XPages comes with mobile theme support for iOS and Android devices. As explained earlier, you can configure a mobile theme for use with your mobile XPages by identifying those pages using a special prefix (typically m_). The default mobile theme is called Mobile default. When this option is selected, the appropriate theme is automatically selected for you, that is, the theme named iPhone (because of historical reasons) for iOS device or the theme named Android for Android devices. Each theme can cause mobile styles to be applied to selected controls, which give them a native look and feel when they are rendered on a mobile device. You can select an alternative theme for mobile pages—for example, selecting the OneUI IDX v1.3 mobile theme provides a consistent look and feel between all mobile devices accessing your application. You can also define your own mobile theme; if, for example, you wanted to have you own look and feel irrespective of the mobile device. You can also specify separate themes for iOS and Android devices; again, this flexibility works if your application has its own branding. If you want to switch the style based on the device, you need to add logic within the theme. This is how the One UI theme works, and this will be further explored later in this section. For more detailed information on themes and how to create your own, refer to Chapter 16, “XPages Theming.”
Mobile styling is provided for all the mobile XPages controls and the following Extension Library controls:
- Data View (xe:dataView)
- Outline (xe:outline)
- Form Table (xe:formTable)
The XPage name m_mobileTheme in the sample database that accompanies this chapter includes pages with all these controls.
The Data View control is the alternative to using a regular View Panel control for mobile XPages. The Data View control optimizes the display of the rows of data it displays. Figure 14.12 shows a Data View configured to display the contents of a Domino view. Notice that it efficiently uses the available space. Also, rather than using a traditional pager, it retrieves extra rows on demand and allows the user to scroll through all the retrieved rows.
Figure 14.12 Data View versus View Panel
The Data View control can also navigate to another page within the singe page application to display the document associated with a row in the view. As shown in Listing 14.18, this is achieved by setting the pageName property to the hash tag value of the application page to open.
Listing 14.18 Data View Application Page
<xe:appPage id="dataViewPage" pageName="dataViewPage"> <xe:djxmHeading back="Home" moveTo="controlsPage"> <xe:this.label>Data View</xe:this.label> </xe:djxmHeading> <xe:dataView id="dataView1" rows="10" pageName="#formTablePage"> <xe:this.data> <xp:dominoView var="view1" viewName="CarMakes"> </xp:dominoView> </xe:this.data> <xp:this.facets> <xp:link text="Show More" escape="true" xp:key="pagerBottom" id="link1"> <xp:eventHandler event="onclick" submit="false"> <xp:this.script> <xe:addRows for="dataView1" rowCount="10"> </xe:addRows> </xp:this.script> </xp:eventHandler> </xp:link> </xp:this.facets> <xe:this.summaryColumn> <xe:viewSummaryColumn columnName="CarMake"> </xe:viewSummaryColumn> </xe:this.summaryColumn> </xe:dataView> </xe:appPage>
The Outline control was introduced earlier in the chapter as a way to provide navigation within your Mobile application. Figure 14.13 shows the difference between the mobile and web styling. When used in a mobile XPage, the Outline control supports expanding and collapsing of nodes, which makes it suitable providing an application menu.
Figure 14.13 Outline with mobile and web styling
The Form Table control is a useful container when you design data entry or display forms. The Form Table has a title and description displayed above the rows of data. Each row in the table has a label and one or more controls to display the row data. Figure 14.14 shows the difference in how the Form Table is styled for a mobile device or desktop web browser. If you inspect the DOM for the two pages, you’ll notice that for a desktop web browser a table is used, but for a mobile browser, the Form Table Rows are created as div elements with appropriate styling. HTML tables are not a good choice for laying out content when you have limited screen real estate and should be avoided. The common problem when using HTML tables on mobile devices is that they result in excess whitespace, which wastes the valuable device real estate.
Figure 14.14 Form Table with mobile and web styling
So now you’ve seen what you get for free for the default mobile themes, but what about the rest of the controls? The next section looks at the options for styling XPages controls.
Styling XPages Controls for Mobile Applications
Standard XPages controls don’t automatically change their styling when displayed as part of a mobile page using the standard mobile themes. So how do you style a standard XPages control so that it appears well on a mobile device? There are a number of approaches you can use. Take a button as an example use case and explore these options. Listing 14.19 shows an application page with five buttons, and Figure 14.15 shows how they display on a mobile device. The first button (lines 5 through 6) has no styling applied, and if you look at how this is displayed, you’ll see it’s not a good fit for what you would expect on a mobile device. That is, it’s too small and the styling looks out of place. The second button (lines 7 through 8) has the styleClass set to mblButton, and this causes it to display well on a mobile device. This is a style class that is provided by the mobile theme. Ideally, this is all you would have to do, but unfortunately this is not the case because the style class is different between iOS and Android devices. The third button (lines 9 through 10) shows how to use the Android version of the mobile button style class. So what if you target multiple devices? One option, which is shown in the fourth button (lines 1 through 15) is to compute the appropriate style class to use based on the information from the device bean. This works but is awkward to use. What happens if you use Dojo and your buttons have a dojoType attribute set? This use case is shown in the fifth button (lines 16 through 17) and again no styling is applied so you have work to do, or do you?
Figure 14.15 Buttons with mobile styling
Listing 14.19 Button Mobile Styling
If instead of using the default mobile theme, you switch to using One UI the situation changes. Figure 14.16 shows how the same five buttons display when the One UI theme is selected as the mobile them in the XPages Properties. So now things look much better; the standard and Dojo buttons both display well without having had to make any changes. This is the ideal situation; you can just add standard XPages controls and have them display well on mobile devices automatically.
Figure 14.16 Buttons with mobile styling using One UI
So how does this work? If you inspect the DOM of the mobile page, you can notice that the standard and Dojo buttons are rendered in the page with the style class set to mblButton mblPrimaryButton. So these style classes are added automatically to all buttons that are rendered when the One UI theme is used. Listing 14.20 shows an extract from the One UI theme file (oneui_idx_v1.3.theme). You can see the One UI theme specifies the lotusBtn style class is specified for buttons.
Listing 14.20 One UI Button Theme
<!-- Basic Button --> <control> <name>Button</name> <property> <name>styleClass</name> <value>lotusBtn</value> </property> </control>
However, this isn’t the full story. There is another theme file used by One UI that is associated with the mobile renderers; this file is called oneui_idx_v1.3_mobile_renderers_fragment.theme. If you look at the contents of this file, you will see additional styling configuration, and it is here you see the mobile style classes applied, as demonstrated in Listing 14.21.
Listing 14.21 One UI Button Mobile Theme
<!-- Command Button --> <control> <name>Button.Command</name> <property> <name>styleClass</name> <value> mblButton mblPrimaryButton</value> </property> </control>
Using One UI is a good option if you want to have your applications display with a consistent look and feel and to automatically display well on mobile devices. It is recommended that you consider using OneUI by default when developing mobile applications, or indeed create your own theme in preference to adding lots of conditional styling logic within your XPages. Next, look at what to do when things go wrong when you develop a Mobile XPages application.