist Features

In addition to AlloyUI code assist features, you also have access to code inference and completion using raw JavaScript. This code assist feature is available in your project because the Tern module Liferay is enabled. This plugin provides code completions for the static JavaScript object APIs available to portlets when running in Liferay Portal. To learn more about enabling Tern modules in Eclipse, refer to the Enabling Code Assist Features in Your Project tutorial.

The example below shows how you can use code assist features to easily access functions in your portlet project.

  1. Open the main.js of your portlet and add the following function:

    function say(text){
        alert(text);
    }
    
  2. Add the following button to the view.jsp of your portlet:

    <aui:button onClick=""/>
    
  3. Place your cursor within the quotation marks of the onClick attribute and press Ctrl+Space. The code inference dialog pops up with a list of possible JavaScript functions available for you to use.

  4. Type say and you’ll notice the list is narrowed down to your new say(text) function.

    Figure 4: JavaScript code assist features give easy access to your functions.

    Figure 4: JavaScript code assist features give easy access to your functions.

  5. Select the say(text) function, and you’ll notice that it’s accompanied by documentation that provides the parameter for the function, as well as the file path where the function is located.

  6. Press Enter to use code completion and add the function to your button.

As you can see, JavaScript development is a breeze using Developer Studio’s code assist features. Now that you know how to use the AlloyUI and JavaScript code assist features, you can learn how to use the CSS code assist features next.

CSS Code Assist Features

Developer Studio offers code inference and completion tools for CSS. In order to use these tools, you’ll need to install an additional plugin.

Follow the steps below to install the plugin in Developer Studio:

  1. Go to HelpInstall New Software….

  2. Paste the following link into the Work with: input field:

     http://oss.opensagres.fr/eclipse-wtp-webresources/1.1.0/
    
  3. Click Add… and check the box next to WTP HTML - Web Resources.

  4. Click Next and follow the installation instructions.

Now that your plugin is installed, you’ll need to enable the CSS features in your project. Right-click your project and go to PropertiesWeb ResourcesCSS. Check both boxes to enable CSS features in your project.

You have successfully installed and enabled the new CSS features in your project!

Now that you have the CSS features enabled, you’ll find out how to use them next. Follow the steps below to use the CSS code assist features to locate a CSS class. Note that the process below can also be used to locate an ID.

  1. Open your main.css file and add the following class to it:

    .sample-class {
        background-color:green;
    }
    
  2. Inside your view.jsp add an <aui:button/> tag and configure it to match the following code:

    <aui:button name="test" value="test" cssClass=""/>
    
  3. Within the quotations of the cssClass�attribute, press Ctrl+Space to bring up the code inference for CSS. Begin typing sample-class to narrow down the classes to the one you’re looking for.

    Figure 5: CSS code inference improves your workflow when developing in CSS.

    Figure 5: CSS code inference improves your workflow when developing in CSS.

    Notice, along with code inference, you can also view the styling you have for the class, as well as the file in which it is located.

  4. Press Enter to use code completion and add the CSS class to the JSP.

If you look at the code inference dialog for CSS classes, you’ll also notice that in addition to your own CSS classes, you also have access to Bootstrap CSS classes found in Liferay Portal.

Lastly, you’ll learn about the code assist features for jQuery.

jQuery Code Assist Features

You can also use code assist with jQuery. To do this, you must enable the jQuery Tern module. Follow the instructions in the Enabling Code Assist Features in Your Project tutorial to learn how to enable Tern modules in your project.

The jQuery Tern plugin gives type information for the jQuery framework. In the example below, you’ll test the jQuery code assist feature.

  1. Open your project’s jquery.js file.

  2. In the file, type the following sample variable:

    var form = 
    
  3. Press Ctrl+Space to bring up the code inference for the variable you’re declaring, and you’ll see a list of everything that is available. Also notice jQuery documentation is available for each method. Take a look at the figure below for an example of using code assit in jQuery.

    Figure 6: Using the jQuery code assist features gives you the convenience of showing you whats available, and the documentation behind each option.

    Figure 6: Using the jQuery code assist features gives you the convenience of showing you what's available, and the documentation behind each option.

Furthermore, for jQuery callback handlers, the type information for parameters is also made available.

Figure 7: jQuery code assist also displays type information for parameters.

Figure 7: jQuery code assist also displays type information for parameters.

Excellent! You now know how to use Developer Studio’s front-end development code assist features to improve your workflow.

Enabling Code Assist Features in your Project

Liferay Workspace

From Liferay 6 to Liferay DXP 7.0

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