We are often asked about how a team working together can share a shared library. This is commonly so that members of the team can use a central standard set of widgets while they are working on different screens in different files.
I will outline in this article a recommended workflow to share a shared library using Antetype.
We have a team of 5 designers working on different screens for a large project, a standard set of widgets has been developed but occasionally there comes a need to update a widget or add a new state to a widget.
The team have 15 separate files that cover the various modules of the project and a central project-widgets.atype file that contains all of the widgets for the project.
All files are using the Antetype Look & Feel.
The team are using dropbox (or similar cloud based sharing solution) to share the files and make sure they all have the latest versions. N.B. Please read our advice on using network drives
Designer A is working on project-file-13.atype and has seen that he will need to update a widget (button-abc). He talks with his colleagues about the proposed changes via email or chat and it is agreed a that the widget must be updated.
Designer A tells his colleagues that he needs to work on the project-widgets.atype file to ensure that none of his colleagues work on it at the same time as him. He verifies that he has the latest version from dropbox and copies the file from the dropbox folder to his working folder.
He then make the changes that he needs to the button-abc widget in the project-file-13.atype looking at them in the context of his screen and once he is happy he sends the changes to his shared library.
Designer A then opens the project-widgets.atype file and updates the button-abc.atype widget based on the version in the shared library.
Once he has saved and closed the file he copies project-wdigets.atype back to the dropbox folder and waits until all the changes are sent to the dropbox server.
Designer A finally notifies his co-workers that he has updated the project-widgets.atype in dropbox.
Designers B-E all get the latest project-widgets.atype from dropbox and open it in Antetype - they can see that there is a red dot by their look and feel in the widgets inspector so they choose to "Update L&F to Shared Library" which will update their shared libraries with the latest version from the project-widgets.atype.
Finally the designers can go into each of their files and will again see a red dot by the look & feel this time they choose to "Revert L&F to shared library version" which will pull all the changes from the shared library into their projects.
The steps outlined in this workflow are a little cumbersome (we have longer term plans to make this aspect of collaboration better) but for the moment there are strong reasons why it is good idea to follow this workflow.
Using a shared library to transfer widget changes from one document to another means that all aspects of the widget are moved. Similar results might seem to be achievable using copy and paste but the key references to the widget are lost when using such transfers.