W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > February 2003

Re: :first-line

From: John Lewis <lewi0371@mrs.umn.edu>
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 07:57:46 -0600
Message-ID: <36179574146.20030224075746@cda.mrs.umn.edu>
To: www-style@w3.org

Sigurd wrote on Monday, February 24, 2003 at 10:22:40 PM:

> I don't get this post, did you just repeat my question or did you
> answer it? :)

Did I just repeat your question or did I answer it?

Seriously: I'm not qualified to answer your question because I don't
know why the change was made. However, I've seen no reason for CSS3 to
change CSS2's wording, so I assume it doesn't matter or it's a
mistake. I think the change would be mentioned and a reason given had
it been intentional.

I replied because in reading your original post I had the feeling you
misread the spec. I was familiar with the example in CSS2, which
contradicts your original quote from CSS3. When I found the wording
had changed in CSS3, I was letting you know of the discrepancy. It
would be a different situation had it been identical in CSS2.

I also asked whether or not the difference between CSS2/3 is a
practical one (i.e., would it affect rendering at all?). I'm unsure
because the tag sequence described is explicitly labeled as fictional.
I'm not sure if I should take the prose at face value, in which case
popular browser behavior is fine, or if the nesting of tags in the
example is relevant and therefore the browsers are wrong according to

One reason I believe CSS2 is correct, if in fact the order matters, is
because the CSS3 wording makes :first-line, and elements that happen
to fall on the first line of an element styled with :first-line, less
useful. For example, take the case of an inline element that falls on
both the first and second line. If all of its declarations conflicted
with the first line's declarations (e.g., the two set differing
colors), and the first line won, the inline element would essentially
have no contrast from other words in the first line, except for the
part that appears on the second line. In the case it falls entirely on
the first line, the element would have no distinction from the first
line. I don't see how or when that would be useful. If an actual
inline element exists, surely it's more important and should override
the styles of a typographical pseudo-element, all other things being

Obviously, I could have been a great deal more explicit in what I
said, so it's no surprise you were confused.

> I didn't notice the difference in CSS2 and CSS3, but I (now) need to
> know if the behavior is supposed to be different on CSS2 and CSS3.
> What CSS2 has, is what seems the most intuitive to me. Is the change
> in CSS3 a mistake or have they changed the behavior on :first-line
> from CSS2 to CSS3?

I'm wondering myself. Hopefully someone who knows will eventually
speak up.

Received on Monday, 24 February 2003 08:58:19 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Monday, 27 April 2009 13:54:19 GMT