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Lori MacVittie

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Let Your ENUMs Do the Talking with CSS

You could just define a global CSS class for each availability status if you want

When you’re dealing with conditional formatting of objects based on enumerated values you can eliminate conditional assignments by directly mapping your ENUMs to CSS classes.

There are many cases where enumerated values are used to describe values, especially in the world of infrastructure 2.0. Availability status, for example, is a commonly used enumeration to indicate whether a load balancing related object – a virtual server, a pool, a node (server) – is available, unavailable, or in some unknown state. When building web-based dashboards or management interfaces for such solutions, the server-side code often ends up with a lot of conditional formatting statements as developers map enumerated status codes to HTML to make it look, well, a lot more attractive. I’m using iControl and infrastructure as an example – any application that requires formatting based on enumerated values may find this technique useful in reducing the amount of code (and time) spent on conditional formatting.

By directly mapping enumerated values to CSS classes, you can eliminate the conditional formatting statements in the code which reduces the overall footprint and execution time but also has the added benefit of making it easier to hand off the styling and CSS chores to a web designer without having to worry about CSS class names and documentation around formatting. This also eliminates the need for a mapping via an associative array or other dictionary-style structures in which statuses are mapped to classes.

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Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

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