Blocks in Depth
A series of videos going deep on a number of concepts and functions in Blocks, such as:
- Block Hierarchy and Navigation
- Buttons, Controls and Bindings
- Tasks and Expressions
- System and Server Management
- Block Replication and Data Feeds
- Server Administration
The goals of this series is to establish a firm understanding of how Blocks works, allowing you to fully use Blocks as a Project Enabler, with emphasis on interactivity and control solutions. You're expected to have already used Blocks and be familiar with all the basics, including the various block types. Advanced code-level topics such as scripting and CSS are not discussed in these videos.
Display Spots and Spot Groups
Spot Types, such as Display Spots, Visitor Spots, Location Spot and Spot Groups. How to arrange and name spots and groups. Using Spot Groups for media synchronization across displays.
Block Hierarchy and Navigation
Various methods for switching blocks on spots, such as the Block Scheduler, setting the block or priorityBlock property of a Spot, assigning a Block to a Spot Group, assigning blocks using Tasks. The concepts of Root Blocks and Child Blocks.
Navigation inside blocks using Buttons for Local Navigation, relative vs absolute block paths, blocks names versus index numbers and incremental navigation (next/previous). Navigating inside block from a Task. Navigation using Behaviors.
This section gives a deep understanding of the important and pervasive concept of properties in Blocks, and how those are used to control almost every aspect of a system. Built-in properties. Custom properties defined globally inside Realms or applied to individial Spots. Property data types.
For more details, see the chapter titled PROPERTIES AND FUNCTIONS in the Blocks manual.
Buttons, Controls and Bindings
Various ways of connecting buttons and other controls to propertie. Presenting data using text, numbers and other indicators. Multi-function bindings for buttons and text.
A Task is a sequence of commands and other statements. Tasks can involve variables, conditions and loops.
- What triggers a Task?
- Task conditions.
- Task Groups and Realms.
- Statements, with a brief introduction to each type.
- Conditions and expression syntax, including constants, variables and operators.
For full details, see the chapter titled Tasks in the Blocks manual as well as this article.
Walks you through the Manage page in Blocks, with details on
- Users and Roles
- License options and how to update.
- Server Status
- Using Mirroring Server for hardware reduncancy.
- MODBUS I/O modules
- Network Devices, and how to use Device Drivers.
- Lighting control using ArtNet/DMX-512
- Security and Backups
Users and Roles
License options and how to update
Using a Mirror Server for Hardware Reduncancy
MODBUS I/O modules
Network Devices and Device Drivers
Lighting control using ArtNet/DMX-512
Block Protection and Templates
Using a root block as a template for making other, similar blocks. Prevent users from accidentally deleting or changing content inside blocks.
Here's another, shorter video on the same subject, based on another type of content.
Security and Backups
Links related to this video:
- More on Backups.
- HTTPS connection managed directly by Blocks.
- HTTPS managed through NGINX, as included on our Linux server image.
- Using Cloudflare to publish your Blocks server on the internet using HTTPS.
Data Feeds and Block Replication
Pull data from external data sources into Blocks for further processing and display. Lets you integrate text, images, video, etc available from collection management systems and other databases.
A quick summary and overview of this concept can also be found about 1 hour into the following video.
More technical details and examples can be found in the following application notes.
A number of useful tips and techniques related to managing a Blocks server, either locally or remotely. Links to some useful resources can be found below the video.
Since this video is rather long, here are some time positions within it:
- 0:30 File Sharing.
- 2:00 Blocks Server Configuration File.
- 3:30 Server File Structure.
- 4:20 Log File.
- 6:20 Public Directory.
- 9:20 Script Directory.
- 15:10 Backups.
- 15:33 Webmin.
- 19:22 Anydesk.
- 21:50 Terminal Access using SSH.
- 22:53 Virtual Private Network (VPN) Connections.
- 25:35 Hardware Reduncdancy with Mirror Server.