Externalize

Now that FW has better external stylesheet features is it still necessary to have the Externalize action on the page or not?

What is the the option all round.

Thanks


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The official reading?

Those “tools” won’t work anymore.

Thomas’ opinion?

If I had the choice (and I would pay money for it), I’d always choose the “leave it with the user” option instead of that annoying and useless machinery externalizing.

Cheers

Thomas


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Same here, just the fact that you’re being put up with dozens of stylesheets for just one site freaks me out big time.


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I would tend to agree, but I always get asked to remove as much inline styling as possible. Personally it has never been an issue either way, but different SEO consultants and services not to mention other developers I work with, all say ‘it’s a shame you’re using inline styles’.

If FW didn’t create loads of css files, but only 1 then it wouldn’t be such an issue I’m guessing. Plus, it doesn’t externalize all inline styles anyway so it is a half-hearted process.


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Here’s a quickie PHP solution to this problem. Please read the following disclaimers:

  1. It works on my server, quickly and without error. It may not on yours.
  2. It relies on your server having write privileges to your css folder (slight security risk).
  3. It doesn’t concatenate all stylesheets into a single sheet and use that everywhere, because Freeway doesn’t work in a site-unique manner. So the very best it can do is create a single sheet for the page, with all sheets and head styles from the page within that sheet. Yes, that’s one sheet per page, no re-use between pages. It is sad, I agree.

To use, download the two files at this gist, and place both of them at the root of your Web server (or within a subfolder where you want to place your entire site):

https://gist.github.com/walterdavis/5621485

Note that you’ll need to rename the .htaccess file on your server, if you don’t know how to do that, this isn’t a good solution for you. Wear your propeller-beanie hat and a static discharge wrist-strap at all times.

Use an FTP tool to set the /css folder at the top of your site to world-writable permissions (777).

Read the comments in the .htaccess file, and experiment with the different options until you don’t get a server error when you visit a page in your site.

The following settings in Freeway will make this the most likely to work:

  • More Readable
  • Unix linefeeds
  • External stylesheets (optional)
  • Common Resources folder

Walter


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If FW didn’t create loads of css files, but only 1 then it wouldn’t be such an issue I’m guessing. Plus, it doesn’t externalize all inline styles anyway so it is a half-hearted process.

Actually, Freeway does externalize all the CSS, unless an action dictates that its CSS is inline or in the page .


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I created this Action to specifically address the need to extract as much CSS and JS code from the core HTML page as I possibly could. Thankfully Freeway 6 moves us much closer to where I’d like to see the application be with the option to save CSS styles in an external stylesheet but, IMHO, it isn’t quite there yet. As some of you will know I’ve been working on Externalize for a while now in the hope of adding the one feature everyone wants; a single, site-wide, stylesheet for their projects. Sadly that isn’t going to happen anytime soon as I’ve tried on several occasions to get the Action to consolidate styles over the scope of an entire site without success. I’m sure it is possible but making sure the file paths to the resources are all maintained as well as how to manage conflicting styles is an uphill struggle.

Anyway, what I’ve done is to upload the latest version of the Action to ActionsForge (http://actionsforge.com/actions/view/301-externalize). This version takes the basic features that I’m sure most of you are aware of in the last public version (Externalize) and adds options to allow you to easily extract all of the styles from your site, manually consolidate these, and then link them back into the site via the Action. The workflow isn’t fully automated as it does require you to manually merge styles (if you want to produce a single stylesheet) but it should allow you to easily combine and edit them in CSSEdit or BBedit (for example) and round trip them back into Freeway.

There are also a number of features with the Action that deal with CSS styles added to the page by the likes of the CSS Menus Action which will steadfastly refuse to add the styles to an external stylesheet even in Freeway 6.

I’ve been using the Action on my own sites for the last few months and it appears to work well once you’ve finished the design stage and are ready to optimise a site.

I think this is as close as I can personally get this Action to produce a single stylesheet web site without a major brain refit and a shed load of coffee! Let me know if it breaks any of your sites! :slight_smile:
Regards,
Tim.

FreewayActions.com - Freeware and commercial Actions for Freeway Express & Pro - http://www.freewayactions.com


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This new action does has some really nice features, especially the potential of a less stylesheets - looking forward to giving it a whirl.


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Thanks. Max spotted a bug in the interface which meant that choosing an option would (incorrectly) disable most of the Action interface. I’ve corrected that now so go and grab version 1.9.6b;
http://actionsforge.com/actions/view/301-externalize
Thanks,
Tim.

On 22 May 2013, at 08:56, BigG wrote:

This new action does has some really nice features, especially the potential of a less stylesheets - looking forward to giving it a whirl.


FreewayActions.com - Freeware and commercial Actions for Freeway Express & Pro - http://www.freewayactions.com


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Hi guys,

without looking at it, cool and promising. Think we should by Tim a couple of pints, don’t we?

So what tool would I use to turn #ID into .class(es)? Cause then, we would be close to the point where we had been in late 5.6.5.

If Max is in as well:

The problem on the pervious Externalize was, that it didn’t work with the WebYep SEO Action (or at least not for me).

So let’s hope that it’ll work for me with the latest.

Cheers

Thomas


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Hi Thomas Ive got the id to class action working did I not send it to you?
obviously not…
when I get home I will send it over
speak soon max


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The reason why the webyep seo action wont work properly after the externalise action is applied is because I use a bit of php code to hide or reveal an extra css attribute to the page if the site is in edit mode and if that style has been moved to an external style sheet it wont be adjusted by the code… the only way it may work is if move that style back as an inline style again which is hidden if webyep is not unlocked… I would have to look at it to see if this will work because even then it still be moved outside the page

speak soon max


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On 22 May 2013, 4:19 pm, max wrote:

Hi Thomas Ive got the id to class action working did I not send it to you?
obviously not…
when I get home I will send it over
speak soon max

Hi Max,

you did (even an updated) - so it’s for sure my mistake (arrgnn) - but I haven’t had the time and brain for it so far.

So yours for the first step and Tim’s for the second?

The WY Seo stuff would be really important to run so I’m really curious about your results.

Cheers

Thomas


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Hi Thomas
no its not your mistake but mine… part of the seo action wasn’t compatible with Tims externalize action… but I have just amended it so it works correctly with Tims Externalizer.
I will send you both actions to you later tonight
speak soon max


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