XForms/Input Field Width

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Motivation[edit]

Sometimes you want to be able to control the field width, even though the default input text scrolls. This can be done for the entire form or for on a field-by-field basis for all input fields within a form. For example if you have three places that a person's last name occurs they can all be controlled by changing a single CSS file that is imported into the form. This CSS file can also be generated directly from an XML Schema or metadata registry using XML transforms.

Screen Image[edit]

Screen Image of CSS controled field widths using the FireFox XForms extension and the .xf-value selector
   <fieldset name="image_info" legend="Image Information">

<field name="subjectWeight" type="text" label="Subject Weight:" maxlength="10" size="15" /><label="Kg"> </filedset>

Discussion[edit]

There are many tradeoffs as to where to put form width information. Ideally it would be generated by a script from a metadata registry. One of the questions concerns if a data element length should only have a default recommended value in a semantic registry and the actual constraints be stored in a constraint schema. We all know that zip codes should be 5 or 9 digits and that a 12 digit zip code may only have meaning in a specific context.

This example has been tested using the FireFox browser. The use of the .xf-value class selector may not work on other systems.

Note:
Inline styles within an input field:

<xf:input style=".xf-value {width: 10em}">

does not work.

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