Sometime around 7/5/10 (at 14:16 -0400) LauraB said:
I’m nowhere near to using a box model at this stage in my Freeway
usage, but not just because doing box models sounds terribly
daunting and unwieldy.
The so-called box-model approach to page construction offers some
advantages in terms of end delivery page behaviour in the browser.
Constructing these things, however, isn’t exactly simple.
In hand-coding terms, it does mean thinking of things at a slightly
more in-depth (and intense) level than ‘ordinary’ div object
In Freeway terms it means using a process that’s essentially there as
a result of other features, not something that’s been explicitly
designed from the start as a way of creating whole layouts. That’s
why moving from standard, DTP-style layout methods to the box model
method is such a painful transition. (BTW, ‘box model’ is,
apparently, not an entirely accurate term, but that’s another
Personally, I find the whole method of building this kind of layout
so intensely distasteful and fragile that I almost never do it. It
feels counter-intuitive and it most certainly is fragile, prone to
breaking if you try to adjust things in some mysteriously ‘wrong’
way. It is damn clever stuff, but it is exploiting features in ways
that I’m sure weren’t entirely intended. Which explains the rough,
Frankly, I’m more likely to make this kind of relative object layout
in code than in Freeway. I like to feel confident that I can rejig a
layout without worrying that I might having to rebuild it from
scratch. That seems to be a risk with things as they are.
Before this new way of making layouts was possible in Freeway, the
answer to the problem of text pushing across other things was to
design with a bit of expansion in mind. This is still a viable
approach. If you’re making templates for CMS-based sites (where
different amounts of content might be poured into a single layout)
then constructions that resize relative to each other is important.
But, for most static-content sites, allowing some breathing space
around objects will accommodate reasonable levels of text expansion.
So - the so-called box model construction is as relevant as ever, in
particular for database-driven sites. But making these in Freeway
means exploiting features not originally created for this. And the
result is that if you like ongoing ‘rethink’ freedom in your site
designs then the effort needed to make this kind of layout may be
more than it is worth.
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