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    Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    Bob Balaban  September 9 2007 03:27:00 PM
    Greetings, Geeks!

    I have to say, I am not one who normally goes around advertising the, shall we say "weaker points" of the product to which I have devoted so much effort over the last 14 years.

    However, following my own motto (OK, ONE of my own mottos...): "Be positive when possible, be negative when necessary", I think I found something about which I must be a wee bit negative.

    I was discussing CSS stylesheets with expert colleague (and sometimes guest blogger on this site) Mark Vincenzes. We were talking about ways in which we might make DomDesigner and the Domino Web engine itself emit markup for Web apps that is much more CSS-friendly than it is today (also see a couple of related blog posts, here, and here). I asked him to teach me about the existing CSS support for Web apps in Domino 7 and 8 (turns out there isn't much difference between the two versions).

    Apparently (someone correct me if I'm wrong, one of the problems with the CSS functionality now in Designer and Server is that it's kind of complicated), you can import .css files into a database as design resources (ok, no problem there). You can select certain types of data objects in Designer (but not all types), bring up the Properties Box, go to the tab, and type style class names (or actual style specs, I think) into the "Style" line.

    I see a few problems with this:
      1) It doesn't work for all of the design artifacts one might wish to style
      2) It's hard to find where to specify what you want
      3) The settings have to be done individually for each element. There's no way to say (for example), "Give me THIS style for ALL text fields..."
      4) And probably worst of all, it's hard to predict what you're actually going to get.

    Caveat here: I have not done any serious experimentation with this functionality, so I'm depending on my friends and colleagues out there in Geekdom to either back me up, or shoot me down.

    I am told that setting a CSS style in the manner described can produce, uh, "interesting" side effects when rendered to the browser. I'm also told that it overrides rich client rendering.

    If true, then the first is real bad, but the second, I don't know, maybe that's how it should be, I'm not sure (the theory there would be: If I specify a CSS style, I want it everywhere).

    So, fellow Geeks, here's what I want to know from you:

      A) Do you use the CSS options today for either Notes or Web apps?
      B) If so, where are your major pain points with the feature?
      C) If not, what alternative techniques do you use to force styles? Pass-thru HTML? Something else?

    We do have some ideas in the works on how to improve things in this area for NMFR -- some are server specific, others touch on Designer. I may well reveal some of those ideas after I get your feedback on my above questions, and when the concepts have been fleshed out a bit more internally.

    Until then, stay tuned, and Keep Typing!
    Comments

    1Peter von Stöckel  9/10/2007 8:15:16 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    As I feel that the options for styling an application within Domino Designer are too limited, I usually use a Page or Form with or without an embedded view to create CSS and JavaScript for web apps only. It usually also ends up having lots of passthrough HTML on the forms, and HTML views with hard coded HTML. Often enough, I will still have to go through fields and set specific classes or change other settings for web presentation.

    For client applications, I usually don't use CSS, because it is too much work to get it to work in a good way.

    So the answer is:

    A: No

    B: -

    C: Pages, Forms, passthrough HTML, HTML views

    2Nathan T. Freeman  9/10/2007 8:17:21 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    In my experience, it's very common to use the CLASS input in the properties tab. It's also common to use the formula-based "HTML Attributes" for forms & fields -- which are really superior in allowing flexibility, but are only available on a few controls.

    It's not secret that I despise pass-thru HTML and consider it's necessity a failure of the platform. (Though I think it's also overused by Domino developers who lack imagination in how to use the toolkit effectively.)

    Another approach that I've seen (and used) is to apply styles at the client end, by onLoad processing to identify certain types of objects. As I've said to you privately, I think it would be a tremendous leap forward for the product to be able to do this server-side. Given the opportunity to process post-rendered HTML on the server before sending to the client, Domino developers could easily apply complex AJAX capabilities to their apps.

    3Ben Langhinrichs  9/10/2007 8:19:27 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    Well, I haven't tried CSS in the client in Notes 8, so IBM may have fixed some of this, but the effects of using CSS in the Notes client are a bit weird. Let's say I set a table cell to a particular style specified in my CSS embedded on my form. And say that the font I specify is "Verdana 10pt". When I go to type content in that cell, it is forced to Verdana 10pt. Feels a bit weird, but I could accept it. But now, highlight some of the text and set that part to "Comic Sans MS 12pt". Oddly enough, it doesn't change (which is what I think you meant by it overriding the rich text rendering). That seems contrary to the logic of setting styles, but again, I could almost accept it if I didn't now switch to the web and see the part show up in Comic Sans MS. I understand about foolish consistency being the hobgoblin of little minds, but that seems like ridiculous behavior.

    Anyway, to answer your questions:

    A) I use it with both Notes and Web apps as part of our CoexEdit samples, but warn people about some of the oddities. CoexEdit fixes some of the oddities for you, so it is a little more usable. I don't use it outside that context.

    B) The two major pain points are that it forces a style in Notes rather than implying a style which can be overwrittem, and that it is so hard to figure out what could be set where. The style is not integrated into the Designer at all. What I would like to see is some properties that would show all styles that apply, in a cascading sense, for whereever the cursor is, as well as a class popup that would let me pick appropriate classes.

    C) I sometimes use pass-through HTML, and sometimes use Midas to generate the HTML the way I want, and sometimes just throw up my hands and scream in agony.

    4Kerr  9/10/2007 9:22:14 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    I pretty much work exclusively with web apps, and use pass-through HTML for almost everything. I use CSS extensively, but only in that context, so I don't give Domino the chance to muck up the results too much.

    5Charles Robinson  9/10/2007 9:31:41 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    I agree 100% with your list of problems. I tried using CSS through the design element properties and ended up so frustrated that I used pass-through HTML instead. I completely gave up on CSS in the Notes client. That was a disastrous exercise in futility for me.

    6Benoit de TARADE  9/10/2007 9:32:24 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    A) I never tried to use CSS options in client mode.

    For web apps I use Ext (and Ext.nd). CSS option is used for standard fields. For more specific fields (g.e., autocompletions or richetext editing) I use ext.Form capabilities.

    B) The pain issue for me, as any other IDE, came from the impossibility to view result. As far as I remember, I never encounter WYSIWYG SERVER web developpment tool.

    C) read A) ;-)

    7Charlie Phillips  9/10/2007 10:03:11 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    A) Web only - haven't had a customer that uses the client since the '90's.

    B) Id's not being set to match the name property by default is a major annoyance and having to run around and set them manually is a real time-waster.

    C) I use a page element for stylesheets because computed text and @BrowserInfo/BrowserType makes it easy to send the right values to the right browser without having to settle for cheesy compromises. Besides, it's a pain in the posterior to make a change to a separate stylesheet, save it, refresh the Shared Resource, and then check to see if my changes are really what I wanted. Pages are much faster and easier.

    8Benoit de TARADE  9/10/2007 10:14:05 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    @7 - Can't you use WebDAV fonctionality?

    9Russ  9/10/2007 10:52:12 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    I use css almost exclusively for the web. We haven't had much luck using it in the client. We are still in 6.5, so maybe this is fixed, but the one thing that drives me batty is the inability to set the attributes in the properties box when multiple items are selected. What I mean is this: If you select all the cells in a table and write a hide-when statement, all the cells now have that hide-when. Very good. If you try to set a class for the cells, however, only the first cell gets the class. So I end up pasting the same class into each cell property box. Talk about tedious...

    10Frank Droege  9/10/2007 12:01:46 PM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    I use CSS a lot in my pet project Chromopolis ({ Link } a Domino-based browser game. I mainly use pages for CSS, but also some of the other places you mentioned - it's all in the mix. But CSS as resource files for me is a no-go. Too hard to maintain when're changing stuff often.

    If I had one wish regarding CSS: Include some sort of preview. It's hard enough to keep the Java Code in Eclipse (via Domiclipse) and switch back and forth, so I'd really love to get rid of TopStyle - a great tool, but a little less ALT-Tabbing would go a long way, at least for me...

    11Jim Knight  9/10/2007 12:26:08 PM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    I sell a Domino framework/CMS so leverage the easy content/document creation of the Notes client while publishing beautiful website using all CSS for layout and now with 7.0.2 XHTML output. I use a document to manage the CSS. I find the css design element annoying for editing. Having to reload etc is annoying - although I can see why it works that way.

    I rarely use individual style tags for fields just because I consider inline styles a no-no. Except for radios and checkboxes and then I add a radio or checkbox class to those.

    I have been frustrated by the client side CSS so really don't use it. Have a notes form and web form for each form.

    I allow users to create content as plain text (around which I can wrap paragraph tags before publishing to the web), html, or rich text.

    The client likes the ability to create the content using rich text but the items that give me the most headaches are:

    - No paragraph tags around the text that publishes to the web unless they are explicitly defined.

    - Various br tags in places I don't want them and without the finishing slash for XHTML.

    - If the user styles the text at all, font tags and color tags publish to the HTML and ignore my styles. I have a button for rich text to convert the text to default sans 10 just to keep the inline fonts from pushing out.

    - If I have a form with fields on it, they publish without the / at the end of the input tag so they won't validate.

    I can live with and can do excellent websites in Domino today (that look nothing like typical Domino sites). But I just would like to have a way to enable the doctype for XHTML which would in turn natively publish paragraph tags around open text, complete open tags with slashes, and disable inline fonts and colors for rich text publishing. If I had that and that alone, it would be enough to allow fully standards based website in Domino with content creation using a pure Notes client. Right now, I'm adding a wysiwyg editor just to keep the HTML produced by the content creators pure.

    It's nice to add all the capability of other web servers but web developers can do a lot with the native functionality of Domino if it could just publish XHTML natively. Even without it, I can compete with other web servers because the customers love the easy content creation. With it, I could compete much better.

    12Baiju Thomas  9/10/2007 1:44:53 PM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    I use CSS extensively in my web applications. The look n feel and layout of the entire application is controlled by CSS. But I don't use the CSS shared resource because of the pain in maintaining and updating it.

    I also don't use much tables in the form. Instead I use div and span for layout of the fields and apply style class only in the upper levels of the div. This way we can avoid specifying class for each individual fields. For example if you want to apply a style for all the text fields in a form, I will have a div with id 'pageContent' and then I can specify a style #pageContent.INPUT. All text fields inside pageContent div will take this style. I utilize the "Cascading" nature of CSS for applying any style so that the classes are applied only to the upper level elements. I don't depend much on the designer for the layout and style of the form and this gives me much more control on how the form in presented in a browser.

    13Michael Bourak  9/10/2007 3:48:08 PM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    - I use CSS a lot for web dev (styling and positioning) as it helps a lot for accessibility to separate content from position and look and feel.

    - Would be cool to use for notes client so we can "skin" easly some notes apps...current support of css in notes client is limited and not much documented (what's supported, what's not)

    The major limitations around css in domino, for me, are :

    - we can not put classes / styles in every design elements (embeded views for exemple)

    - when we can, the input are not computable ones

    - we have no way to specify div and span tags (and give them class / style) in designer (and in rich text fields) except via passthru html

    - we need a css editor cause the current handling of css in designer it too tedious to do.

    14Gerald Mengisen  9/10/2007 3:56:25 PM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    A) Web apps only

    B) Generated HTML Markup that overrides style sheets (e.g. font tags if one doesn't use Default Sans Serif 10)

    C) Use Default Sans Serif 10 :-(

    I second the request @10 - but with Designer in Eclipse (one day), one gets nice things like Web Tools Project or Aptana that help along the way.

    15Samuel deHuszar Allen  9/10/2007 5:42:41 PM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    I don't use CSS in Notes/Domino because I found it was to all over the place in terms of getting the expected results and with the class & id references being all over the place.

    I think the both client and the browser layout and styling should be controlled by CSS files that are kept in an external file or document. Whether to keep separate stylesheets for Web and Client should at least be an option.

    It might be kind of cool to have a styling frameset where you have a CSS pane where you can create rules that you can then see results in a preview frame.

    16Fredrik Stöckel  9/11/2007 3:14:31 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    A) Web apps only

    B) Not being able to set id/class attributes on all design elements.

    Being able to set id and class on all elements makes the css handling ok, it's not perfect because you have to chase down each attribute on every field if you want to add/change a value and it's timeconsuming

    (an overview, or css summary at form/view level would be perfect!).

    17Elijah Lapson  9/11/2007 9:14:32 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    I think everyone has pretty much covered how varied the implementation of CSS can be. I would just like to voice my hope of a simplified ui resolution which could let developers easily identify that there is a style sheet being used within a design element. Like a big Red Flag in a column in designer. Forgive me if it is there an I just have not scrolled over far enough. :)

    Also a single point of entry for editing said style sheet(s). It is so hard to tell where to look for the darn things is it...

    embedded at the top of the form?

    included in the HTML head design area?

    Included in and $$HTML Head field?

    Is it computed somewhere on the form?

    Elijah

    18Patrick Kwinten  9/11/2007 10:17:39 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    I guess you must be a really dinosaur if you do not use CSS in your (WEB) application today (or better: already a few years).

    CSS in Notes applications I don't use since then I have to remember another table - CSS styles NOT supported in Notes.

    Pain points:

    - assigning individual styles to a single element (field, table) can be really hard because the entry field for it is so damn little.

    - also for tables it's hard to set one CSS item (class) for multiple items (rows) at ones, you have to select each individual row/column.

    - no internal css editor available... this works so nine-ties

    19Brian Miller  9/11/2007 10:47:50 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    A)

    The only time I ever use CSS in a Notes app is if I'm kludging a dynamic table by using the "render HTML in Notes" feature. Otherwise, I stay away - the implementation in the Notes client is way broken. I'm not even sure that it's worth trying to fix. After all, you're not actually styling HTML, you're dealing with rich text in CD.

    On the other hand, it's an absolute necessity for web apps.

    B)

    We need an inline editor for CSS. It doesn't have to be topstyle, but we should be able to write css in a design element, just like creating an agent - type in the code, get syntax highlighting (and, if you're feeling energetic, keyword completion), and hit "Save".

    Also, you should be able to put a class and an ID on *everything* that has a web representation, even if it doesn't seem to make sense at the time you're doing it. Plus, I'd like to see some classes and/or IDs that are automatically generated by Domino. If you create an embedded view, for example, the resulting table in HTML should probably get: class="embeddedview [whatever class the user put on it]" id="[name of view? user-defined name?]"

    Ideally, there should also be some kind of visual cue as to what objects have what class or ID.

    C)

    I try to avoid inline style unless I have to use it. If I do have to use it, I'll either one-off it in the tag, or I'll put something in the HTML Header pane. If you've done your application right, though, you won't have to have CSS anywhere but in one place.

    Sometimes, a lot of developers (myself included) will use a Page or Form full of CSS in passthru HTML as a style sheet. The benefit of this technique is that you can use a Computed Text section to use formulas to change the CSS dynamically. Too much of that might drive you nuts, but it can be an elegant way to smooth over browser differences on the server level.

    20Peter Presnell  9/11/2007 11:11:05 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    I would LIKE to use CSS for building Notes applications for a Notes client. But as noted by many people already it is next to impossible to get it to work consistently and exceedingly time consuming to implement.

    21Charlie Phillips  9/11/2007 3:14:29 PM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    @19 - You don't need to use pass-thru; just set your page/form's content type to text/css.

    22Erik Brooks  9/11/2007 11:13:54 PM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    A) Web apps, web apps, web apps.

    B) Reiterating my "stuff to address in NMFR" philosophies:

    Stuff you CURRENTLY CAN'T DO AT ALL:

    - apply styles to everything

    - apply formuliac styles to everything

    Stuff that you can do, but NOT RAD:

    - mass-setting css properties (e.g. table cells as others have mentioned)

    - no live WYSIWYG preview

    - itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny property boxes.

    - having to assign name attributes to things

    Those property boxes drive me crazy. The things need to be *dockable*, supporting multiple monitors, and *static*. Even when disabled. I.E. if I select a field on a form, and bring up the HTML properties tab, I should be able to dock that tab on my second monitor. If I then click on some generic text on the form, the HTML tab (now docked) should gray-out and be disabled since generic text doesn't have HTML properties. If I then click on another field, it should re-enable and "wake up" - staying docked this entire time. I shouldn't have to bring up the field properties *again* and select the HTML tab *again*.

    Oh, and if you let us assign keyboard shortcuts to bring focus to specific property *boxes* on these tabs, you'd make my day. Picture this:

    - click on field

    - ctrl-alt-c causes focus to be placed in "css class" property box

    - change class and GO!

    C) Pages set as text/css. We also use computed text within those pages to handle browser quirks.

    On some highly-dynamic CSS pages we have a subform that has a computed field that renders CSS created via formula with the doc's context.

    I'm not a fan of pass-thru HTML, but at times it is unavoidable. I do prefer it for creating <div> tags since those aren't typically very lengthy and are highlighted nicely in Designer -- but that's of more a convenient coincidence than anything. I would never use them for huge blocks of HTML, such as CSS. If that needed to happen I'd go with computed fields or computed text to help keep things compartmentalized a bit.

    23Andrew Brew  9/12/2007 7:45:45 PM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    A) Web apps, of course, but also client where I can.

    B) Incomplete and inconsistent implementation in the client - it's all been said above. I want ONE place to link to a stylesheet which will then display the same way in both web and client.

    C) Workaround is (mostly) develop everything twice, and not use CSS for most things in Notes : (

    A huge boon would be for Notes to render HTML (including XHTML, CSS etc.) as actual HTML which can be interacted with through js, rather than as a "Rich Text rendering" of what Domino thinks it should look like at load time.

    24Sean Jennings  9/13/2007 9:29:12 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    (a) Never on the Notes client due to the inconsistencies listed-above between the UI in Designer and CSS.

    Try to avoid web apps completely where possible.

    (After coding for the Notes Client, coding for browsers feel like stepping back a generation and coding in assembly language....)

    (b) see all other comments...... The implmentation of CSS in Notes/Domino feel like a kludge.

    The text-properties dialog-box should either be;-

    (1) read-only and refer to the name of a CSS (editable), or

    (2) all the properties should be editable with an option to export them into a distinct CSS resource.

    (c) For web-apps, whatever kludge for this-week's favoured browser.... I.E. (multiple non-compatible versions), Opera, Firefox, Safari, etc,.. ad nauseum.

    25Bob Balaban  9/16/2007 5:44:43 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    Greetings, Geeks! Here comes the usual all-at-once comments, etc.

    @1 - Thanks for the feedback, I think your experience is rather typical (and ths is exactly what we hope to improve in NMFR..)

    @3 - I agree, this does seem weird (the client and web behaviors, not the screaming part)

    @7 - Interesting technique (pages with computed text references), I can see why you'd do it that way.

    @8 - Can you expand on why Webdav helps in this situation?

    @9 - I agree, it shouldn't work that way. I don't know if that has changed in 7 or 8, though.

    @10 - Frank, when you say "include preview", I assume you don't mean Desgn->Preview Web?

    @11 - Valuable feedback, Jim, thanks. I definitely see xhtml in your future, stay tuned!

    @12 - I assume you set your own <div> ids using pass-thru html?

    @17 - Yes, we need to do a better job in Designer of showing you things that are not obvious, as in your example, but also in other cases (for example, where are the hide-whens on the form?)

    @19 - Thanks Brian, great feedback

    @22 - Eclipse! I can say no more at this time... :-)

    26John Smart  9/17/2007 3:40:16 PM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    Extending your question towards "How can Notes/Web development kick ass?"... I can think of a few CSS related ways to make Notes app development be great again:

    1) A full CSS implementation. Do I make a five column table (label, field, spacer, label field) so we can have "two" columns of fields, or do I make one long two-column table (label, field)? With CSS, I could make them side by side and on narrow screens they would automatically reshape to be one right after the other! That would be just the beginning. Take a look at CSS Zen Garden, which shows how the same HTML but different CSS produces fantastic variations. For example, xttp://csszengarden.com/?cssfile=xttp://www.anthonyforsey.com/flower_annimation/sample.css (resizable) vs xttp://csszengarden.com/?cssfile=xttp://www.css-praxis.de/cssocean/zenocean.css (scroll down to the bottom... his flashlight is NOT JavaScript)

    (http changed to xttp to get around your spam filter.)

    Once designed, can you imagine how hard radical changes like that would be in Notes today vs just a CSS change?

    2) DHTML. I'd love to be able to change a field's CSS class in the QuerySave when the field value is invalid.

    3) Allow inserted the css resource name to be formulaic so I can have a formula of @If(@IsDocBeingEdited; "editing.css"; "reading.css")

    27Tom  9/17/2007 3:53:23 PM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    I've never used CSS in notes client applications, however all my development stuff have been web apps for the past few years.

    I also use domino page design elements for my CSS. Mainly for ease of editing them.

    Using Domino's to create HTML from a form design will get you some backwards HTML (transparent gifs in tables etc). So I've been making a conscious effort to not to use it and write my pass through HTML.

    BTW: Thanks for this blog. If the job market near me is any indication I get the feeling that domino as a web development platform is dying out. Whatever happened to "work the web"? Domino can, and should compete directly with .NET asp as a development platform but IBM doesn't seem to be selling it that way.

    28Bob Balaban  9/17/2007 5:11:12 PM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    @26 - Thanks for the suggestions. Stay tuned! You REALLY want to come to Lotusphere08, trust me!

    @27 - I agree with you that Domino should kick some M$ butt, and we're working to make that happen. Stay tuned, and thanks for the feedback

    29Scott Good  9/19/2007 3:55:58 PM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    Sorry I'm a little late to the party...

    CSS in the Notes client? A waste of time (today, at least). On the other hand, ALL our web apps use it extensively. Various thoughts:

    I totally agree you should be able to select a group of objects (the first column of a table, for instance) and set the same class for all the objects without having to touch every one.

    Also, while we're on that, if you have classes/inline css/fonts/etc set in tables, adding a new row should set the same specs in the new cells as in the one you started from. In other words, you have a class set in a cell and fonts and maybe pass-thru HTML...that should all end up in the new row, too.

    It would be great, as suggested previously, to easily define which CSS files are used when. That could be editing vs reading or also IE vs Mozilla vs Safari. Something akin to hide-whens would be fine for that.

    There are a couple of suggestions above regarding standard Domino CSS tags and I think this is a GREAT idea. Maybe there's an option to suppress 'em if you don't want 'em, but I would LOVE to be able to sit down and work out a comprehensive CSS specification that could be applied as the core to every application we make. Oh yeah, and to know it's going to work all the time. Particularly in organizations where they don't have people with much in the way of CSS skills, that would be terrific.

    Oo, oo, and what about something that lets you use the standard Notes rich-text-type form development tools to define the standard look but which, somewhere back in the castle, then generates a style sheet which works with the standard Notes tags to do what you said. OK...might be dreaming a little too hard...but it would be cool! :-)

    You asked about Pass-Thru HTML. I use it almost exclusively simply because I can't stand to look at 10pt Default Sans Serif. When I use Pass-Thru I can highlight different objects in different colors, bold all the ids and classes, and generally organize the page so I can find things better without the server taking all that hard work and screwing up the page when it gets to the browser.

    For what it's worth...

    30Baiju Thomas  9/20/2007 7:30:18 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    Not sure if its a right place to ask this question.I also use pass-thru HTML a lot in my forms. I thought its a better aproach than using a table for form layout because of the following reasons.

    1) As Scott mentioned, more controll while designing

    2) Easy to apply a style/class for a group

    3) No headache for the server while generating the HTML for the page.

    4) Element ID's are visible on the form without checking the tiny property box.

    5) Better positionaing by applying style and so total control on the display in browser.

    6) No dependancy on the HTML generated by domino.

    7) Browser rendering of div/span is faster than table rendering

    But when I saw some comments on this topic, I have a feeling that there is something wrong in my aproach of using Pass-Thru in the forms. Could any body (Nathan..:-)) tell me why the use of Pass-Thru is such a bad idea?

    31Fabian Robok  9/22/2007 7:39:07 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    Agree with most of what's been said about making assigning CSS classes to different objects more easy and more consistent.

    I have not seen this mentioned yet, so I'd like to point out the favorite pet peeves: If you add a CSS resource reference somewhere on the form/page (instead of the HTML Head Content), Domino generates invalid HTML, because the @import clause is not placed in the HTML header, but inside the form element. Adding the resource to the HTML Head Content, plain old HTML notation is used (instead of @import CSS notation (why the difference anyway?) and it is placed in the head section where it belongs.

    Contrary to some, I'm not too unhappy with editing CSS resources the way it is. Not ideal, for sure, but good enough for me. Plus it gives me the flexibility of using different editors, depending on my needs. Should you ever come up with an integrated CSS editor, I feel that it had to match TopStyle Lite at least. I don't see the point in another editor of the same "quality" as the JavaScript editor.

    One more note on using pages containing computed text for CSS: This might have its advantages, but you should stay away from it for performance reasons. You cannot assign a far-ahead expires header to such a resource without breaking it. Handling browser quirks is better done using different style sheets, from my point of view.

    32Betsy Thiede - Notes Geek Groupie  9/26/2007 6:25:07 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    I use CSS in Client applications. I love how I can format information using it in the client. For example, I have computed text that I use for document history. I use in line styles to format it so that I can make certain areas bold and different fonts.

    I also use HTML/CSS in client applications for dynamic tables.

    33Stan Rogers  9/26/2007 4:50:55 PM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    Late to the party, yes. That's me.

    I haven't had a chance to explore CSS in a reasonably current version of the client, so I won't offer an opinion there other than to say that when the client rendering approaches browser rendering, I'd be all over it. I can't see that, though, unless there's a mutable document (as opposed to more-or-less static CD rendering) in the client UI.

    As for the web, the only real sticking point is that style info (whether classes, styles or HTML Attributes) set on field widgets only apply to editable fields in edit mode. Most of the other difficulties described here can be handled by cascade rules. It would be nice if Designer rich text were overridable (it would make a dual-purpose form a LOT easier if client-side CSS remains more-or-less as-is in N7). Along with that, though, one would need a means to mark paragraphs as heading-level elements, and formatted runs (italics, bold, etc.) as semantic elements (defaults as em and strong, but replaceable with cite and so forth).

    34Tanny O’Haley  9/26/2007 8:03:14 PM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    A) Web only.

    B) Poorly formatted HTML.

    Fields do not automatically put the name in the ID field.

    No automatic use of labels for field labels, check boxes and radio buttons.

    Bulleted and numbered lists don't end each item with an end tag.

    Not being able to assign a class to a table row.

    Not being able to assign an ID to a table row.

    Not being able to tell Domino to assign a class to every other row.

    Not being able to set a table cell to use a th heading element instead of a td.

    Not being able to add a tfoot or caption element to a table.

    The extensive use of parameters to define background and foreground color and any other formatting that you might want.

    The use of font tags.

    Improperly formatted script tags.

    The use of the ul element to indent text.

    A paragraph should be a paragraph, not a bunch of text with two br elements.

    Random begin paragraph tags for no apparent reason.

    C) I use pass-thru HTML to add div, label, a (anchor/link/hotspot), and input submit buttons to a form.

    In my CSS I make extensive use of descendant selectors.

    For several years there has been an argument over whether to use HTML or XHTML. Some believe that since IE doesn't natively support XML for XHTML that you shouldn't use XHTML for IE.

    I happen to use HTML 4.01 strict which does the job but still requires well formed HTML. So please allow for HTML 4.01 strict.

    35Mark Vincenzes  9/27/2007 4:43:59 PM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    @34 re "Not being able to set a table cell to use a th heading element instead of a td."

    You can do that in nd 7, if not in the .0 release in one of the early .x releases

    36Tim Siney  10/5/2007 3:52:01 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    I'm also late to the party as usual, but to answer the questions:

    A) I work almost exclusively with web apps but do not use the in built css options

    B) Lack of control, impossibility to edit the css once its in the database without exporting it, its also impossible to tell which fields have classes attached to them and which don't if you use the notes way of doing things. This defficiency can also be applied to hide whens etc but thats a whole other topic of discussion.

    C) All of the stylesheets in the web applications I work with are either placed within pages (or forms) in the database and saved with a .css extension or they are served up directly from the html directory. These are then linked to the in the html head section of the notes

    form. Most of the forms use html to specify the fields rather than notes fields, and either have the class attribute set or are included in the selectors in the css files. The same goes for the layout of the page.

    I don't use css in the client as in my experience it cannot render html/css correctly, so I usually just stick to what I can do using standard notes layout/formatting stuff.

    37Leif  12/2/2007 7:03:56 AM  Who uses CSS in N/D apps today?

    The European Union has declared that all web sites should be accessible. In Sweden 2010 is declared the year that this is to be real.

    { Link }

    It seams that standard Domino web pages can not meet this requirement.