Content Glass combines a social-network and is a platform for creating State Oriented Sharing apps. Content Glass platform may be exaplined in three parts:
Web Clients for multiple environment
- Server side API
- Content Glass services.
In this book we focus on CG client applications for Web environment. With will put special focus on the basic features that may be used by user on CG web applications in order to share widgets and customize the client.
Developers can use Content Glass to develop web applications that use CG API for loading application resources and sharing widgets cross the web. The most known application is CG-Button. This app was created by Rhizome Networks using the CG Web client API ands is offered for users in three primary channels:
- Web browser plugin (currently chrome is supported).
- Bookmarklet - a bookmark set on bookmarks toolbar that start the app.
- Installed in website (either using direct JS code or using managed-app such as Shopify App ).
We distinguish two type of applications:
- Standalone CG app - an application that uses the basic CG-Application module together with its own application-manifest file. This provide maximum control on app running.
- Add-On app - an application that is loaded by exposing it glass-manifest file to standalone application, so it is actually run as add-on that extend functionality to the standalone application. In many cases add-on is sufficient for adding a required functionality. For example adding new widget libraries or special management views to Cg-Button app doe not require a standalone application and add-on will do the job fine.
In the next chapter we will discuss CG-Button as an example for CG web application.
Here are few examples that will make application type issue clearer. The first image shows CG-Button running on Shopify store. CG-Button is standalone application and we will cover its main features in this manual.
The second image shows custom made standalone CG app that was created for noniades.myshopify.com. The application is used by poets cooperate with the website to share live (and off-line) the process of writing poems. The app include various widgets that allows the visualization of the process such as Paper (a widget made for this app specifically), notes, video, picture and video broadcasting. In this specific example we also see a reflection of image on the background
which is also possible to implement with live video from broadcasting widget.
The next image shows a view taken from within Store Navigator add-on. This add-on is available as Shopify app however in practice it is running as an add-on on top of Content Glass API loaded by CG-Button. Once the add-on is installed an addition item is added to CG main menu that open the view add-on interface. The add-on present an editor for creating special navigation widgets and is available only to store admin (and super user). The created widget is then show to visitors in for of arrows or wind-rose that provide a way for scrolling between pages based on lists of pages set for each direction.
The next image also shows a view from within Add-On app however in this case we refer to custom-made add-on that was created for the special needs of noniades.myshopify.com. The add-on run on top of CG-Button installed on Shopify and provide end-users with the functionality of create electronic cards that combine personal dedication, short recorded video message an a related poem as selected from the collection of poems available on Noniades store. The card is created as product on Shopify and once paid it become available to recipient address set in card details.
In the examples above we have seen four applications
1. Ready-made standalone application developed by Rhizome Networks for the purpose of sharing on Web - CB-Button
2. Custom made standalone application developed by Rhizome Networks for noniades.myshopify.com - Share Poem
3. Ready-made Add-On app created for multiple stores on Shopify and is available in the form of Shopify app - Store Navigator
4. Custom made Add-On app created for noniades.myshopify.com that was added to the store via the managed-app admin portal (this is explained in the managed-app users guide).
This demonstrate the point that Content Glass is a platform for creating apps. Either standalone apps or add-on apps. Either by Rhizome Networks or by 3'rd party developers. And of course although our examples were taken from apps running on Shopify, the concept is not limited to Shopify. Standalone app may be created for any website, and add-on app may run wherever adequate.
In the next chapters we will show features of CG-Button in more details.