W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > March 2000

width of absolutely positioned, non-replaced elements

From: Joe Hewitt <joe@joehewitt.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2000 23:58:26 -0500
To: <www-style@w3c.org>

I am writing to question the reasoning behind section 10.3.7 of the CSS2
spec.  I am of the opinion that there is a flaw in this section which may
have serious negative implications for many web applications.  Let me
explain why.

This section states that when the width (or height, as in 10.6.4) of said
element is "auto", the width will extend to the boundaries of it's
containing block.  The consequence of this is that said absolutely
positioned elements have no means of accurately representing the dimensions
of their content.  Can someone please explain to me why block-level elements
get to turn "auto" into their intrinsic width/height, but absolutely
positioned elements do not?

I can plainly state that there is a definite need to these elements to be
able to determine the dimensions of their content.  Many applications today
use Javascript and DOM to develop complex widgets and layouts using absolute
positioning only.  These applications will often fill an element with text
and expect the size of the element to be the size of it's content.  These
applications are completely crippled if these elements are incapable of
representing their intrinsic size.

I have been told by folks like Ian Hickson and Troy Chevalier that this
issue is being discussed and likely to be revised in a future errata item.
Can someone what the W3C's current thoughts are on this issue?


Received on Thursday, 2 March 2000 23:58:31 UTC

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