W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > November 1999

Re: Body-indent

From: Jan Roland Eriksson <rex@css.nu>
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 1999 12:18:21 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <zQEjOEP+FcIxL1w9+vk9R6wBp7mL@4ax.com>
To: www-style@w3.org
On Fri, 5 Nov 1999 03:35:17 -0800 (PST), you wrote:

>--- Jan Roland Eriksson <rex@css.nu> wrote:
>> On Wed, 3 Nov 1999 19:39:08 -0500 (EST), you wrote:
>> There are simple reasons as to why you would not
>> want to use the margin property for this...

>Not to mention the fact that it sets up a block for
>the element that is of the wrong size.

That's one thing it does _not_ do. (I take it to mean that you are
referring to the visible 'width' of the examples?)

All three "blocks" you can see in the example have exactly the same
total _outside_ width as in the sum of values for the following


The fact that I deliberatly did put a visible border in there was only
to serve as a remainder of where the margin and padding areas meet.

>(Imagine the havoc that such a method would cause
>in columns (the text-indent would overlap the
>previous column).

Ignorant authors could do that yes, I used to be one up to the point
where my frustration and David's knowledge happened to coincide so that
my "ignorance" could be removed on this part at least :)


>For example, I use a script that does browser
>detection to serve my style sheets,

Unsafe to start with. I for one could easily fool any sniffer, and I
take it that even "ignorant" users could fall into the same "trap" from
just not knowing how to configure their browsers.

>It is true, however, that the fact that CSS is so
>complicated hampers takeup.

Exactly, and that is why I would like to argue for a "time out" to give
room for users, authors and implementors to catch up on what we already
have available. CSS1 in it self contains so many wonderful properties
that can be used in a compliant browser (e.g. Opera) to "show off" a
nice "type setting" on the web. CSS2 have more along the same line,
let's all have a chance to use it too?

>There is no doubt IMHO that the biggest reason that
>css is not used more heavily is the poor support for

Agreed, an that strengthens my argument above I think.


>> There is so much that can be done with CSS1 already,
>> together with a fairly compliant ua, but I seriously
>> doubt that authors at large have even tried to
>> really learn about that part yet.

>But there is also so much that _can't_ be done.

History tells us that it is wise to ask one self the following question,
over and over again...

  "Why do I _really_ need this 'X' feature if my real
   target is that I want to communicate with some one

The answer to that can be twofold of course, as in...

  "Yes 'X' is required to properly convey my idea"


  "No, 'X' would be just another 'gizmo'..."

>For example, you can't position elements and get other
>elements to flow around them. This is seen in almost
>any newspaper, and it is essential that CSS should be
>able to reproduce something as basic as a newspaper.

I know that first hand in fact, based on my personal interest for old
handwriting and printing techniques. CSS2 is there to help on that but
then again the support for CSS2 is just vapor ware at the moment of
course. And even more so the required knowledge of how to use it.

Still I have not given up on my idea of how to suggest a presentation of
a handwritten page from "Liber Sextus"

The copies I have of pages from that book are handwritten somewhere back
in the 1300'hundreds and shows off a layout that can still be found
regularly in newspapers today, amazing :)

>In addition it shouldn't be forgotten that CSS is not
>just for the WWW.

Maybe not, but this list has WWW in it's name so I take it that WWW
issues are highly relevant here, in front of many other things.

all the best...

Jan Roland Eriksson <rex@css.nu> .. <URL:http://css.nu/>
Received on Sunday, 7 November 1999 11:46:02 UTC

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