Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Liferay Strange CSS UI Guideline

The social-network-driven portal which we are developing for our customer is about half-done. I'm trying to customize the look-and-feel of the LifeRay Portal Server now.

Pretty bad experience trying to customize LifeRay Portal. There is something I do not like about LifeRay - the definition of CSS styles.

The bad thing is there is a system-wide JSP file where one can define CSS styles - css.jsp. Define CSS styles in a JSP file?!!

That's not all. If you create a portlet, you can define yet another css.jsp within your portlet directory. This is getting crazy!

I have developed on a number of Portal Servers. This is the first time I see CSS styles being defined in a JSP file. This is super unclean and no clear separation of tasks.

There should be a single place where one defines CSS styles. I am not against defining styles in a JSP file (though I really find it really weird). However, if JSP file is used, there should not be any more .css file being defined.

So how did I manage to customize the LifeRay Portal then?

I have actually asked my designer to do the job. I sent him all the .css files I could find so that he can render on his Dreamweaver. However, at times, he'll be stuck. He simply could not locate some CSS styles that have been declared.

Very strange. How can that be? No choice, I need the following:

Firefox with Firebug are the best friends you can ever have. Trust me. With them, that's how I located css.jsp - the evil.


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