W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > June 1997

Re: list-item alignment in CSS

From: Chris Lilley <Chris.Lilley@sophia.inria.fr>
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 02:33:01 +0200 (MET)
Message-Id: <9706050233.ZM4778@grommit.inria.fr>
To: Todd Fahrner <fahrner@pobox.com>, Chris Lilley <Chris.Lilley@sophia.inria.fr>, David Perrell <davidp@earthlink.net>, www-style <www-style@w3.org>
On Jun 4,  5:25pm, Todd Fahrner wrote:

> At 0:34 +0200 6.5.97, Chris Lilley wrote:

> > No, not really. In DSSSL-speak CSS has three flow objects - block, inline,
> > and list-item. More are likely to be added.
>
> An aside: personally I have found the recent infusion of DSSSL-speak
> very helpful, particularly the "flow-object" concept. But as for
> flow-objects being added to CSS - do you mean as part of a
> "declarative subset" of DSSSL, or a new level of ambition for CSS?

Actually I meant it to describe what CSS already has (a few of) and to
try to distinguish semntic structures from (visual) presentational forms.


> A cursory scan of some graphic arts history texts suggests the
> strongest morphological connections between the pilcrow as paragraph
> separator and the bullet or other fleuron as list-item separator.
> There's a line of descent from inline paragraph markers (pilcrows),
> to on-the-margin markers (including empty- and filled-indent
> treatments), to in-the-margin markers (including hanging indents, and
> fleurons such as bullets). Consider religious texts whose
> "paragraphs" are rendered typically much like <OL> list items -
> numbered verses. So I posit that the distinction between lists and
> other sorts of item-blocks (like paragraphs) is one of habit and
> history - nothing more semantically essential.

One could imagine a similar argument that says headings are paragraphs,
and then we have nothing but a sequence of glyphs on a page. All structure
is an artifice imposed on the text, but hopefully imposed because one can do
something useful with it. But I take your point about the essential fluidity
of presentational forms and would not argue that the current forms are in
some way primal.

> If you endeavor to accommodate
> bi-directional horizontal and vertical flow on the canvas
> simultaneously,

no no, vertical writing doesn't appear in the plan until CSS 4.7  - oops

> with collision avoidance

plus full sprite detection and multi-spectral interaction effects
and spatial audio. Oh, we already have spatial audio. Oh well, never mind
tetris in html, who writes the first battle simulator in css?

> and "reader-author-machine
> balance", I don't envy you. Especially not if you're starting with
> CSS.

Now if I was going there, I wouldn't start from here.

> That was the context of my remark.

Understood. Bi-directional hoizontal flow, for reasonable cases and with
scope for block and inline embeddings of different directionality is,
indeed, where we intend to go.

> > Providing the basic ability to lay out a page of simple text is actually
> > a rather more pressing priority and helps rather more people than figuring
> > out how to do some arty rearrangement of paragraphs or lists for visual
> > glitz. However, if possible, we would like to cater for both communities.
>
> One person's glitz is another's legibility. Control is control.

Yeah, if you like. And information wants to be free, and fruit flies
like a banana. Control can give you legibility, and I'm sure we will see
CSS used to produce utterly illegible pages (given trends in print
typography). But the first step in legibility is just being able to see
text in your own language, and many folks don't have that yet aside
from pictures.


-- 
Chris Lilley, W3C                          [ http://www.w3.org/ ]
Graphics and Fonts Guy            The World Wide Web Consortium
http://www.w3.org/people/chris/              INRIA,  Projet W3C
chris@w3.org                       2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
+33 (0)4 93 65 79 87       06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Wednesday, 4 June 1997 20:33:14 GMT

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