[isf-wifidog] Re: UI and CSS

Benoit Grégoire bock at step.polymtl.ca
Jeu 27 Oct 21:58:47 EDT 2005

On October 27, 2005 05:59 pm, Dana Spiegel wrote:
> Benoit,
> Where are we on the reworking of the MainUI page into a couple of
> container templates?

Not much has advanced.  But we don't need to wait for the great move to a 
master template.  Ultimately it won't change much in and of itself.  What is 
more urgent is to have the ability to place content in different areas of the 
page, so we can get rid of the few ISF-specific pieces of text remaining.  
This has advanced quite a bit.

The idea is to turn everything (online user lists, login interface, etc.) into 
content plugins, so it can be placed anywhere, and different groups have more 
flexibility to play with what they want on their portals, not just how it 
looks.  The main problem is in providing the default elements to a new 
installation, I haven't figured out a clean way to handle that if we move in 
that direction.

> I think that it might be much easier if we just have an external xhtml
> template to use. This way, we can customize such things as below much
> more easily.
> What can I do to help on this?

We'd need you to go back to your notes and list the css id's of the different 
areas on the page.  I'd like to at least have that so I can design the main 

Everyone else:  Offer constructive criticism on how things are currently 
structures, AND specific suggestions on what to replace it with.  Many of the 
simpler suggestions can be integrated right now.

However, keep in mind the following:
-I love CSS zen garden, I have a copy of the book on my desk (very interesting 
read, it will change your perspective on what the zen garden is), however, 
the zen gardens html is simple to read and style because:
	-It's a really trivial page.  A few paragraph of information, and three 
lists. What we are trying to do is a lot more complicated.
	-Everything on the zen garden has an ID, something we simply cannot 
replicate.  For most things you will be limited to classes.
-Even the zen garden has a div right inside a div (linkList and linkList2), 
for the exact same reason as the portal.  Except since our elements can 
repeat a number of times, it can seem like a tag soup, despite the 
descriptive class names.
-You can never really presume of the size of the content that will be 
ultimately displayed in a section. We will however at least try to make it's 
type accessible.
-Content has to be nestable, yet not generally go past the page borders, and 
not wrap either, ruining the layout.  If someone pulls it off without tables, 
I'll be: 1- impressed, 2- really happy

Things we are going to do to make CSS designer's life a little easier:
-Turn the page areas into id's
-Make the type of content displayed accessible as an aditional class on it's 
-Break up the stylesheet so it no longer has to be inline.  One global 
stylesheet, one optional stylesheet per network, one optionnal stylesheet per 
hotspot.  This will allow us to solve the path problem to allow you to play 
with images for special effects.  This will grow into a very simple styling 
Benoit Grégoire, http://benoitg.coeus.ca/
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