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Re: Tree presented lists (was: Suggestion)

From: Tantek Celik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>
Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 10:20:54 -0700
To: Daniel Hiester <alatus@earthlink.net>, "www-style" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1216472907-301733256@psdbay.com>
From: "Daniel Hiester" <alatus@earthlink.net>
To: "www-style" <www-style@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Tree presented lists (was: Suggestion)
Date: Thu, Jul 19, 2001, 10:45 PM

> Borris Zbarski said:
>
> "Furthermore, you seem to be completely ignoring non-visual
> useragents unless you meant to provide stylesheets for all media with
> every page that has a list."
>
> I forgot about non-visual useragents. I admit I do not know how non-visual
> UA's work. If I had to guess, though, a non-visual UA could parse the
> list-style-type property, to decide if it needs to read numbers or not. My
> question, as I said in my seperate response to the www-html forum, is why do
> we need seperate list elements? Are we creating an insufficiently clear
> description of the structure if we merely have an element that represents
> "list?" I suggested using an already-existing list element for use as a
> generic list element, to permit backward compatibility, and using
> stylesheets to completely control the presentation of the list.
>
> However, this has really drawn the style forum away from the question I
> really wanted to ask to the style experts.
>
> How pheasable is it to permit a style property like this:
>
> .example { list-style-type: tree }
>
> And then any list elements that use the "example" class displays the list in
> a tree structure? The example from the original post, but modified:
>
> <ul class="example">
> <li> first
> <li> second
> <li> third
>   <ul class="example">
>   <li> first nested
>   <li> second nested
>   <li> third nested
>   </ul>
> <li> forth (resumed)
> </ul>
>
> Would appear something like:
> *-+--- first
>   |--- second
>   |-+- third
>   | |--- first nested
>   | |--- second nested
>   | +--- third nested
>   +--- forth (resumed)
>
> Does that sound like a sensible thing to do?

This looks very interesting to me.

In fact, this example demonstrates perfectly why mimicking typical list
styling using the "display:marker" mechanism is far too
restrictive/short-sighted (never mind needlessly complex for users and
implementers).

I think list-style-type could be a good way to achieve this kind of
stylistic effect, but the name of the value "tree" sounds a bit too general,
as one can think of numerous "tree-like" ways of displaying lists.

perhaps something like
  list-style-type: outline;
or
  list-style-type: tree-outline;
or
  something else?

Another question - can items in such lists be numbered, e.g. using your
example:

 *-+--- 1. first
   |--- 2. second
   |-+- 3. third
   | |--- a. first nested
   | |--- b. second nested
   | +--- c. third nested
   +--- 4. forth (resumed)

If so, then you need another mechanism besides list-style-type, because
list-style-type would be currently used for the numbering, e.g. to get your
markup to display the numbering as shown above, use this style sheet:

 .example { list-style-type:decimal }
 .example .example { list-style-type:lower-alpha }

Tantek
Received on Friday, 20 July 2001 13:25:21 GMT

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