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first-letter tag soup

From: L. David Baron <dbaron@fas.harvard.edu>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 22:18:59 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <200001110318.WAA02052@is04.fas.harvard.edu>
To: www-style@w3.org
Section 5.12.2 of CSS2 [1] says that first-letter pseudo-elements
should include punctuation preceding the first letter of the paragraph.
It also says that the formatting of the first-letter pseudo-element
can be understood by placing a :first-letter element immediately
around the first letter of the paragraph.  It gives the following
example:

# <P>
# <SPAN>
# <P:first-letter>
# T
# </P:first-letter>he first
# </SPAN> 
# few words of an article in the Economist.
# </P>

However, what happens to markup like:

<p>[<span>Text</span>]</p>

Both the '[' and the 'T' should be included in the first-letter
pseudo-element.  This can't form a tree structure.  So how is that
pseudo-element formatted?  What inherits from what?  Where do borders
and backgrounds go (on both the span and the first-letter)?

The only solution I can think of would be that if such a thing were to
happen, there should be no first-letter pseudo-element for that block.

-David

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/selector.html#first-letter

L. David Baron    Sophomore, Harvard (Physics)    dbaron@fas.harvard.edu
Links, SatPix, CSS, etc.     <URL: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~dbaron/ >
WSP CSS AC                      <URL: http://www.webstandards.org/css/ >
Received on Monday, 10 January 2000 22:19:00 GMT

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