Updates to FSS

Colin Clark colinbdclark at gmail.com
Wed Feb 23 22:50:37 UTC 2011

Hey Gary,

We're all super excited that you're able to lend a hand with FSS, and it's such good timing! The main goal for Infusion 1.4, which we're starting on tomorrow, is to substantially improve both FSS and UI Options.

James has posted his latest draft wireframes for UI Options on the wiki, in case you're curious:


Some further comments inline...

On 2011-02-18, at 5:37 PM, Gary Thompson wrote:

> 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.

My understanding is that many of the !importants in FSS were originally added for UI Options' sake. It was a quick hack at the time, ensuring that UI Options could successfully override critical styles on any page by simply swapping a few class names in the document.

It was never a scalable solution, and I agree that we should remove all instances of !important in the FSS. While we're doing this work, let's coordinate it with the development of a new strategy in UI Options. Michelle and I have started to mull it over, but ideas and suggestions are very welcome.

> 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.

This is an interesting one. We added this default focus style specifically to improve accessibility. I think there are a few bugs in the implementation, however. The question is, do we want to remove this default altogether as you suggest, or come up with a bug-free and more subtle solution?

One of the main principles of WCAG 2.0 is to ensure Web content is perceivable to a variety of users. I think our original concern was that the default focus styling of most browsers was too subtle to be noticeable in many cases. I'm thinking, for example, of when users focus each portlet in uPortal with the Reorderer. In such a busy UI, would the browser's default focus styling be sufficient to make it immediately apparent which portlet is currently focused? What are your thoughts on the issue?

Perhaps the best solution is to provide a variety of workable focus highlights and include them as options in the FSS rather than in the base reset file?
Other ideas/opinions?

> 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.

Let us know how we can help,


Colin Clark
Technical Lead, Fluid Project

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