W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > August 2002

Re: Float overflowing behavior

From: stylo~ <list@swordandpen.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 2002 12:42:54 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <NGBBKBFKOLLKIBIKEAOEAEBECBAA.list@swordandpen.com>
To: <www-style@w3.org>

I strongly second this idea and hope those in charge of floats will look at
this deficiency in the spec that is harming the adoption of CSS by

Floats busting out of their containers, overlapping their container's
borders, and interfering with subsequent sections is not only
counterintuitive, but a continual headache that makes the use of floats a
nightmare. I hear this repeatedly on developer boards/lists. Normally you
have sections, often with borders, and floated divs/images within them that
you quite rightly want to remain within them. The w3c pic
http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/images/float2p.gif demonstrates exactly what is
NOT wanted 99% of the time, and what developers are continually asking for
workarounds to. -And what is forcing them to maintain table layouts and the
align attribute.

Min-height and other CSS attempts to overcome this deficiency in the spec
just don't work. With dynamic pages and image sizes, this deficiency is more
pronounced. The fact that garbage code is necessary to work around the spec
as-is (<div style="clear: both;">&nbsp;</div>) in order to get the effect
that authors normally want indicates that *there is a deficiency* that
really needs to be addressed.

The best way to correct this deficiency is to add a property as suggested,
or maybe to make the clear property work on floats to force a break
afterwards, and the container they sit in to stretch, just as the sample
garbage code does.

I think float containment should have been the default behavior and cannot
for the life of me figure out why it wasn't - floated elements can be placed
outside text containers and the text will flow nicely around the floats as
with align="left", so no loss -, but better late than never. With the
suggested solution added to the spec, we get two float options and, most
importantly, the one we normally need! Anyone designing pages of even
moderate complexity will appreciate a solution to this deficiency in the
float spec.

One last point: there has been so little use of floats to date because of
problems, it is wise that a solution be included now so it is there as
people come onboard fully with CSS layout. -And to get the stragglers
onboard who are sticking to table layouts and align until this, vertical
centering, and a few other issues are resolved.

Received on Wednesday, 14 August 2002 04:19:26 UTC

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