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These techniques touch on something Iâ€™ve been recently puzzling over; script.aculo.us effects require that elements which are hidden/shown using so-called â€˜combination effectsâ€™ that are supposed to be initially hidden cannot be hidden using a stylesheet but instead only through inline styles (Iâ€™m not sure what the exact technical reasons for this are, but sure enough if you use a stylesheet to hide them, theyâ€™ll never be shown via scriptaculous). My solution was to add an onLoad event method which manually hid all qualifying elements. The problem there is, as you say; the equivalent of a FOUC â€“ the elements are there as the page loads, but disappear as soon as loading finishes. Really they should be hidden immediately.
Perhaps thereâ€™s something in your tips above that might work hereâ€¦