Updates to FSS

Gary Thompson gary at unicon.net
Fri Feb 18 22:37:58 UTC 2011

Hello Fluid-Workers, 

For those of you who do not know me (Gary Thompson), I was involved in the initial Fluid Academic project as an interaction designer. I work for a company called Unicon that does services around several open-source projects including uPortal and Sakai. Unicon has used Fluid FSS and components in nearly all of its projects since the first release of Infusion. Having implemented FSS numerous times over a variety of platforms and projects, there are some improvements I would like to suggest. 

1. Use of !important statements makes overriding FSS declarations troublesome (results in a requiring a lot of other !important declarations downstream). The suggested fix is to remove all uses of !important and allow normal CSS priority. 

2. Declaration of a global :focus overrides the browser's defualt focus behavior in an undesired manner. Unicon works primarily with higher-education institutions for whom compliance with accessibility law is a big deal. This particular global :focus override issue has come up as a negative with several instiutions that want/need the defualt browser behavior. The suggested fix is to remove the global :focus declaration. 

3. The FSS "fl-fix" declaration is not a complete box model fix. Across a lot of implementations, it has been buggy and required using other solutions. The suggested fix is to use jQuery UI's .ui-helper-clearfix instead (drop fl-fix from FSS entirely) or update fl-fix to whatever .ui-helper-clearfix is using to produce predictable, cross-browser results. 

4. Add a greater range of flex (percentage) layouts. FSS provides most of the standard percentages, but some implementations have required less-standard percentage layouts. The fix is to add more percentage column declarations. 

These issues were discussed in a meeting between Unicon implementors (including Jen Bourey and Matt Polizzotti) and Fluid representatives (Colin, Jess, and Heidi) in December, with agreement to move forward with the suggestions. 

As part of Unicon's uPortal Cooperative Development, UP-2921 has been voted to priority and I have hours to work with Fluid to make these suggested changes to FSS. Before I get started with making these changes in Github, I wanted to see if anyone else has feedback or suggestions. 


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