Re: Urgent: container form controls and display:block

Hi John,

But if you wanted rows in a table, you wouldn't need to make the
xf:repeat itself a block, you would simply make the 'groups' used for
each row into blocks. And even then, the easiest way to define that is
to set the default style for ::repeat item, since the groups might not
actually exist. (I.e., they are notional.)

The one I'm more concerned about though, is xf:group, since a common
use of xf:group is to do nothing more than provide an evaluation
context for further controls. This means that 'out of the box' XForms
should make the following two techniques indistinguishable:


  <xf:input ref="contact/firstname">
    <xf:label>First name</xf:label>

  <xf:input ref="contact/surname">


  <xf:group ref="contact">
    <xf:input ref="firstname">
      <xf:label>First name</xf:label>

    <xf:input ref="surname">

However, I think it would be confusing for people if the addition of a
xf:group to a form simply to allow for shorter XPath expressions was
to also change the layout.

I don't think the same applies to xf:switch/xf:case, so I don't really
mind which way they go (although as I said on the call yesterday,
since none of them are 'block level' in the proper meaning of the term
I think 'inline' is more appropriate).

So to recap, how about we stick with 'inline' for the elements--or at
least for xf:group--but we set the default style of ::repeat-item to
be a block. I think your justification for this--that, as you say, the
most common use-case for repeat will be 'rows'--is almost certainly



  Mark Birbeck, formsPlayer | +44 (0) 20 7689 9232 |

  standards. innovation.

On 01/11/2007, John Boyer <> wrote:
> Just trying to finish up the last few LC comments, and the one from Steven
> about default styling of form controls is posing a bit of a problem for me.
> I am having a really hard time "living with" display:inline as the default
> for container form controls because it seems to mean that everyone *must*
> use styling to make a simple repeat behave as we all expect it to behave.
> Granted that there are cases where it can be beneficial to have a group,
> switch or repeat styled as inline, but these controls, as containers are
> generally big box-like things that you tend to want to put things above and
> below far more often than next to.
> In particular, consider the reasonable default behavior of a repeat.  Each
> repeat object is a group.  We tend to expect each repeat object to be a
> "row" of the table, which means we vertically stack the repeat object
> groups.  Hence, these groups need to be display:block.
> It seems like the best default styling is display:inline for Core Form
> Controls, and display:block for Container Form Controls.
> Is anyone not OK with that?
> Steven, what do you think?
> John M. Boyer, Ph.D.
>  STSM: Lotus Forms Architect and Researcher
>  Chair, W3C Forms Working Group
>  Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software
>  IBM Victoria Software Lab
>  E-Mail:
>  Blog:

Received on Thursday, 1 November 2007 17:56:00 UTC