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Live Preview URL Mapping

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Live Preview URL Mapping

Introduction

Live Preview currently opens the local page directly in (Chrome) browser using the file protocol, as in file:///path/to/index.html. This limits Live Preview to only client-side HTML documents using document-relative (<img src="img/photo.jpg" />) and absolute URLs (<script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.8.1/jquery.min.js" ></script>).

This proposal will allow Live Preview to open pages on a server so paths that have to be interpreted by a server such as site-root-relative (<img src="/img/photo.jpg" />) and protocol-relative URLs (<script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.8.1/jquery.min.js" ></script>) can be used. Also, server-side file extensions such as .php and .shtml pages with include files can also be used in Live Preview.

The backlog entry is in Trello and also brackets/issue #1920 (where I borrowed file path examples from).

Base URL

Base URL maps to the root folder of the project on the server. It is assumed that server path structure mirrors folder structure on disk.

Preferences

Preferences are project-specific.

A gear icon will be placed next to Project name (and drop down menu) above the Project file tree. Clicking this icon opens a preference dialog which will have the following field:

  • A text field to specify Base URL. This is the base URL of the web site on server (e.g. http://localhost/path/to/site/root/).

By default, the field is blank, which indicates that the local path to the file is used in Live Preview.

If URL is specified, then it is used plus project-relative path to file to generate the Live Preview URL.

Live Preview

If you click Live Development button with file open that has a server-side file extension and a Base URL has not yet been specified, then preferences dialog is auto-opened.

Brackets has a list of server-side file extensions that are recognized in addition to .htm/.html. The default set of server-side file extensions is: .sthm,.shtml,.php,.php3,.php4,.cfm,.cfml. These will be defined globally in package.json, but will not be editable via UI until Brackets gets a Preferences Dialog.

Once base URL specified, Live Development button is clickable while any file server-side file extension, in addition to .htm/.html.

When a Base URL is specified and Live Development button is clicked, the path generated is Base URL + project-specific path to file.

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