Monday, March 06, 2006

Four States For Styles

Today, I wanted to start a discussion about the visibility states of styles. Most users think of styles and the components that they control as having two possible visibility states: ON or OFF.

Because styles have a fundamental appearance in 2D, and can be set entirely differently in 3D, it turns out that there are actually 4 possible states for components as they are controlled by styles.

A style can be created so that it is visible in both 3D and 2D.
It can be visible in 2D and invisible in 3D.
It can be the opposite, and be visible in 3D and invisible in 2D.
Lastly, of course, it can be invisible in both 3D, and 2D.

The question then becomes... What is most efficient? Should I create four styles for any given object. Not likely. Should I create one style and modify it frequently in order to acheive the visibility I need. This logically, is not very efficient.

So I must think thoroughly and determine when I will need to change a visiblity state and have a style readily at hand and when one (or two) styles will suffice and I can modify them when the need arises. Certainly there is not a consistant (nor correct) answer to this question. I just feel it is one of the important considerations that is often overlooked.

Just thinking out loud. What do you say?

No comments: