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[% splash.bold %] is a template library which can be used to build fancy looking HTML pages from a number of simple but powerful components and fundamental elements. It is effectively an HTML widget set which can be used to greatly simplify the process of building user interfaces for web document systems and applications.

[% splash.bold %] is built on top of the HTML library. It defines different styles in terms of colours (from the html/rgb template), font characteristics, text alignment, and so on. User interface components can then display themselves according to a given style. For example, the 'splash.style.select' is used to indicate a selected menu option, otherwise the default style, 'splash.style.default', is used. You can create your own custom styles and use them to customise the standard components.

The user interface components that the [% splash.bold %] library generates are regular and simple HTML pages that employ some cunning use of tables and a few tiny graphic elements to create a stylish "curvey" theme. The images are only 8x8 pixels in size and mostly transparent anyway. They're typically less than 60 bytes in file size and only 4 images are required for each background page colour. In this case, a little bit goes a long way and with nothing else but regular HTML it's possible to build some attractive buttons, tabs, panels and other widgets which can be used to brighten up any web page.

The HTML generated should be browser friendly, reasonably efficient (for what it's doing), fairly compact (likewise), hopefully standards compliant and portable across different browsers, platforms, operating systems, etc.

Well,that's idea, but this is only version [% splash.version %] of [% splash.bold %] and should be considered as alpha quality code. I can make no guarantees of correctness or suitability for purpose at this point in time, but I'm always glad to hear about any problems or receive other feedback, ideas, suggestions, patches, new widgets, etc.

Things are starting to settled down a little in the [% splash.bold %] library, but everything is still subject to change.

[% splash.bold %] was chosen as a name for the libary as a tip-of-the-hat to Slashdot whose web site ([% PROCESS html/link link="http://slashdot.org/" %] ) contains many nice user interface components such as these. I was inspired by their look and allowed myself to draw influence from them as well as a number of other places. The Slashcode engine which runs Slashdot has recently been rewritten (by Chris Nandor) to use the Template Toolkit for generating interface elements, so we like the guys at Slashdot and (hopefully) they like us, too. :-)

A final word of warning - don't go overboard in using these widgets. Use them sparingly, or rather, use them appropriately. There is more to good design than a fancy paintbrush and you can have too much of a Good Thing. Remember that the most important thing on any web page is the content. Use these widgets as an enhancement for your content, not a replacement.

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