Bob Balaban's Blog


    Bob Balaban


    What if.....we didn’t use <font> tags in our HTML output anymore?

    Bob Balaban  May 17 2007 10:05:41 AM
    Greetings, Geeks!

    I am very pleased to introduce the first "guest blog" on my site. Please welcome my fellow IBM employee and fellow Geek, Mr. Mark Vincenzes!
    Mark is a long-time developer at IBM and a long-time member of the Web Server team. He is a particular expert on how we convert rich text in NSF data to HTML.

    Take it away, Mark!

    Hi all,
    In July 2006 I posted a note to the notes/domino forum concerning ideas on eliminating the use of the &lt;font&gt; tag in html generated by the domino web engine.    I presented several "alternative" HTML renderings and asked for comments.  I got some good feedback and continued to think about the problem.  It occurred to me that by adding a number of options I didn't have to pick one of the alternatives ahead of time, but leave it to the application developer do configure the html output the way she/he wants.
    The result design is described in the attachment below.  

    I did this work and a prototype implementation a while ago, but was negligent in posting a follow-up article.  Now with Bob Balaban's new blog it seems a good time to present this and get your feedback.    The drawback I see to it, and one of the reasons I was holding off posting it, is that there are a LOT of options (about 40) and it could be a bit daunting to figure out how to use them all.   I know some folks have asked for lots of control, but such control does come at a price.  I tried to name the options so that they would be easy group, and there is one "controlling option" (FontConversion)  that when you turn it on will enable the default set of other options, so if you are happy with the default set you only have one option.

    Note that these font options are part of the new $$HTMLOptions that we introduced in v8 for controlling html output..  You provide a text list of name=value pairs via a special $$HTMLOptions field on your form.
    There is a way to provide a server level set of options using a notes.ini, and a field level override by supplying $$HTMLOptions_fieldname for a specific field.  We are also looking at also providing web site and database level options.

    There is a lot in the write-up, but I'd like your comments.  Ways to consolidate options to make fewer options?  Different set of defaults?   Something I've forgotten?

    Thank you


    -mark vincenzes