Embed design elements rather than use images

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Embed design elements rather than use images

SQville
Community,

Want to get your general thoughts on something. I have a love-hate relationship with images. I don't like the fact that image loading is not in my total control. I have an approach that changes this. I will keep this short and provide code examples for you to reference and/or step through at your convenience.

Goal: Embed the small decorator images found in resource folders (such as triangles, checks, dots, lines and boxes) into qx code using qx decoration entries and/or CSS/CSS3 code.

Purposes: 1) reduce number of http calls  2) enhance UX of apps - CSS is fast and native

Code: 
See the comments to image references lines - I noted which images i replaced with code https://github.com/sqville/sqv/blob/master/source/class/sqv/theme/clean/Image.js

Mixin to enable before and after psudo elements and CSS3 functionality
https://github.com/sqville/sqv/blob/master/source/class/sqv/ui/decoration/MCssIcon.js

Appearance entry changes: around lines 1264 and 1308
https://github.com/sqville/sqv/blob/master/source/class/sqv/theme/clean/Appearance.js

Decorator entry changes: see line 1901
https://github.com/sqville/sqv/blob/master/source/class/sqv/theme/clean/Decoration.js

In Summary:
Question: Why?  Answer: Why not? :-)

SQ

 

dev
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Re: Embed design elements rather than use images

dev
SQ,

The idea is good.
What about presenting a compatibility table too?
Then the question is what browsers and their versions should be compatible else there will be a code overload?
Any impact on speed in any dimension?
Do you have a full testing version?
Do you have any test cases with timers etc?
What else do we need to research here?

Stefan

> Community,
>
> Want to get your general thoughts on something. I have a love-hate
> relationship with images. I don't like the fact that image loading is not in
> my total control. I have an approach that changes this. I will keep this
> short and provide code examples for you to reference and/or step through at
> your convenience.
>
> *Goal:* Embed the small decorator images found in resource folders (such as
> triangles, checks, dots, lines and boxes) into qx code using qx decoration
> entries and/or CSS/CSS3 code.
>
> *Purposes:* 1) reduce number of http calls  2) enhance UX of apps - CSS is
> fast and native
>
> *Code:*
> See the comments to image references lines - I noted which images i replaced
> with code
> https://github.com/sqville/sqv/blob/master/source/class/sqv/theme/clean/Image.js
>
> Mixin to enable before and after psudo elements and CSS3 functionality
> https://github.com/sqville/sqv/blob/master/source/class/sqv/ui/decoration/MCssIcon.js
>
> Appearance entry changes: around lines 1264 and 1308
> https://github.com/sqville/sqv/blob/master/source/class/sqv/theme/clean/Appearance.js
>
> Decorator entry changes: see line 1901
> https://github.com/sqville/sqv/blob/master/source/class/sqv/theme/clean/Decoration.js
>
> *In Summary:*
> Question: Why?  Answer: Why not? :-)
>
> SQ
>
>  
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> View this message in context: http://qooxdoo.678.n2.nabble.com/Embed-design-elements-rather-than-use-images-tp7588132.html
> Sent from the qooxdoo mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>
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Re: Embed design elements rather than use images

SQville
Excellent thoughts Stefan!

My quick thoughts on your questions (please point out holes in my logic where you see them):

Take the list of images in this file (https://github.com/sqville/sqv/blob/master/source/class/sqv/theme/clean/Image.js) as the official list of images that I am going to convert to code. Now i will break down the list by approach:

1) 5% of images can be converted to standard qx decorator entries (Low impact on performance; Standard qx functionality; "Very Safe"). Standard qx testing approaches apply.
An example is a simple box. A simple box can be rendered by setting border values
2) The rest of the images will need psudo elements (after and before) to render and will use standard CSS functionality (no CSS3). Addition of the CSS elements and rules will use qx's existing approach and cross browser checks (i.e. qx.core.Environment). Medium impact on performance; Uses prescribed qx functionality; Increases overall file size; "Safe" (in my opinion)
3) Mix of #1, #2 + CSS3 - Since CSS3 is in the mix, here is where your full list of thoughts apply. Low to High impact on performance. Larger file size if heavy CSS3 animation is utilized. Broad browser coverage enabled by qx.core.Environment checks. Browser compatibility limited by browser's CSS3 handling capabilities.

Research topics:
 - How "CSSImages" (which i am calling this for now) impacts the Image object's parent object (Atom, Button, etc.)
 - These new "CSSImages" become small little islands of CSS code, unreachable by theme code - Is this proper?
 - Can this be better handled using an external .css file referenced in the app's config.json file (i.e. like qx.Mobile css handling using getCssClass() function within Application code)?

We've reached the end of my work here. Any thoughts beyond this point is new territory :-)

SQ
dev
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Re: Embed design elements rather than use images

dev
SQ,

> Excellent thoughts Stefan!
>
> My quick thoughts on your questions (please point out holes in my logic
> where you see them):
>
> Take the list of images in this file
> (https://github.com/sqville/sqv/blob/master/source/class/sqv/theme/clean/Image.js)
> as the official list of images that I am going to convert to code. Now i
> will break down the list by approach:
>
> 1) 5% of images can be converted to standard qx decorator entries (Low
> impact on performance; Standard qx functionality; *"Very Safe"*). Standard
> qx testing approaches apply.
> An example is a simple box. A simple box can be rendered by setting border
> values

this is good -> embedded

> 2) The rest of the images will need psudo elements (after and before) to
> render and will use standard CSS functionality (no CSS3). Addition of the
> CSS elements and rules will use qx's existing approach and cross browser
> checks (i.e. qx.core.Environment). Medium impact on performance; Uses
> prescribed qx functionality; Increases overall file size; *"Safe" (in my
> opinion)*

it is ok too -> embedded

> 3) Mix of #1, #2 + CSS3 - Since CSS3 is in the mix, here is where your full
> list of thoughts apply. Low to High impact on performance. Larger file size
> if heavy CSS3 animation is utilized. Broad browser coverage enabled by
> qx.core.Environment checks. Browser compatibility limited by browser's CSS3
> handling capabilities.

must be measured -> compare standard qooxdoo with the same number of classes with a forked and changed qooxdoo

> Research topics:
>  - How "CSSImages" (which i am calling this for now) impacts the Image
> object's parent object (Atom, Button, etc.)

important question

>  - These new "CSSImages" become small little islands of CSS code,
> unreachable by theme code - Is this proper?

rather...
can themes still be developed...?
does it break the existing theme chain and how exactly?

>  - Can this be better handled using an external .css file referenced in the
> app's config.json file (i.e. like qx.Mobile css handling using getCssClass()
> function within Application code)?

outside -> not embedded ...I don't like this approach! ...by the way you step out of your initial bothering of massive load of images instead of local rendering

> We've reached the end of my work here. Any thoughts beyond this point is new
> territory :-)

The best way to test the idea and measure it is to...
- fork qooxdoo
- make changes -> local rendering
- measure and compare standard qooxdoo with forked one

What does the rest of the community say?
Is this something we should put energy into?
In case of a positive answer from community...are you SQ ready to make a test fork?

Stefan

> SQ
>
>
>
> --
> View this message in context: http://qooxdoo.678.n2.nabble.com/Embed-design-elements-rather-than-use-images-tp7588132p7588135.html
> Sent from the qooxdoo mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>
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Re: Embed design elements rather than use images

dev
In reply to this post by SQville
one important thing here...

the benefit of local rendering is support of accessibility - making your GUI usable by people with disabilities

This is a very important improvement!

Many users, even those not visually impaired, benefit from magnification of text and graphics. However, without magnification, a visually impaired user may not be able to access and use the program at all.

- Provide the ability for the user to magnify the work area.
- Provide options in the application to scale the work area. Users need to have an option to magnify the work area 150% to 400% or more. Test the application to confirm the object you are viewing is not affected by changing the magnification settings.

...amongst others..

Source: https://developer.gnome.org/accessibility-devel-guide/stable/gad-ui-guidelines.html.en

Stefan

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Re: Embed design elements rather than use images

John Spackman
Have you looked at combining multiple images into one?  This would allow a similar drastic reduction in resource requests.  There are features in qooxdoo to support this  - although it's been a while since I've looked at it so while there may well be ways support for this can improve.
 
However I do like the CSS approach, and can see that there would be plenty of occasions where CSS is more appropriate (or useful) than images.  From reading your code, this is something that works quite happily without changes to Qooxdoo itself?  And so therefore the changes to Qooxdoo would be just to implement the icons as CSS, provided that the new decorator was available, which would amount to a new theme?
 
In which case it sounds like something that would be fairly easy to test and evaluate as integration into one or more themes; as Stefan suggests, please can you create a fork with a branch so that we can try it out?  
 
Regards
John
 

From: [hidden email]
Sent: Saturday, February 27, 2016 6:28 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [qooxdoo-devel] Embed design elements rather than use images
 
one important thing here...

the benefit of local rendering is support of accessibility - making your GUI usable by people with disabilities

This is a very important improvement!

Many users, even those not visually impaired, benefit from magnification of text and graphics. However, without magnification, a visually impaired user may not be able to access and use the program at all.

- Provide the ability for the user to magnify the work area.
- Provide options in the application to scale the work area. Users need to have an option to magnify the work area 150% to 400% or more. Test the application to confirm the object you are viewing is not affected by changing the magnification settings.

...amongst others..

Source: https://developer.gnome.org/accessibility-devel-guide/stable/gad-ui-guidelines.html.en

Stefan

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Re: Embed design elements rather than use images

Dietrich Streifert
In reply to this post by SQville
Hi SQ, (Chris?),

very interesting approach to use css for creating the icon images. I
think this is meant to be used for icons in standard buttons e.g. radio
button and check box?

I have some qooxdoo apps which have forms with really (I mean really!) a
lot of radio buttons and check boxes which also "suffer" from the "bold"
implementation of the standard buttons in the current version.

What I tried to do is to pre load all images / accompanied with cache
settings for the corresponding http request answers from the web server
(apache), so that on button creation or state change images are loaded
from browser cache. This reduced tremendous the server requests related
to images.

Just want to mention another potential possibility which I implemented
for radio buttons and check boxes:

In the current implementation buttons derive from atom, which uses three
div elements to render the button. I've did an alternative
implementation which only uses one div, using css background image,
margin and padding manipulations to render the button icon. The
implementation is currently incomplete, as it only supports the icon
being placed on the left side of the button. I would name it "a hack".

This helped a lot reducing the time for the first rendering of the
complex form, especially because of the reduced div elements needed, the
biggest gain on internet explorer.

It would be very interesting to see if the "reduced number of div"
implementation is somehow combinable with your idea, What would mean
that we must be able to restrict the CSS rendering to the appropriate
button side.

Another idea I had is to use pseudo elements :after and :before and to
use herein (though I don't know currently if this is possible) web icon
fonts where the icon font character is determined by the content css
attribute, which also would reduce the number of requests as the font is
loaded only once, containing all needed button state icons.

Regards
Dietrich




Am 26.02.2016 um 20:07 schrieb SQville:

> Community,
>
> Want to get your general thoughts on something. I have a love-hate
> relationship with images. I don't like the fact that image loading is not in
> my total control. I have an approach that changes this. I will keep this
> short and provide code examples for you to reference and/or step through at
> your convenience.
>
> *Goal:* Embed the small decorator images found in resource folders (such as
> triangles, checks, dots, lines and boxes) into qx code using qx decoration
> entries and/or CSS/CSS3 code.
>
> *Purposes:* 1) reduce number of http calls  2) enhance UX of apps - CSS is
> fast and native
>
> *Code:*
> See the comments to image references lines - I noted which images i replaced
> with code
> https://github.com/sqville/sqv/blob/master/source/class/sqv/theme/clean/Image.js
>
> Mixin to enable before and after psudo elements and CSS3 functionality
> https://github.com/sqville/sqv/blob/master/source/class/sqv/ui/decoration/MCssIcon.js
>
> Appearance entry changes: around lines 1264 and 1308
> https://github.com/sqville/sqv/blob/master/source/class/sqv/theme/clean/Appearance.js
>
> Decorator entry changes: see line 1901
> https://github.com/sqville/sqv/blob/master/source/class/sqv/theme/clean/Decoration.js
>
> *In Summary:*
> Question: Why?  Answer: Why not? :-)
>
> SQ
>
>  
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> View this message in context: http://qooxdoo.678.n2.nabble.com/Embed-design-elements-rather-than-use-images-tp7588132.html
> Sent from the qooxdoo mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Re: Embed design elements rather than use images

oetiker
Dietrich,

Today Dietrich Streifert wrote:

> Hi SQ, (Chris?),
>
> very interesting approach to use css for creating the icon images. I
> think this is meant to be used for icons in standard buttons e.g. radio
> button and check box?
>
> I have some qooxdoo apps which have forms with really (I mean really!) a
> lot of radio buttons and check boxes which also "suffer" from the "bold"
> implementation of the standard buttons in the current version.
>
> What I tried to do is to pre load all images / accompanied with cache
> settings for the corresponding http request answers from the web server
> (apache), so that on button creation or state change images are loaded
> from browser cache. This reduced tremendous the server requests related
> to images.
>
> Just want to mention another potential possibility which I implemented
> for radio buttons and check boxes:
>
> In the current implementation buttons derive from atom, which uses three
> div elements to render the button. I've did an alternative
> implementation which only uses one div, using css background image,
> margin and padding manipulations to render the button icon. The
> implementation is currently incomplete, as it only supports the icon
> being placed on the left side of the button. I would name it "a hack".
>
> This helped a lot reducing the time for the first rendering of the
> complex form, especially because of the reduced div elements needed, the
> biggest gain on internet explorer.
>
> It would be very interesting to see if the "reduced number of div"
> implementation is somehow combinable with your idea, What would mean
> that we must be able to restrict the CSS rendering to the appropriate
> button side.
>
> Another idea I had is to use pseudo elements :after and :before and to
> use herein (though I don't know currently if this is possible) web icon
> fonts where the icon font character is determined by the content css
> attribute, which also would reduce the number of requests as the font is
> loaded only once, containing all needed button state icons.

not sure I followed all the arguments properly ... but what is the
problem of using https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_URI_scheme to
minimize calls ? coupled with the css background image aproach this
should be pretty 'lite' I think ...

cheers
tobi



> Regards
> Dietrich
>
>
>
>
> Am 26.02.2016 um 20:07 schrieb SQville:
> > Community,
> >
> > Want to get your general thoughts on something. I have a love-hate
> > relationship with images. I don't like the fact that image loading is not in
> > my total control. I have an approach that changes this. I will keep this
> > short and provide code examples for you to reference and/or step through at
> > your convenience.
> >
> > *Goal:* Embed the small decorator images found in resource folders (such as
> > triangles, checks, dots, lines and boxes) into qx code using qx decoration
> > entries and/or CSS/CSS3 code.
> >
> > *Purposes:* 1) reduce number of http calls  2) enhance UX of apps - CSS is
> > fast and native
> >
> > *Code:*
> > See the comments to image references lines - I noted which images i replaced
> > with code
> > https://github.com/sqville/sqv/blob/master/source/class/sqv/theme/clean/Image.js
> >
> > Mixin to enable before and after psudo elements and CSS3 functionality
> > https://github.com/sqville/sqv/blob/master/source/class/sqv/ui/decoration/MCssIcon.js
> >
> > Appearance entry changes: around lines 1264 and 1308
> > https://github.com/sqville/sqv/blob/master/source/class/sqv/theme/clean/Appearance.js
> >
> > Decorator entry changes: see line 1901
> > https://github.com/sqville/sqv/blob/master/source/class/sqv/theme/clean/Decoration.js
> >
> > *In Summary:*
> > Question: Why?  Answer: Why not? :-)
> >
> > SQ
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > View this message in context: http://qooxdoo.678.n2.nabble.com/Embed-design-elements-rather-than-use-images-tp7588132.html
> > Sent from the qooxdoo mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Site24x7 APM Insight: Get Deep Visibility into Application Performance
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>
>
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--
Tobi Oetiker, OETIKER+PARTNER AG, Aarweg 15 CH-4600 Olten, Switzerland
www.oetiker.ch [hidden email] +41 62 775 9902


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Re: Embed design elements rather than use images

Dietrich Streifert
Hi Tobi,

That would be another option, that's right.

But what about sharing the uri between widget instances? I suppose we
then have to use css classes with apropriate data uri defined for each
state?

But my message was not only about call minimization, but also related to
dom element minimization.

Regards
Dietrich


Am 29.02.2016 um 13:48 schrieb Tobias Oetiker:

> Dietrich,
>
> not sure I followed all the arguments properly ... but what is the
> problem of using https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_URI_scheme to
> minimize calls ? coupled with the css background image aproach this
> should be pretty 'lite' I think ...
>
> cheers
> tobi
>
>
>


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Re: Embed design elements rather than use images

Adrian Haarbach-2
Hi all,

Web icon fonts seem to be the new trend (nice article: http://alistapart.com/article/the-era-of-symbol-fonts) regarding further optimization of image loading performance and also image quality (i.e. vector vs raster images), especially needed for the higher (retina, 4k) screen resolutions of today's desktop hardware.

This is why I really like Dietrichs' last idea of using web icon fonts:

Another idea I had is to use pseudo elements :after and :before and to
use herein (though I don't know currently if this is possible) web icon
fonts where the icon font character is determined by the content css
attribute, which also would reduce the number of requests as the font is
loaded only once, containing all needed button state icons.

I think SQ had a similar idea in the thread named:
  [qooxdoo-devel] FontAwesome font icons for qx.Desktop.

Once I am able to patch qx.basic.Image to use symbol fonts rather than (png) images, I will post my results on the other thread!

Adrian



2016-02-29 14:23 GMT+01:00 Dietrich Streifert <[hidden email]>:
Hi Tobi,

That would be another option, that's right.

But what about sharing the uri between widget instances? I suppose we
then have to use css classes with apropriate data uri defined for each
state?

But my message was not only about call minimization, but also related to
dom element minimization.

Regards
Dietrich


Am 29.02.2016 um 13:48 schrieb Tobias Oetiker:
> Dietrich,
>
> not sure I followed all the arguments properly ... but what is the
> problem of using https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_URI_scheme to
> minimize calls ? coupled with the css background image aproach this
> should be pretty 'lite' I think ...
>
> cheers
> tobi
>
>
>


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Re: Embed design elements rather than use images

oetiker
In reply to this post by Dietrich Streifert
Hi Dietrich,

Today Dietrich Streifert wrote:

> Hi Tobi,
>
> That would be another option, that's right.
>
> But what about sharing the uri between widget instances? I suppose we
> then have to use css classes with apropriate data uri defined for each
> state?

in order to NOT have to copy the same DATA uri multiple times, you
could setup a css rule on the fly with the name of the embedded
image and then assign the class to the div in order to have to only
embedd the data uri once ...

but I agree with the other poster that icon fonts are much cooler
if the design does not call for icons rgb colors ...

> But my message was not only about call minimization, but also related to
> dom element minimization.

yes ...

cheers
tobi

>
> Regards
> Dietrich
>
>
> Am 29.02.2016 um 13:48 schrieb Tobias Oetiker:
> > Dietrich,
> >
> > not sure I followed all the arguments properly ... but what is the
> > problem of using https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_URI_scheme to
> > minimize calls ? coupled with the css background image aproach this
> > should be pretty 'lite' I think ...
> >
> > cheers
> > tobi
> >
> >
> >
>
>
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>

--
Tobi Oetiker, OETIKER+PARTNER AG, Aarweg 15 CH-4600 Olten, Switzerland
www.oetiker.ch [hidden email] +41 62 775 9902


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Re: Embed design elements rather than use images

Dietrich Streifert
In reply to this post by Adrian Haarbach-2
Hi Adrian,

I'll go for the future definitely with icon fonts regarding the "standard" buttons like check box and radio box, maybe with additional css to style focus states etc. For colourful icons I'll maybe use svg in conjunction with the data uri.

For the theme (aristo) I'm using, I will loose the fat/3d button look and will replace it via a flat material design oriented look for the check box and radio box buttons.

Still I'll have to wait a bit until IE8/9 really dies, as I have very conservative customers, because all this will not work in IE8/9 (I think).

But what I also want to bring up again is the reduction of the check box and radio box widgets from now 3 dom elements (based on atom) to a new layout only using one dom element or one dom element and one pseudo element. But this change may break compatibility with the current implementation.

Regards
Dietrich

Am 29.02.2016 um 14:37 schrieb Adrian Haarbach:
Hi all,

Web icon fonts seem to be the new trend (nice article: http://alistapart.com/article/the-era-of-symbol-fonts) regarding further optimization of image loading performance and also image quality (i.e. vector vs raster images), especially needed for the higher (retina, 4k) screen resolutions of today's desktop hardware.

This is why I really like Dietrichs' last idea of using web icon fonts:

Another idea I had is to use pseudo elements :after and :before and to
use herein (though I don't know currently if this is possible) web icon
fonts where the icon font character is determined by the content css
attribute, which also would reduce the number of requests as the font is
loaded only once, containing all needed button state icons.

I think SQ had a similar idea in the thread named:
  [qooxdoo-devel] FontAwesome font icons for qx.Desktop.

Once I am able to patch qx.basic.Image to use symbol fonts rather than (png) images, I will post my results on the other thread!

Adrian




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Re: Embed design elements rather than use images

Dietrich Streifert
Here is a short fiddle:

https://jsfiddle.net/7yfb7suL/


Am 29.02.2016 um 15:35 schrieb Dietrich Streifert:
Hi Adrian,

I'll go for the future definitely with icon fonts regarding the "standard" buttons like check box and radio box, maybe with additional css to style focus states etc. For colourful icons I'll maybe use svg in conjunction with the data uri.

For the theme (aristo) I'm using, I will loose the fat/3d button look and will replace it via a flat material design oriented look for the check box and radio box buttons.

Still I'll have to wait a bit until IE8/9 really dies, as I have very conservative customers, because all this will not work in IE8/9 (I think).

But what I also want to bring up again is the reduction of the check box and radio box widgets from now 3 dom elements (based on atom) to a new layout only using one dom element or one dom element and one pseudo element. But this change may break compatibility with the current implementation.

Regards
Dietrich



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Re: Embed design elements rather than use images

SQville
In reply to this post by Dietrich Streifert
Great discussions/comments/advice... thank you all!

My take-away's from this thread so far:

Images, CSS(3), fonts are core to the web itself. We need solid options (solid = well documented, non-hack, identified ownership if not part of core) for ways of utilizing these fundamental design elements in our qx.desktop apps.

All solutions offered here were good solutions to my problem (Data uri's, consolidated and cached images, font icons, etc.) - thank you!

We need to revisit/establish design principles/framework to help us navigate these types of waters. I will do my best to contribute to this effort.

Thanks

Chris





 

 
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