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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Style "Newsletter, no line" and the DVWP

Tried converting (via "convert to XSLT Data View" in Sharepoint Designer 2007) a ListViewWebPart whose style was set to "NewsLetter, no line" and it would not work. The resulting XSLT produced mangled HTML tables. So trying my luck I tried converting the plain Newsletter style using the same approach. This had better results, although, there was an odd table cell on the left, which appeared due the condition ddwrt:GetVar('NumColumns')='1' being true. This is odd, because NumColumns in my list view should be four not one. Further searching the code showed that NumColumns is set as the string length of "Columns," i.e. ddwrt:SetVar('NumColumns', string(string-length(ddwrt:GetVar('Columns')))) and Columns is set to a lone period (dot).
After analyzing the CAML of the LVWP, which should be the basis for the XSLT, I found that in the CAML version, the assignment of Columns is set in a Fields element, which according to the View Schema on MSDN contains a loop over the view fields. This explains the difference: At the end of the loop, Columns is set to "....".
So what I did to patch the XSLT was simply replace the single dot with four dots in the assignment of Columns, which took care of the odd cell, and probably some other anomalies.
There is still some more fixing up to do, e.g.:
- delete the header cell for the field that displays on its own line
- setting column headers to be sortable.
- comment out the ms-alternating class assignment because it's applied unevenly to tr tags, unless you want to convert to "No line" (instructions below)
- explicitely set the class for content cells. Designer sets them incorrectly, e.g. TD Class="{$IDACAVMC}, which is a variable that is based on a List View CAML property, which no longer applies, apparently. So, icon cell would be ms-vb-icon; title cell would be set to ms-vb-title, user would be ms-vb-user; and the text cell on its own row has already been hard coded for us by the Designer ListViewWebPart to DataFormWebPart conversion process.

Now, to transform this into a "Newsletter, no line" style, do the following:
- comment out the TR tag containing the TD class="ms-nlline"
- replace the html encoded starting TR tags (all <xsl:text disable-output-escaping="yes">&lt;tr&gt;</xsl:text>) with actual TR tags; note: must add the closing TR tag, because it was not added during conversion. To find out where to insert the closing TR for the main row, select the row in SPD, backtrack to the last <xsl:choose> that is directly above the two repeated field name comments for the field that will appear on its own line. Place the closing TR above the two field name comments.
- add the conditional ms-alternating attribute to those TR tags.
Note: There should be two xsl:text replacements (the second one being in the vicinity of "ms-nlline" below the @Remarks=) and three conditional (if statements)
ms-alternating attributes added based on a four column table with one field on its own line: two are added to the replaced TRs, and one added to the TR above the removed ms-nlline row.

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