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Re: Horizontal alignment of blocks (was: Ideas for CSS 3.0?)

From: Ben Godfrey <afternoon@uk2.net>
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 2003 01:16:00 +0100 (BST)
Message-ID: <50267.217.155.37.44.1054772160.squirrel@maxproxy5.uk2net.com>
To: www-style@w3.org


> So basically we would create new property "align" with possible values
> of "left", "right" and "center". And all it would do, is to interpret
> those as "margin-left: 0; margin-right: auto;", "margin-left: auto;
> margin-right: 0;" and "margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"
> respectively. Yes, it would allow shorter style declaration /in some
> cases/ but in the same time, it would add some bloat to all user agents.

Bloat? I don't think that word is really appropriate to this addition and
certainly not given the clear usability benefit and the extreme simplicity
of definition and implementation.

> I really think that page authors do need to know the difference between
> "text-align" and this proposed "align" attributes and if they understand
> that difference, then using margins for centering instead of this
> "align" property shouldn't be any problem anyway.

Why? Most people who use CSS either have an agent to write the code for
them or are happy to muddle through, myself included mostly. If something
works, the user should not have to understand it. Aliasing the above
margin commands to an align property would increase the readability and
semantic accuracy of the style.

CSS should allow the page author to request the styling they require with
clear, semanticly appropriate syntax and then take care of the
technicalities of how that is acheived itself. Certainly as a programmer
assigning a zero-width left margin is obviously the same as sticking a
block to the left wall of it's container, but not everybody who writes CSS
is a programmer and nor should they be.

This is the critical failing of this forum, IMHO. Few non-programmers,
such as page authors or designers, contribute. Given that CSS is a tool
for designing (whether visually, audibly or otherwise, it's still design),
this is patently ridiculous.

Ben

Context: I'm a programmer.



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Received on Wednesday, 4 June 2003 20:16:09 GMT

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