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Preferences bindings

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== <preference> == == <preference> ==
 +<code><preference></code> is an element that is used as an intermediary between UI elements and items in user preferences. It must be a direct child of <code><preferences></code>.
 +
 +=== Attributes ===
 +; id : The id of the element, it's used as a value of <code>preference</code> attribute on UI elements.
 +; name : The preference it controls (e.g. <tt>browser.preferences.instantApply</tt>).
 +; type : The type of the preference. Possible values are: <code>int</code>, <code>bool</code>, <code>string</code> (for non-unicode (ASCII) strings), <code>wstring</code> (like [[Dev_:_Using_preferences#nsIPrefLocalizedString|<code>nsIPrefLocalizedString</code>]]), <code>unichar</code> (unicode string), <code>file</code> (<code>nsIFile</code>).
 +; inverted : (Applies only to prefs with <code>type="bool"</code>.) When this is set to <code>true</code>, the value on the associated UI element is a negation of the value stored in user preferences.
 +; readonly : ??
 +
=== Properties === === Properties ===
; <code>instantApply</code> : ; <code>instantApply</code> :

Revision as of 00:00, 30 May 2005

Work in progress See also this forum thread for the general description and list of available elements/attributes.

This document describes the new XBL bindings introduced in Toolkit 1.1, which allow you write preferences UI faster, using less JavaScript code.

todo

Todo:

  • list attributes too
  • more detailed descriptions
  • mark readonly properties as such
  • sort alphabetically
  • check correctness
  • platform specific issues:
    • instant apply
    • animation
  • examples

Contents

<prefwindow>

<prefwindow> is a top-level element, like <window> or <dialog. You should use it when creating Options dialog for Toolkit 1.1+ application.

The following attributes, properties and methods are available.

Attributes

Please see [1]

Properties

preferencePanes (readonly) 
A NodeList of <prefpane> elements.
type (readonly) 
Returns the value of the type attribute.
lastSelected (readonly) 
Returns the value of the lastSelected attribute.
instantApply (readonly) 
Indicates whether the window is in "instant apply" mode. The value is read from browser.preferences.instantApply boolean user preference. (?? It's declared as a <cope><field></code>, so you can set the value, however I don't believe it's valid to do that.)
currentPane (readonly) 
Currently selected <prefpane> element. Use showPane() method to select another pane. (Same comment as for instantApply.)

Methods

showPane(aPaneElement) 
Selects given pane, loading it dynamically, if necessary. aPaneElement must be a <prefpane> element from the same window.
animate(aOldPane, aNewPane) 
 ?? is this a public method
addPane(aPaneElement) 
Adds the specified <prefpane> element to the dialog. You can use this method to append dynamically created panes to the dialog.
openSubDialog(aURL, aFeatures, aParams) 
Opens a modal sub-dialog. Similar to window.openDialog, except you don't have to specify modal and centerscreen features when using this method, they are added automatically. Use this method to open a modal subdialog, like Connection Settings in Firefox.
openWindow(aWindowType, aURL, aFeatures, aParams) 
Opens the specified window or focuses an already open one with given window type. Use this method to open a non-modal window, like Exceptions window in Firefox Options.

Note that you can define an initWithParams() function in your window - to handle parameters passed using openWindow() in case the window was already open. For example the Permissions Manager UI in Firefox uses the same window for three dialogs: Images, Software installation and Popups. It uses initWithParams() to change the dialog type without closing and re-opening it.

The suggested pattern is as follows:

function onLoad(ev) {
  // do some initialization...

  initWithParams(arguments[0]); // we expect a single parameter to be passed to the window
}

function initWithParams(aParams) {
  // this will also get called when an already open window is activated using openWindow()
}

<prefpane>

<prefpane> is an element representing a pane (tab) in the Options window. It must be a child of the <prefwindow> element.

<prefpane> can have a src attribute specifying the overlay which provides the real content for it, or it can contain arbitrary XUL elements as its content. Using the first method can reduce time needed to load your Options window, if it's very large, as only a single pane needs to be loaded before the window can be shown to user.

Attributes

id 
The id of the pane. This may be used to match the element from a dynamic overlay, but you must provide an id for all your <prefpane> elements, even if you don't use dynamic pane loading.
image 
Specifies the URL of an image to be used on the pane button. (does setting this at runtime have any effect??)
label 
The label for the pane button.
selected 
Indicates whether the pane is currently selected (active).
src 
See above, the URL of the overlay which provides content for the pane.

Properties

(todo: figure out what happens if you set these attributes/properties at runtime. I don't think all of them have effect at runtime.)

src 
Gets and sets the value of the src attribute.
selected 
Gets and sets the value of the selected attribute.
image 
Gets and sets the value of the image attribute.
label 
Gets and sets the value of the label attribute.
preferenceElements (readonly) 
A NodeList of child elements with preference attribute.
preferences (readonly) 
A NodeList of all child <preference> elements.
loaded (readonly) 
Indicates whether the pane is fully loaded. (?? while it's possible to set the value of the property, it's not recommended to do so. The property really ought to be readonly)
contentHeight (readonly) 
The height (in pixels) of current pane's content.

Methods

writePreferences(aFlushToDisk) 
Saves all <preference>s of the pane in user preferences, flushes to the disk (updating prefs.js) if aFlushToDisk is true.
preferenceForElement(aElement) 
Returns the <preference> element, which is specified in aElement's preference attribute.
getPreferenceElement(aStartElement) 
 ??
userChangedValue(aElement) 
 ??

<preferences>

<preferences> is a container element for <preference> elements. It's supposed to be a child of <prefpane> element.

Methods

fireChangedEvent(aPreference) 
 ??

Fields

service 
The preferences service (nsIPrefService).
rootBranch 
The root prefs branch (nsIPrefBranch).
defaultBranch 
The root branch with default values (nsIPrefBranch).
rootBranchInternal 
The root prefs branch (nsIPrefBranch2).

<preference>

<preference> is an element that is used as an intermediary between UI elements and items in user preferences. It must be a direct child of <preferences>.

Attributes

id 
The id of the element, it's used as a value of preference attribute on UI elements.
name 
The preference it controls (e.g. browser.preferences.instantApply).
type 
The type of the preference. Possible values are: int, bool, string (for non-unicode (ASCII) strings), wstring (like nsIPrefLocalizedString), unichar (unicode string), file (nsIFile).
inverted 
(Applies only to prefs with type="bool".) When this is set to true, the value on the associated UI element is a negation of the value stored in user preferences.
readonly 
 ??

Properties

instantApply 
preferences 
name 
type 
inverted 
readonly 
value 
locked 
disabled 
tabIndex 
hasUserValue 
defaultValue 
valueFromPreferences 

Methods

reset() 
setElementValue(aElement) 
getElementValue(aElement) 
isElementEditable(aElement) 
updateElements()