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Re: Suggestion for adding MINWIDTH and MAXWIDTH attributes to HTML an d CSS spec

From: Nir Dagan <nir@nirdagan.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 13:36:09 -0500
Message-Id: <199911101834.NAA27253@vega.brown.edu>
To: Piers Williams <PiersW@zinc.co.uk>, "'www-html@w3.org'" <www-html@w3.org>
this is already taken care of in Cascading Style Sheets level 2:

At 05:49 PM 11/10/99 +0000, Piers Williams wrote:
>At the moment the HTML spec provides for developers to specify either a
>fixed, or variable width for certain block elements (Tables, DIV's etc...).
>However this model has serious limitations, which are a cause of constant
>irritation to myself and the designers I work with.
>If a table, for example, is set width="100%", then it is up to the
>user-agent to scale the table according to the agent's window. This is good,
>because it enables the content to maximise use of the available space on the
>user's monitor, whatever the screen size and resolution. However - given a
>particularly wide monitor - lines of text can be drawn out to a width that
>makes them less legible (not to mention ugly).
>Given this problem, many web designers opt for the fixed-width table model,
>where an absolute pixel width is supplied for the table. This prevents lines
>of text becoming too long (horizontally), but in a highly inflexible way. To
>avoid the trauma of horizontal scrollbars, it is usually necessary to fix
>the width of the table at 620px, which means on a large monitor over half of
>the screen can remain unused.
>What is needed is a way of specifying the width of these elements in such a
>way that the user-agent is free to resize them up to a point - i.e. provide
>a mechanism for resizing with constraints.
>My suggestion would be to implement the attributes MINWIDTH and MAXWIDTH for
>the TABLE tag (and indeed any other tag with a WIDTH attribute). The
>attributes would take the same values as width (length, percentage, auto,
>inherit), and would specify an lower and upper bound to the user-agent's
>freedom to resize that content.
>The user-agent would only apply these attributes if both were specified, and
>if so ignore the corresponding WIDTH tag. Backwards compatibility could be
>preserved by specifying a WIDTH tag as a fall-back to earlier browsers.
>I would suggest that the MINWIDTH and MAXWIDTH attributes wouldn't have to
>have the same value type (pixel vs. percentage etc...), but that would be up
>to the user-agent to ensure that the MINWIDTH and MAXWIDTH values didn't
>overlap. What would happen if overlapping MINWIDTH / MAXWIDTH values were
>supplied (either directly, or indirectly via resolution of percentage-widths
>into pixel-widths) is - I think - a topic for further discussion. My present
>thoughts would be that the user-agent would reject invalid MINWIDTH /
>MAXWIDTH pairs, and fall back on the WIDTH tag (if present).
>I would also suggest that MINWIDTH and MAXWIDTH attributes be added to the
>CSS spec in the appropriate places.
>(PS: Apologies if this has already been suggested - I can't find it
>Z I N C
>http://www.zinc.co.uk <http://www.zinc.co.uk/> 

Nir Dagan
Assistant Professor of Economics
Brown University 
Providence, RI

Received on Wednesday, 10 November 1999 13:34:14 UTC

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