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

Re: Horizontal alignment of blocks

From: Arthur Wiebe <webmaster@awiebe.com>
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2003 08:36:23 -0400
Message-ID: <3EDF3947.9080502@awiebe.com>
To: Mikko Rantalainen <mira@st.jyu.fi>, www-style@w3.org

Mikko Rantalainen wrote:

> Arthur Wiebe wrote:
>> Mikko Rantalainen wrote:
>>> Well, the user agent would need to map that "align" property to 
>>> margins anyway or it wouldn't make any sense (think "align: center" 
>>> combined with "margin-left:0; margin-right: 90%;" What should the 
>>> user agent do?).
>>> 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.
>> Is margin made for alignment? Maybe align would be confusing. I have 
>> thought about it. Since we do have vertical-align why don't we also 
>> add horizontal-align? It would be more typing but less confusing. 
>> Since we do have vertical-align it would make sense to also have 
>> horizontal-align. As far as bloating the browser I don't think 
>> horizontal-align would do any bloating. Did vertical-align bloat some 
>> browers?
> The spec 
> <URL:http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/visudet.html#propdef-vertical-align> 
> says:
> vertical-align
>   This property affects the vertical positioning inside a line
>   box of the boxes generated by an inline-level element.
> Notice the "line box" part. The vertical-align property is vertical 
> equivalent to "text-align". Remember how I said, the difference 
> between "text-align" and this new 'align' must be understood?
> The problem, as I see it, is the way top and bottom margins are 
> calculated. I think that if I have a block that's sized (10em,20em) 
> and another block inside it sized (5em,10em) then setting 
> "margin:auto" for that inner block should center it both horizontally 
> and vertically inside the containing block. This isn't what current 
> browsers do and I'm not sure if it's because the spec (that isn't too 
> clear) or just a shortcoming of browser manufacturers. Or perhaps I've 
> misunderstood how vertical-align is supposed to work.
> [-> www-style@w3.org]

After I sent the email I realized that horizontal-algin would not be so 
good because vertical-align is for inline elements and text and 
horizontal-align wouldn't be. That would confuse people even more.
I think the best thing to do would be to add align with the values 
center, left, and right. I believe it's the best way and also the best 
understood by HTML/XHTML authors.
Received on Thursday, 5 June 2003 08:36:27 UTC

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