Inline Edit: empty fields and minimum widths

Anastasia Cheetham a.cheetham at utoronto.ca
Mon Jul 7 14:28:48 UTC 2008


Hi, all,

I've run into a bit of a roadblock implementing a minimum width for an  
empty Inline Edit. I'm hoping someone can offer a suggestion.

The problem is this:

It seems you can't set a minimum width on <span> elements without  
setting them to "display:block" (if anyone knows otherwise, please  
correct me!!).

Why does this matter?

In-line elements (like <span>) are preferable to block-level elements  
in the case where the element is 'in line' with other elements (duh)  
because block-level elements are displayed on their own separate line.  
For an example, see the very last line of the following manual test  
file:

http://build.fluidproject.org/fluid/tests/fluid-tests/manual/inline-edit/InlineEdit.html

This line is broken up into several inline edits. Admittedly, having  
an entire sentence consist of a bunch of inline edits is not  
realistic, but I imagine that having a single inline edit that is  
actually in line with other text would not be out of line.

If these elements in the sample page were created using <div>s, or if  
their 'display' style was set to 'block,' then each chuck would appear  
on a separate line, which would obviously not be desirable.

(Aside: If the Inline Edit is implemented using a <div>, the width  
defaults to the full screen, which is evident if you roll your cursor  
over the very first line of the test page: the highlight is quite  
apparent, and would be so even if the field were empty (so long as a  
min height is set).)

The end result of this is that I can't figure out how to implement a  
guaranteed minimum width for an empty inline edit field.

Any input on how I might do this, or on how important it is to support  
an empty field (i.e. instead of forcing an 'invitation text' display  
in an empty field)?

-- 
Anastasia Cheetham                   a.cheetham at utoronto.ca
Software Designer, Fluid Project    http://fluidproject.org
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre / University of Toronto




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