Layout

Tabris.js uses the native platform capabilities to layout UIs. As display density widely varies among mobile devices the pixel measures in Tabris.js are always expressed as Device Independent Pixels.

Layout Data

All widgets support a property layoutData that defines how the widget should be arranged. The value of layoutData must be an object with a combination of the following attributes:

  • left
  • right
  • top
  • bottom
  • centerX
  • centerY
  • baseline
  • width
  • height

:point_right: All layout attributes can also be set directly on the widget as a normal property. The advantage of using the layoutData property is that all currently set layout attributes not in the new layoutData object will be implicitly reset to null (i.e. “not specified”).

top, right, bottom, left

Defines the position of the widget’s edge. Accepted values:

  • offset: The distance from the parent’s opposing edge in device independent pixels. Must not be negative.
  • widget: attach this edge to the given sibling’s opposing edge
  • percentage: the distance from the parent’s opposing edge in percent of the parent’s width
  • [percentage, offset]: the distance from the parent’s opposing edge in percent of the parent’s width plus a fixed offset in pixels
  • percentage offset”: Same as above, but as space-separated string list instead of array
  • [widget, offset]: the distance from the given widget’s opposing edge in pixel
  • widget offset”: Same as above, but as space-separated string list instead of array. Since this is a string the widget can be a selector or a symbolic widget reference like "prev()" or "next()", but not a direct reference.

All percentages are provided as strings with a percent suffix, e.g. "50%".

References to other widgets can be given as a variable, a selector string (filtering all siblings of the widget), or a symbolic reference like "prev()" and "next()". Widget references are resolved dynamically, that is, if a referenced widget is added or removed later, the layout will adjust. When a widget reference does not match any of the current siblings, it will be treated like an offset of zero.

centerX

Defines the horizontal position of the widget relative to the parent’s center. Accepted values:

  • offset: the distance of this widget’s horizontal center line from the parent’s horizontal center in device independent pixel

This property cannot be used in combination with either of left and right.

centerY

Defines the vertical position of the widget relative to the parent’s center. Accepted values:

  • offset: the distance of this widget’s vertical center line from the parent’s vertical center in device independent pixel

This property cannot be used in combination with either of top, bottom, and baseline.

baseline

Defines the vertical position of the widget relative to another widget’s text baseline. Accepted values:

  • widget: a reference to another widget to baseline-align

The widget may be referenced with a variable, a selector string, or with "prev()" and "next()".

At the moment, this property is only supported for widgets that contain text, i.e. both the actual and the referenced widget must be one of TextView, TextInput, or Button.

For multiline texts, the platforms currently differ: Android aligns on the first line, iOS on the last line.

This property cannot be used in combination with either of top, bottom, and centerY.

width

Defines the width of the widget. Accepted values:

  • width: the width of the widget in device independent pixel

height

Defines the height of the widget. Accepted values:

  • height: the height of the widget in device independent pixel

Layout calculation

Size

When width is not specified, the width is defined by the difference between right and left. When either left or right is also missing, the widget will shrink to its intrinsic width, i.e. the minimal width required to display its content.

When height is not specified, the height is defined by the difference between bottom and top. When either top or bottom is also missing, the widget will shrink to its intrinsic height, i.e. the minimal height required to display its content.

Fallback position

When neither of left, right, and centerX is specified, the widget will be aligned on the parent’s left edge.

When neither of top, bottom, centerY and baseline is specified, the widget will be aligned on the parent’s upper edge.

When there is no layoutData specified for a widget, the widget will be be displayed in the top left corner.

Conflicting properties

Some combinations of properties result in conflicting layout descriptions. To resolve those cases, some properties take precedence over others:

When both left and right are specified, the property width will be ignored. When both top and bottom are specified, the property height will be ignored.

When centerX is specified, the properties left and right will be ignored. When centerY is specified, the properties top and bottom will be ignored. When baseline is specified, the properties top, bottom, and centerY will be ignored.

Example

layoutData: {
  left: 10,            // 10px from left edge
  top: ["#label", 10], // label's bottom edge + 10px, i.e. 10px below label
  right: ["30%", 10]   // 30% + 10px from right edge, i.e. at 70% - 10px
                       // no height or bottom given, i.e. auto-height
}

Z-Order

When the layout definition results in widgets overlapping one another, the z-order is defined by the order in which the widgets are appended to their parent. New widgets will be rendered on top of those widgets that have already been appended.

Device Independent Pixels

The density of a device’s display can be accessed by window.devicePixelRatio. The value represents the number of native pixels per Device Independent Pixel.