Since ajax, a lot of people have to create HTML on the fly depending on response of the request. One mistake that I see a lot is that people are using the style property of their HTML objects. Why shouldn't I do it?

The style property has a precedence on every style

Because the style property is so “close” to the HTML object, it will override every other style from a CSS file. So if you begin to write styles in your javascript code, you'll have to do it all the time. It might be easy and clean for a basic project but it will become a mess in the future. You should centralize every style in your CSS files so you won't have to search where you assigned a style.


I have this CSS

[source:css] div.theCssClass { background-color:blue; } [/source]

and I create a new HTML object of this class

[source:javascript] // I create the DIV var div = document.createElement(“div”); div.appendChild(document.createTextNode(“This div is a test”));

div.className = “theCssClass”; // I assign theCssClass = “red”; // The background is red

document.body.appendChild(div); [/source]

You'll see that the even if I set the background color to blue in the CSS file, the background will be red because I used the style property.

The !important in CSS

If you want to override a style assigned in javascript, you could always use the !important statement in your CSS file.

[source:css] div.useThisOne { background-color:blue !important; } [/source]

Use it only if you really have to. I wouldn't recommend !important because it breaks the default behavior of styles and can become very messy. When all is important, nothing is important.