At the end of year 2013 a project called RCUE was started. This project’s goal was to create a set of common UX principles and patterns usable in enterprise open source web applications. This project was then renamed to PatternFly FreeIPA along with other open source projects such as Foreman, AeroGear, Cockpit, KeyCloak… decided to adopt these principles. PatternFly has a referential implementation which is based on Bootstrap 3 frontend framework. Using this implementation makes the adoption quick.

One of key Bootstrap 3 features is responsiveness. It allows FreeIPA to abandon absolute position layout and became usable on devices with various screen sizes.

Use Cases#

Every Web UI access.


Adoption parts:

Use PatternFly CSS#

  • PatternFly and Bootstrap 3 uses Less for CSS build. FreeIPA as well, however PF and BS uses NodeJS lessc for the task. FreeIPA uses lesscpy which is not able to compile PatternFly CSS at the time of writing (there is effort to make it possible). Therefore the CSS should be built by a developer and updated as necessary. When PatternFly and Bootstrap are packaged to Fedora, FreeIPA should make effort to use the system packages.

Fluid layout#

  • abandon absolute layout which cause elements overlap on non-standard browser configuration (locale with longer strings, forced bigger font). Such overlap usually made breadcrumb navigation unusable.

  • new fluid layout allows to make better use of space on larger screens, and on the other hand, usable apps on smaller screens

Implement Login Page#

Adapt forms#


  • new styles for almost every element

  • requires changes in widget HTML output - mostly css classes

  • text fields are wider because inputs make use of their container’s space. Therefore undo, delete buttons and others elements should be part of form-group or on a next row

  • majority of link buttons should be converted to buttons (at least visually)

  • abandon table layout in sections

  • two columns of form sections can be displayed on large screens

Adapt tables#


  • add “Last” and “First” buttons into pager to support going to the last and first page

  • abandoned calculation of column with, leave it on browser. Calculation with fluid layout is very difficult, isn’t worth the hassle.

  • use horizontal scrolling on small screens

  • enable various styles for odd and even rows

  • hovered row should be highlighted

Page(facet) controls#

  • convert link buttons to regular buttons

  • reorder input elements and buttons in facet header. Search facets should have search related elements on the left, as defined in PatternFly, and actions on the right. Details facets should have everything on the left.

Move actions into action dropdown#

  • action dropdown is a dropdown list in controls section of a facet header

  • old action list and action panels do not play well with fluid layout. They tend to clash with nearby elements. All actions should be moved to action list. Therefore action list and nearby buttons are a central point of invoking actions related to displayed object or list of objects. Since all action can be then invoked by a single click (when dropdown menu is visible), all actions should require confirmation in order to prevent accidental invocation of an action.

Activity notification#

  • old activity indicator are not very visible and users tend to overlook them because they are positioned in a place different from user’s focus

  • add new global indicator. It should be displayed in a center of a page when an ajax operation is active

  • this behavior could be further extended by providing context related activity indicators instead of a global one (future goal)

Event notification#

  • “error”, “success”, “warning”, “info” notification should use consistent style and same implementation across application

Better Error handling#

  • multivalued widget should highlight only inputs with error and do not show duplicate required error message

  • error notification should be displayed after fail validation on details page instead of in a modal dialog (user doesn’t have to click on ‘ok’ button).

  • first focusable widget with error should be automatically focused. User can then quickly correct his mistake.

User menu#

  • user menu should added to navigation (related to #Navigation)

  • it should allow:

    • password reset

    • displaying about dialog with current FreeIPA version

    • logging out

    • navigating to user’s profile


fontawesome-fonts, open-sans-fonts, python-lesscpy

Feature Management#


As described in #Design section.


no impact

Test Plan#

existing CI tests were adapted to match new HTML structure

RFE Author#