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Best Practice Makes Perfect

A collaboration with Domino developers about how to do it and how to get it right in Domino

I noticed this morning, while writing a utility that uses DXL to reverse the order of left and right frames in a frameset (for BIDI) that the representation for complex framesets, though it "round trips" successfully, is not structured as one might expect.  For instance, consider the frameset shown on the right. We would expect the DXL to have a tree structure such as:

1. frameset
.... a. frameset
.... .... i. frame A
.... .... ii. frameset
.... .... .... x. frame B
.... .... .... y. frame C
.... b. frame D

However, the actual structure is:

1. frameset
.... a. frameset
.... .... i. frame A
.... .... ii. frameset
.... .... .... x. frame B
.... .... .... y. frame C
.... .... iii. frame D

A subtle but important difference -- frame D is a child of the wrong node.

The importer doesn't actually pay attention to the XML hierarchy in this case. Instead, it looks at the 'rows' or 'columns' attribute of a frameset element to determine how many children it has. That's why the round-trip works, and of course, if you wanted to manipulate the frameset in a way that doesn't depend on the structure (replacing a replica ID in links, for instance), it's not a problem. But if you're doing something where it does matter (as it does for my application), the workaround is to fix up the DOM tree using a routine such as the following:

Sub FixupFrameset(domeFS As NotesDOMElementNode, parent As NotesDOMElementNode)
        ' domeFS is a element which we must verify contains the right number of children.
        ' If it does not contain enough, error out. If it contains too many, the spares should be moved to
        ' the parent, which is assumed to be also a frameset. Process recursively.
        ' Note: this could be done without passing in the parent element, since it can be retrieved from
        ' domeFS. But passing Nothing for this argument on the initial iteration, lets you prevent
        ' a node being added as a child of a non-frameset node, without having to take the time in here
        ' to test whether the parent is a frameset node.
        ' This is to workaround a bug in the DXL exporter output, where frameset elements are not closed
        ' early enough.
        Dim strElems$, cExpected%, values
        strElems = domeFS.GetAttribute("rows")
        If strElems = "" Then strElems = domeFS.GetAttribute("columns")
        If strElems = "" Then
                cExpected = 1
                values = Split(strElems, " ")
                cExpected = 1+UBound(values)
        End If
        Dim domn As NotesDOMNode
        Dim domeChild As NotesDOMElementNode
        Set domn = domeFS.FirstChild
        Do Until domn.Isnull
                If domn.Nodetype = DOMNODETYPE_ELEMENT_NODE Then
                        Set domeChild = domn
                        Dim strNam$
                        strNam = domeChild.Nodename
                        If strNam = "frame" Or strNam = "frameset" Then
                                If strNam = "frameset" Then
                                        FixupFrameset domeChild, domeFS
                                End If
                                If cExpected = 0 Then
                                        domeFS.Removechild domeChild
                                        parent.Appendchild domeChild
                                        cExpected = cExpected - 1
                                End If
                        End If
                End If
                Set domn = domn.Nextsibling
        If cExpected > 0 Then
                Error 13990, "Frameset contained fewer children than the columns or rows attribute indicates (" & strElems & ")."
        End If
End Sub

Andre Guirard | 1 June 2009 01:03:37 PM ET | Home, Plymouth, MN, USA | Comments (1)


1) nice code
Stephan H. Wissel | 6/1/2009 8:12:47 PM

Really neat!

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