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Re: Columns and other layouts

From: John Lewis <lewi0371@mrs.umn.edu>
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2003 11:09:05 -0500
Message-ID: <122105729577.20030425110905@cda.mrs.umn.edu>
To: www-style@w3.org

Ben wrote on Friday, April 25, 2003 at 6:38:35 AM:

> As an example, consider CSS3's multicol module. I wasn't here for
> the discussions, but I've read the spec. How exactly do I achieve
> the kind of columnar layout used all over the web? ( E.g.
> http://hypothetical.co.uk/home.php) where content is grouped with
> columns rather than flowed. There is, as I understand it, no
> capability to introduce a break in the columnised content that
> leaves the lower portion of a column empty.

<http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/tables.html> is one possible solution.

Multiple columns are another thing entirely. As the working draft
states, "This module describes multi-column layout in CSS. It builds
on the Box model module [...] and adds functionality to flow the
content of an element into multiple columns." I suppose it could be
more accurate, but what it's implying is that the ability to create
multiple columns already exists; what's being added is specifically
the ability to flow content of a single element into multiple columns.

If you read the the CSS2 recommendation, you'll see that traditional
table layouts were specified in CSS a long time ago (nearly five years
ago). You can also look at the CSS3 box model working draft.

A certain popular web browser continues to have pretty sparse CSS
support, and I wouldn't be surprised if tables still aren't supported.
That doesn't mean CSS is flawed; that means a certain browser doesn't
support CSS fully, in which case you'd be better off complaining to
the browser maker.

> My other concern relates to centering. I have a login box, I want it
> in the middle of the browser window. CSS does not address this
> issue, and previous attempts to gain clarity seem to have been
> brushed off with the argument that CSS is a document language not an
> interface one.

CSS *is* a document language, unless someone changed it while I wasn't
looking. At any rate, CSS can't fulfill your desire, because CSS can't
force anything. You can suggest that something look a certain way, but
users will have the ability to override author styles with user style
sheets or simply turn off author styles entirely. That's the way it
was designed.

John Lewis
Received on Friday, 25 April 2003 12:16:32 GMT

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