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Beta 2 Style Properties Feedback

XenForo

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Staff member
#1
We would like to take this opportunity to solicit feedback on the work we have done so far. Do you think that there are now too many style properties in the following style property groups?
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Or would you prefer to see a much broader set controlling a more macro level of detail? Some of these properties control fairly advanced functionality, and we would like to hear your opinion on the approach we have taken before we commit to applying the same degree of 'style propertisation' to the rest of the system.

Please leave your feedback here, after you have played with the style properties in XenForo 1.0.0 Beta 2.
 

Trip

Active member
#5
Agreed, I haven't had the time to get into every fine detail with the Beta 2 edition yet, I'm still trying to take in all the changes, but I really like the new style variable package so far. It seems everything is right there, even the node-icon size is adjustable right from the variable page (no more template edit)...that's fantastic. The "discussion starter avatar" variable adjustment was a nice touch too. There is no excuse for me now to be able to create a theme for myself or others that I really like.
 

Ryan

Well-known member
#6
The more the merrier? I dunno.

Ok, so I will say, I haven't taken a look at the new properties in Beta 2 yet (other than screenshots), so I don't have any feedback on this specific implementation...but as to "the more, the better" comments, be very wary of those. The fine-grained StyleVars played a huge role in sending vB4 to the crapper. I don't think XenForo is going down that route, but be careful with these suggestions. More does not always mean better. Simple and reusable (inherited values) go a long way.

I also cannot come to a conclusion on this implementation just minutes after the release of the software and am not sure how anybody else can either :)
 

Brentnauer

Well-known member
#7
The more the merrier? I dunno.

Ok, so I will say, I haven't taken a look at the new properties in Beta 2 yet (other than screenshots), so I don't have any feedback on this specific implementation...but as to "the more, the better" comments, be very wary of those. The fine-grained StyleVars played a huge role in sending vB4 to the crapper. I don't think XenForo is going down that route, but be careful with these suggestions. More does not always mean better. Simple and reusable (inherited values) go a long way.

I also cannot come to a conclusion on this implementation just minutes after the release of the software and am not sure how anybody else can either :)
This is true, but the other side to this is how its executed... xenForo nailed it.
 

CyberAP

Well-known member
#8
I think we should have more and more features in the debug mode and the less in the default mode so it won't be so hard to customize for beginners.
 

Kier

XenForo Developer
Staff member
#9
The more the merrier? I dunno.

Ok, so I will say, I haven't taken a look at the new properties in Beta 2 yet (other than screenshots), so I don't have any feedback on this specific implementation...but as to "the more, the better" comments, be very wary of those. The fine-grained StyleVars played a huge role in sending vB4 to the crapper. I don't think XenForo is going down that route, but be careful with these suggestions. More does not always mean better. Simple and reusable (inherited values) go a long way.

I also cannot come to a conclusion on this implementation just minutes after the release of the software and am not sure how anybody else can either :)
Spot on. And it is for this exact reason that we are asking for sensible, considered feedback.
 
#10
The more the merrier? I dunno.

Ok, so I will say, I haven't taken a look at the new properties in Beta 2 yet (other than screenshots), so I don't have any feedback on this specific implementation...but as to "the more, the better" comments, be very wary of those. The fine-grained StyleVars played a huge role in sending vB4 to the crapper. I don't think XenForo is going down that route, but be careful with these suggestions. More does not always mean better. Simple and reusable (inherited values) go a long way.

I also cannot come to a conclusion on this implementation just minutes after the release of the software and am not sure how anybody else can either :)
You beat me to it. I feel the exact same way. This was probably one of the biggest downfalls for vB4.
 

Brentnauer

Well-known member
#11
Alright, maybe "the more the merrier" is a bit of an over-blanketed statement. :D Let me be a little more verbose.

I pounced on this about a minute after the release and have been happily playing with the style properties, making little changes here and there. Everything I want to change seems to be there and I'm completely happy at this point with the changes made.

There IS such a thing as "too many options", but the way I'm seeing it approached says to me that everything being added is carefully thought out and UI/UX is being taken into strong consideration.

I like it, and the more fine-grained they can make it the more I think we'll see xF sites come alive with new and interesting ways to style things. The more they can implement this while keeping the above philosophy in check, the better. E.g, the more the merrier.
 
#12
I haven't really got to dig into all the style properties, but I have updated and looking at some of the ones that are now in there, make me thing you guys have done a fantastic job with this.

With all those options I would have thought it would have been over cluttered, which I hate. BUT you have managed to break them down into the different style property groups. So any admin that doesn't want to mess with the style properties doesn't have to be buried to their head in style properties that they won't use, but they are there for those of us who will use them. I hope that makes sense :/

I love that I can have all that control with out digging. I think it's great guys!
 
F

Floris

Guest
#13
The new extended properties is awesome, it will make upgrading very easy. And makes per style changes very sexy.
But I would hate to think about version 3 where everything is done this way .. feels like it might end up being a lot of clicking in input fields and changing values around and testing, .. where normally i am used to just typing out the css in my textmate client (just to compare)

As long as it doesn't go overboard, and sticks to the commonly requested elements that make sense .. i think it's bloody awesome.
 

Forsaken

Well-known member
#14
I like the style properties, though I prefer to edit CSS directly, and have been doing that for the most part.

As long as I can work mostly with the CSS, I'll be happy :).
 
#15
I also prefer to edit my CSS directly, but I do like this system, and since all the template files are online and aren't file based, this is the perfect system.
 

Shelley

Well-known member
#16
The more the better. Having control over individual areas will be very welcomed indeed and reduce any template edits. Not to mention that fewer means other style areas are being inherited which would result in going into the templates directly (which I haven't got a problem with) but over doing it could have it's negatives as I do quite a bit of direct css editing/adding.

It's a tough one to call though. It's the kind of system that you need to get just right not over doing it but getting the key areas in were modifications can be made. So far I personally love the direction it's going.
 
#17
Would a "simple" and "advanced" mode work for the style properties section? I know not everyone wants to be able to control ever aspect of styling, but some of us definitely do. Even if the style properties are limited, it's not going to stop me from editing the css if I have to.
 

feldon30

Well-known member
#18
When I look at this image:


I have to admit my first reaction was negative. I just don't want to see us go down the same road that vB did with hundreds of StyleVars. CSS is pretty straightforward, and I like to see pure CSS whenever possible.

Is there a large percentage of Forum Administrators who feel uncomfortable working with the following code?
Code:
/* Mini-Me is the small avatar of the current visitor which shows up on discussions in which the visitor has posted. */
width: 20px;
height: 20px;
margin-left: 20px;
padding: 1px;
border: 1px solid black;
Border Radius
I can understand border radius being something that could be a nice Style Property, because it uses border-radius, -webkit-radius, and -moz-border-radius to cover IE9, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Chrome. I would support all the border radiuses in XenForo being stored in a handful of Style Properties. But each DIV or SPAN having its own section? I'm not so sure...

Color Scheme
I also like how XenForo abstracts the major colors used throughout the forum and puts them in a nice control panel. I think color schemes should absolutely be abstracted in this manner.

But when I see borders, margins, padding, and background images for a single DIV, which are all extremely straightforward CSS concepts being split out into 37 style properties, I don't know.


What if I want to use CSS differently than XenForo does? What if I want to define new classes, retire old classes, and really play around with the structure and layout of the site?

I really hope I am totally misinterpreting what Kier and Mike are driving at here, but I originally thought that Style Properties were to easily configure and toggle functionality on a style-by-style basis, as well as quickly change the color schemes of the forum. I didn't think it was to be fill-in forms to customize at the DIV and SPAN level.

I'm looking forward to the spirited and useful discussions in this thread.
 

dutchbb

Well-known member
#19
I'm going to think this over for a while, while playing with it this week...

For now, generally speaking, my opinion is to keep a balance and try to aim for something that offers enough functionality, but does not look too overwhelming and complex to new admins.

Small details should probably be left out where possible...
 

aculate

Well-known member
#20
As a developer myself , i prefer having to play with the CSS directly. As a user: love it!, it is the perfect system. Looking at the screenshots, it looks extremely well done and though off. It's true that stylevars was on of the many reasons vb4 failed miserably... not because of the concept itself but mostly because the concept was poorly developed and wrongly implemented. As for the statement "the more the merrier", i personally prefer 3 visionary developers then 15 + developers that have no idea what the he#$ they're doing...