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[CSS2.1] Comments on CSS2.1 Last Call draft, Chapter 8

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Sat, 04 Oct 2003 15:53:22 -0400
Message-Id: <200310041953.h94JrMkT024123@no-knife.mit.edu>
To: www-style@w3.org

-- Section 8.1 (Box Dimensions)

The description of "content edge or inner edge" makes it sound like this edge
always surrounds the "rendered content"; the latter term is sort of vaguely
defined.  The overall impression given is that given the markup:

<div style="height: 1px">

the "content edge or inner edge" will surround both lines (which is of course
not the case).

I hesitate to suggest a better wording offhand, though...  Perhaps "content
area" instead of "rendered content", with a link to a few paragraphs below
where it says "The dimensions of the content area of a box ..."?

-- Section 8.1 (Box Dimensions)

The definition of "box width" given in this section gives me some pause.  The
only mentions of the term "box width" in chapters 8-18 of the specification
(other than this definition) are:

A)  A statement immediately preceding that says that box widths are explained
    in a later chapter.
B)  Discussion of percent values for left/right (section 9.3.1 Choosing a
    positioning scheme: 'position' property).  The prose there says these
    are percentages of the "containing block's box width"; is it really intended
    that he containing block's margin's affect the offset from the padding edge in
    this case, per the definition of "box width"?
C)  Discussion of min-width/max-width (10.4 Minimum and maximum widths:
    'min-width' and 'max-width').  The prose here says that these properties
    constrain "box widths".... except that's not true according to the Section
    8.1 definition of "box width".  They constrain content widths.
D)  A reference to "page box width" in chapter 13.  This also seems to want the
    content width.

In short, there is no usage of this term in this specification that is
consistent with the definition.  I suggest striking the definition and changing
the two uses to refer to content widths, since that seems to be the desired

The "box height" seems similarly useless.

-- Section 8.2 (Example of margins, padding, and borders)

"The height of each LI box is given by its content height, plus top and bottom
padding, borders, and margins."  What does that mean, exactly?  That is, what
does "the height of each LI box" in real terms?  The exampls does not really
say what this quantity (which is not even well-defined in the presence of
margin collapsing) is used for.

-- Section 8.3.1 (Collapsing margins)

"Collapsing is based on the computed value of 'padding', 'margin', and

The computed value of margin properties is "the percentage as specified or the
absolute length".  What exactly does it mean for collapsing be based on the
computed value if that can be "the percentage as specified"?  Especially if the
collapsing margins belong to boxes with different containing blocks (and hence
different meanings of percentage values)?

-- Section 8.4 (Padding properties: 'padding-top', 'padding-right',
                'padding-bottom', 'padding-left', and 'padding')

Unlike margin and border, conforming HTML user agents _do_ have to apply
padding to <html>?

-- Section 8.5.4 (Border shorthand properties: 'border-top', 'border-bottom',
                  'border-right', 'border-left', and 'border')

The heading should list top, right, bottom, left in that order, probably.

    "What the hell are you getting so upset about?  I
thought you didn't believe in God."
    "I don't," she sobbed, bursting violently into
tears, "but the God I don't believe in is a good God, a
just God, a merciful God.  He's not the mean and stupid
God you make Him out to be."

                     --Joseph Heller, "Catch-22"
Received on Saturday, 4 October 2003 15:53:29 UTC

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