SPServices into 2016!

SPServicesOver the break, I managed to get SPServices up and running on GitHub. You may wonder what that means and why it matters.

When I started moving SPServices away from Codeplex, it was due to several things:

  • Codeplex seems to be dying a whimpering death. Microsoft is clearly not maintaining it anymore, and its tech is falling behind – when it works.
  • I wanted to understand GitHub better. I’ve had to get too much help from my friends in the SharePoint community even just to push changes to cdnjs. Thanks Josh McCarty (@joshmcrty)!

So, mission accomplished on those goals – but it took me an embarrassingly long time to get here!

Of course, in the process I also wanted to improve SPServices. Here is what I am/was aiming at:

  • The next version will be SPServices 2.0 – This is just a number, and the current builds have this number already.
  • Make it (already is!) AMD-enabled using RequireJS
  • Convert from a monolithic file to modules (done, though perhaps more to do)
  • Enabled to take advantage of SharePoint’s REST APIs – where available – for internal calls to get list data in the value-added functions (still to do)

As you can see, I’m well on the way to meet my self-imposed goals; I think the hard work is behind me.

There are some other goals and here’s where you can help:

  • Test the “pre-alpha” builds of SPServices 2.0. If you’re familiar enough with the library to drop builds into your test environments, that would be a great help. I’ve tested using the same lists and pages I always use, but more real-world testing would be good. Report any issues you find using GitHub issues.
  • Write some tests. I’ve started writing tests with QUnit, but I’ve only scratched the surface. Writing good tests here is difficult, as we have to be sitting on top of SharePoint; in greenfield development, we can test anywhere. You’ll find some instructions for how to use the existing tests on the GitHub pages.
  • Migrate the documentation from Codeplex to GitHub – Since Codeplex is falling apart, there’s no reason to leave the documentation there, either. There are a few dozen pages (I can’t actually count the pages on Codeplex easily) of documentation, and it’s probably easiest just to move the over to GitHub manually.
  • Move the discussions off Codeplex – This one is hardest, I think. IMO, one of the big values to SPServices is the historical discussions about how to use it. But those discussions have covered many other things as well, and I’d hate to lose any of it. I’m not sure how to go about this, so if anyone has some experience moving forums like this, I’m all ears.
  • Propose improvements – I ask the community for suggestions all the time, but I don’t get a lot of them. If you’ve solved some gnarly SharePoint UI problem and would be willing to submit your code or just wish that someone would fix the darn _____, then let me know in the GitHub issues. Consider the issues our own UserVoice for SPServices.

A HUGE thank you goes out to Paul Tavares (@paul_tavares) for guiding me along this move to GitHub. He’s written most of the build code, the test chassis, etc. I couldn’t have done it without him. If you don’t know Paul, he’s one of the sharper tacks in the SharePoint community, and he only does SharePoint work on the side these days. Take a look at his SPWidgets project. I promise you – you’ll be impressed.

Thanks also to the folks over at BitHound for their code tools. If you check out the dashboard for SPServices, you’ll see that I’m doing OK, but there’s always room for improvement.

Happy 2016 to all of you, and happy coding!

7 Comments

  1. Hi Marc, I am absolutely late to realizing exactly how powerful and useful SPServices is in SharePoint 2010 and 2013. What is the best place to begin practicing and learning about it? Any documentation available in an ebook or is it all on codeplex and/or github?

    Reply
    • The best place to get started is to read the docs – which are currently in the best shape on Codeplex. There’s also a series here on my blog called SPServices Stories that gives some great examples of things people have been able to do with SPServices – check the sidebar.

      But to me, the best way to get rolling is to do something with it. Find a little piece of functionality that would work better with client side code and try it.

      M.

      Reply

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