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Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics
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Adding user feedback


From:

Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics

with James Williamson

Video: Adding user feedback

Often our forms will have regions that users are required to fill in for submittal. In our form, the Email element is required for the user to request information, and to make sure the user is aware of this, we're going to add a Required notice that will properly for both visual and screen reader agents. Once again, the best place to do this is the code. So I'm going to actually just click in Email and switch over to Code View. That's a quick way of sort of jumping to a specific location, so you can see we're on line 42 here. Now just after Email and before the closing label tag, let's go ahead and add some text. Just type in, Email address is required. Now, this may seem kind of a silly place to put it. Let's save our file and switch back over to Design View and you'll see what I'm talking about.
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  1. 2m 3s
    1. Welcome
      1m 17s
    2. Using the exercise files
      46s
  2. 1h 23m
    1. Reviewing the Coding toolbar
      8m 42s
    2. Customizing the Coding toolbar
      9m 52s
    3. Taking advantage of Code Hinting
      7m 20s
    4. Using snippets and shortcuts
      11m 10s
    5. Using the Quick Tag Editor
      5m 18s
    6. Using Find and Replace
      9m 50s
    7. Regular expressions
      5m 39s
    8. Using Bridge with Dreamweaver CS3
      8m 28s
    9. Round-trip editing with Photoshop CS3
      3m 40s
    10. Leveraging image variables in Photoshop CS3
      7m 32s
    11. Integrating external variables into your workflow
      6m 16s
  3. 37m 26s
    1. Understanding the CSS Styles panel
      7m 59s
    2. Understanding the Cascade
      5m 50s
    3. Understanding Inheritance
      5m 8s
    4. Understanding Specificity
      7m 5s
    5. Managing CSS styles
      5m 4s
    6. Using Design-Time style sheets
      6m 20s
  4. 2h 19m
    1. Using the new CSS template pages
      5m 59s
    2. Understanding DIV tag structure and layout
      12m 0s
    3. Understanding the CSS box model
      10m 0s
    4. Using absolute and relative positioning
      8m 35s
    5. Understanding floating elements
      7m 9s
    6. Clearing floats
      7m 19s
    7. Using floats to control page layout
      3m 45s
    8. Building structure and assigning IDs
      10m 19s
    9. Applying basic styling to structured content
      11m 14s
    10. Positioning container elements
      11m 4s
    11. Enhancing layouts with background graphics
      11m 48s
    12. Creating faux columns with background graphics
      8m 55s
    13. Creating rounded corners with background graphics
      9m 17s
    14. Building navigation with CSS
      16m 57s
    15. Using Dreamweaver's Browser Check feature
      5m 31s
  5. 53m 22s
    1. Creating properly structured forms
      6m 30s
    2. Creating accessible forms
      6m 41s
    3. Using CSS to lay out form structure
      7m 40s
    4. Creating vertical columns for form elements
      7m 48s
    5. Adding user feedback
      5m 52s
    6. Applying advanced styling to forms
      8m 11s
    7. Client-side form validation
      4m 17s
    8. Validating forms with the Spry Validation tools
      6m 23s
  6. 1h 20m
    1. Understanding the Spry framework
      3m 43s
    2. Defining a data source for use in Spry
      3m 56s
    3. Creating a Spry table
      8m 8s
    4. Using the Spry widgets
      8m 11s
    5. Connecting various data sets
      4m 50s
    6. Understanding Spry widget structures
      7m 1s
    7. Applying custom styles to Spry widgets
      6m 24s
    8. Applying additional custom styles to Spry widgets
      8m 46s
    9. Controlling Spry widget behaviors with JavaScript
      6m 0s
    10. Controlling Spry widget animations with JavaScript
      9m 31s
    11. Creating effects with Spry behaviors
      4m 42s
    12. Hand-coding Spry
      9m 11s
  7. 1h 11m
    1. Creating a base template
      8m 6s
    2. Creating editable attributes
      6m 26s
    3. Creating a new page from a template
      7m 42s
    4. Applying a template to an existing page
      4m 36s
    5. Creating nested templates
      5m 24s
    6. Using repeating regions
      6m 34s
    7. Creating editable and non-editable optional regions
      6m 0s
    8. Using template parameters
      7m 26s
    9. Using template expressions
      9m 59s
    10. Using conditional template expressions
      8m 54s
  8. 54m 40s
    1. Examining XML structure
      2m 44s
    2. Creating an XML document
      9m 9s
    3. Using the CDATA structure
      5m 7s
    4. Creating an XSLT file
      4m 33s
    5. Binding data from an XML to an XSLT document
      5m 6s
    6. Inserting repeating regions into an XSL document
      5m 16s
    7. Creating a client-side XSL transformation
      2m 52s
    8. Styling a remote RSS feed
      7m 29s
    9. Creating a server-side XSL transformation
      5m 31s
    10. Writing XSL expressions
      6m 53s
  9. 1h 2m
    1. Overview of building dynamic websites
      1m 35s
    2. Installing PHP, MySQL, and Apache on Mac
      3m 22s
    3. Installing PHP, MySQL, and Apache on Windows
      3m 54s
    4. Creating a MySQL database
      3m 16s
    5. Defining a testing server and database bindings
      6m 14s
    6. Creating a database recordset
      4m 35s
    7. Adding dynamic content to the page
      5m 14s
    8. Creating repeating regions of dynamic content
      7m 6s
    9. Filtering database records
      7m 39s
    10. Using the Live Preview
      10m 22s
    11. Passing URL parameters
      4m 23s
    12. Dynamically generating links
      5m 18s
  10. 57m 9s
    1. Understanding behaviors
      5m 16s
    2. Installing additional behaviors
      3m 39s
    3. Planning to create a custom behavior
      3m 42s
    4. Examining existing behaviors
      5m 32s
    5. Building a behavior function
      7m 23s
    6. Creating an Action file
      6m 48s
    7. Enabling behavior functions
      9m 1s
    8. Initializing the user interface for a behavior
      3m 9s
    9. Loading behaviors in Dreamweaver
      6m 47s
    10. Testing and debugging behaviors
      5m 52s
  11. 27m 12s
    1. Running reports
      7m 41s
    2. Checking and validating links
      3m 40s
    3. Using cloaking
      5m 42s
    4. Using Check In/Check Out
      4m 3s
    5. Using Design Notes
      6m 6s
  12. 20s
    1. Goodbye
      20s

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Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics
11h 10m Intermediate Sep 21, 2007

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Covering diverse topics such as improving workflow and managing CSS styles, Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics is a hands-on course that teaches users how to move beyond standard, static websites. Instructor James Williamson explores how to increase productivity, interactivity, and accessibility with Dreamweaver. He also discusses how to extend the application's capabilities with XML and XSL. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.

Topics include:
  • Reviewing and customizing the coding toolbar
  • Understanding the CSS Styles panel
  • Using absolute and relative positioning
  • Creating accessible forms
  • Building AJAX pages with the Spry framework
  • Extending templates
  • Working with XML and XSL
  • Building dynamic content
  • Creating custom behaviors in Dreamweaver
  • Running reports
Subject:
Web
Software:
Dreamweaver
Author:
James Williamson

Adding user feedback

Often our forms will have regions that users are required to fill in for submittal. In our form, the Email element is required for the user to request information, and to make sure the user is aware of this, we're going to add a Required notice that will properly for both visual and screen reader agents. Once again, the best place to do this is the code. So I'm going to actually just click in Email and switch over to Code View. That's a quick way of sort of jumping to a specific location, so you can see we're on line 42 here. Now just after Email and before the closing label tag, let's go ahead and add some text. Just type in, Email address is required. Now, this may seem kind of a silly place to put it. Let's save our file and switch back over to Design View and you'll see what I'm talking about.

So in our form, that really doesn't make any sense. It just says Email: Email address is required, and then the form element. Not many people are going to style the forms that way, but let's think about accessibility for a moment. When the screen reader accesses this content, it's first going to read the label and then it's going to read the text input. Then if we had a required method that comes after that, we're not giving those users the feedback until after they've already experienced the element, and that's the wrong way to go about that. So remember, visually, we can control things through Cascading Style Sheet, so even though the content comes prior to the text element, it doesn't have to display that way visually.

So let's go ahead and highlight our Email address is required and we're going to wrap this in a span tag and give it a class name and that's going to give us all the styling hook that's required for us to actually get this to work. So even though we're in Design View, our shortcut key, Command key or Ctrl key still works. So we don't have to be in Code View for that to work. So the Wrap tag dialog box comes up and I'm going to choose the span tag and we'll go ahead and assign it a class of feedback. So now it's wrapped in our span tag. Now browsers and user agents don't render span tags also; it's purely for CSS purposes. So save your file and let's switch over to our contact_secondary.css and let's make a little magic happen here with our form feedback.

Below the last style that we added, let's go ahead and get on the next line and again, I'm going to add a single line comment here and I'm going to type in, style feedback message. Notice again that lets us now that we're styling this. So type in label.feedback. Now, we could probably get away with just doing the feedback class styles, but I'm adding the label part of the descendant selector to give it just that one-degree higher specificity, just in case it's conflicting with anything else. So let's open that up and let's type in position and set a position of absolute.

So we're going to be moving this around using absolute positioning. Now in a rule earlier, we actually gave our paragraph tags relative positioning. If you're not familiar with doing a lot of CSS layout, the reason that you would put a positioning attribute of relative on a parent tag is so that absolute users get as a reference point and not the screen itself. So we'll go down to the next line and we'll type in a margin-left and we'll do a margin-left of 6em, and that's just going to push it a little bit to the left. We would go ahead and give it a position to the left as well of 220 pixels.

So that's going to move over to the left 220 pixels. We're going to give it a font-weight of bold, so it's a pretty important message so we want people to really pay attention to it, so we're going to make that bold. For color, we're going to go ahead and choose #760000. That's sort of a burgundy color. Below that, we'll do a padding attribute and we're going to give that a value of 0 for the top, 0 for the right, 5 pixels for the bottom and 20 pixels for the left.

Now, the reason we're going to give it a 20 pixel left padding is because we're about to apply a background graphic to this and the background graphic needs room to display without the text displaying on top of it. So let's go ahead and do a background and we'll pass in a URL and once again, all we have to do is type in u and then we can hit Enter to browse for that file. So I really love Dreamweaver's code hinting capabilities when you're writing your styles this way. We're going to go into the unit 04/ Start Files and we'll click on _images, and enter _images directory, I'm going to scroll down until I find the notice.gif.

So not the note.gif but notice.gif. And you can see the preview of the notice.gif, it's just a little word balloon so we'll go ahead and click Choose. Then I position it using no-repeat and I'll position it at left and top. On the very next line, let's go ahead and do a single line comment inside the rule, there is nothing wrong with doing that. So I'm going to type in /* and I'm just going to type in width for IE. Internet Explorer tends to like specific widths for any elements that are positioned the way we're doing this one.

So rather than have Internet Explorer pass along the wrong width to it and have it break, we'll just go ahead and pass an explicit width. So let's type in width and let's give it 200 pixels worth. It really doesn't matter for other browsers but we'll make it play nice with Internet Explorer as well. So now, let's go over to contact.htm and check out our change. Now, Email address is required is displaying visually to the right. I'll deselect all of that and it's got some nice visual styling to draw user interest. So let's test that in our browser to make sure that that's looking the way we expect it to look.

As I scroll down, I can see that it says Email address is required. Now again, visually, the user has no idea that comes right after the text email and it's really not important, but for screen readers and accessibility purposes, the position of that text is important. So both CSS and proper semantic code go together hand in hand. So our final styling challenge will be to target DOM-compliant browsers to give those users a much richer experience, while still allowing for a functional form in older non-standard-compliant browsers. So we'll tackle that in our next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Dreamweaver CS3 Beyond the Basics.


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Q: In the Chapter 3 movie “Creating rounded corners with background graphics”, the instructor uses a .last class selector. What are the CSS properties of this selector?
A: The .last selector is as follows:
#current p.last{
background: url(../_images/current_btm_bg.gif) no-repeat bottom
left;
padding-bottom: 2em;
margin: 0;
}
The background is the bottom rounded corner graphic, the bottom padding keeps the type away from the bottom of the box and thus the rounded corners, and the margin ensures that the box elements fit seamlessly with each other.
 
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