Introducing Customization in Loklak Media Wall

My GSoC Project includes implementing media wall in loklak search . One part of the issue is to include customization options in media wall. I looked around for most important features that can be implemented in a media wall to give the user a more appealing and personalized view. One of the feature that can be implemented is enabling Full Screen Mode.  This feature can help the user to display media wall on the projector or any big display screen without compromising with space available. In one part, I would be explaining how I implemented Full screen Mode in loklak media wall using fullscreen.js library.

Secondly, it is important to include a very reactive and user-friendly setting box. The setting box should be a central container in which all the customization options will be included.In loklak media wall,  setting box is implemented as a dialog box with various classifications in form of tabs. I would also be explaining  how I designed customization menu using Angular Material.

Implementation

Full Screen Mode

Since loklak search is an Angular 2 application and all the code is written in typescript, we can’t simply use the fullscreen.js library. We have to import the library into our application and create a directive that can be applied to the element to use it in the application.

  • Install fullscreen.js library in the application using Node Package Manager.

npm install save screenfull

import {Directive, HostListener, Output, EventEmitter} from ‘@angular/core’;
import * as screenfull from ‘screenfull’;@Directive({
selector: ‘[toggleFullscreen]’
})
export class ToggleFullscreenDirective {constructor() {}@HostListener(‘click’) onClick() {
if (screenfull.enabled) {
screenfull.toggle();
}
}
}
  • Import Directive into the module and add it to declaration. This allows directive to be used anywhere in the template.

import { ToggleFullscreenDirective } from ‘../shared//full-screen.directive’;
.
.
.
@NgModule({
.
.
.
declarations: [
.
.
.
ToggleFullscreenDirective,
.
.
.
]
})
export class MediaWallModule { }
  • Now, the directive is ready to use on the template. We just have to add this attribute directive to an element.

<i toggleFullscreen mdTooltip=“Full Screen” mdTooltipPosition=“below” class=“material-icons md-36”>fullscreen</i>

Customization Menu

Customization Menu is created using the idea of central container for customization. It is created using two components of Angular Material – Dialog Box and Tabs . We will now be looking how customization menu is implemented using these two components.

  • Create a component with the pre-configured position, height and width of the dialog box. This can be done simply using updatePosition and updateSize property of the MdDialogRef class.

export class MediaWallCustomizationComponent implements OnInit {
public query: string;constructor(
private dialogRef: MdDialogRef<MediaWallCustomizationComponent>,
private store: Store<fromRoot.State>,
private location: Location) { }ngOnInit() {
this.dialogRef.updatePosition(’10px’);
this.dialogRef.updateSize(‘80%’, ‘80%’);
}public searchAction() {
if (this.query) {
this.store.dispatch(new mediaWallAction.WallInputValueChangeAction(this.query));
this.location.go(‘/wall’, `query=${this.query}`);
}
}
}
  • Create a template for the Customization menu. We will be using md-tab and md-dialog to create a dialog box with options displayed using tabs. dynamicHeight should be set to true so that dialog box adjust according to the tabs. We can simply add an attribute md-dialog-close to the button which will close the dialog box. All the content should be added in the div with attribute md-dialog-content linked to it. Moreover, to make options look more user-friendly and adjustable on smaller screens, icons must be added with the Tab title.

<h1 mddialogtitle>Customization Menu</h1>
<button class=“form-close” mddialogclose>x</button>
<span mddialogcontent>
<mdtabgroup color=“accent” dynamicHeight=“true”>
<mdtab>
<ngtemplate mdtablabel>
<mdicon>search</mdicon>
Search For
</ngtemplate>
<h3> Search Customization </h3>
<mdinputcontainer class=“example-full-width” color=“accent”>
<input placeholder=“Search Term” mdInput type =“text” class=“input” name=“search-term” [(ngModel)]=“query”>
</mdinputcontainer>
<span class=“apply-button”>
<button mdraisedbutton color=“accent” mddialogclose (click)=“searchAction()”>Display</button>
</span>
</mdtab>
</mdtabgroup>
</span>

The code currently shows up code for search customization. It basically, records to the input using [(ngModel)] for two-way binding and makes the call the search action whenever user clicks on Display button.

  • Add a button which would open dialog box using open property of MdDialog class. This property would provide an instance for MediaWallCustomizationComponent and the component will show up dynamically.

<i class=“material-icons md-36” (click)=“dialog.open(MediaWallCustomizationComponent)”>settings</i>
  • It is important to add MediaWallCustomizationComponent as an entry component in the module so that AOT compiler can create a ComponentFactory for it during initialization.

import { MediaWallCustomizationComponent } from ‘./media-wall-customization/media-wall-customization.component’;

@NgModule({
entryComponents: [
MediaWallCustomizationComponent
]
})
export class MediaWallModule { }

 

This creates an appealing and user-friendly customization menu which acts a central container for customization options.

References

Adding Masonry Grid Layout to loklak Media Wall

Working on loklak media walls, I wanted to add a responsive self-adjusting grid layout for media walls. Going through the most trending media wall, I concluded that the most commonly used view for media walls is Masonry view. This view is a much similar view to the Pinterest grid layout. In fact, Masonry Desandro states that Masonry view can be one of the most responsive and most pretty ways to present cards. It is also beneficial to use masonry view as it avoids unnecessary gaps and makes full use of the display screen.

In this blog, we are going to see how I added a masonry view to the media walls without any other dependency than CSS using column-count and column-gap. We would also be looking upon how to adjust font-size using rem units to make text readable for all screen-sizes depending on number of columns.

HTML File

<span class=“masonry”>
<span class=“masonry-panel” *ngFor=“let item of (apiResponseResults$ | async)”>
<span class=“masonry-content”>
<mediawallcard [feedItem]=“item”></mediawallcard>
</span>
</span>
</span>
  • The first span with class masonry is like a container in which all the cards will be embedded. This div will provide a container to adjust the number of columns in which cards will be adjusted.
  • The second span with class masonry-panel will be the column division. These panels are like the elements of a matrix. These panels are responsive and will adjust according to the screen size.
  • The third span with class masonry-content are like the content box in which all the content will be embedded. This div will create a space in the panel for the card to be adjusted.
  • The fourth element media-wall-card are the cards in which all the feed items are placed.

CSS File

  • Adjusting columns – The column-count and column-gap property was introduced in CSS3 to divide the element in a specified number of column and to keep the specified number (whole number) of column gap between the elements respectively. For different screen sizes, these are the column count that are kept. We need adjust the number of columns according to various screen sizes so that cards neither look too stretched or too bleak. Media wall is now responsive enough to adjust on smaller screens like mobiles with one column and on larger screens too with five columns.

@media only screen and (max-width: 600px) {
.masonry {
columncount: 1;
columngap: 0;
}
} @media only screen and (min-width: 600px) and (max-width: 900px) {
.masonry {
columncount: 2;
columngap: 0;
}
} @media only screen and (min-width: 1280px) and (max-width: 1500px) {
.masonry {
columncount: 3;
columngap: 0;
}
} @media only screen and (min-width: 1500px) and (max-width: 1920px) {
.masonry {
columncount: 4;
columngap: 0;
}
} @media only screen and (min-width: 1920px) {
.masonry {
columncount: 5;
columngap: 0;
}
}
  • Adjusting Font-Size – For a fixed aspect ratio of various divisions of the media wall card, we need a central unit that can be adjusted to keep this ratio fixed. Using px will rather make the sizes fixed and adjusting these sizes for various screen sizes will make it hectic and would spoil the ratio. We will be instead using rem as a font-unit to adjust the font size for different screen sizes. Firstly, we need to assign a certain font size to all the elements in the media wall card. Now, we can configure the central font-size of the root unit for all the screen sizes using @media tag.

One thing that should be kept in mind is that The root font size should be kept more than 14px always.

@media only screen and (max-width: 600px) {
:root {
font-size: 14px;
}
}@media only screen and (min-width: 600px) and (max-width: 800px) {
:root {
font-size: 16px;
}
}@media only screen and (min-width: 800px) and (max-width: 1200px) {
:root {
font-size: 17px;
}
}@media only screen and (min-width: 1200px) and (max-width: 1500px) {
:root {
font-size: 18px;
}
}@media only screen and (min-width: 1500px) {
:root {
font-size: 20px;
}
}

 

This will create a masonry layout and now, all the cards can be adjusted in this self-adjusting grid and will look readable on all types of screen.

Reference