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Re: CSS2.1: The 'content' property

From: Tantek Çelik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>
Date: Thu, 05 Feb 2004 15:00:49 -0800
To: fantasai <fantasai@escape.com>, <www-style@w3.org>
Cc: w3c-css-wg <w3c-css-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BC47273E.3599B%tantek@cs.stanford.edu>

On 3/2/03 4:13 PM, "fantasai" <fantasai@escape.com> wrote:

> CSS2.1 draft, Section 12.2
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/WD-CSS21-20030128/generate.html#content
>  # normal
>  #    On the :before and :after pseudo-elements,
>  #    this value is the same as 'none'.
>  # none
>  #    No content is generated.
> The 'none' value is redundant; please take it out. If it's
> needed in CSS3, it can be added there--no need to confuse
> the issue.
> 'normal' should be defined as follows:
>  The pseudo-element is not rendered.


> It should also be renamed to 'auto', as 'auto' means "self"--

No.  'auto' does not mean "self" in the context of CSS.

Typically 'auto' means "perform some calculation" (e.g. margin, width,
height, top, left, right, bottom), or "do something platform/UA-specific"
(e.g. cursor, table-layout).

Whereas 'normal' actually means "don't do anything special, just do the
usual (normal) thing", which as you say:

> is a connotation you'll want in CSS3.


> In contrast, 'normal' here means little more
> than 'default',

That's precisely right, and that's exactly the connotation we want, just
like the value 'normal' for the properties font-style, font-variant,
font-weight, letter-spacing, and word-spacing for example.

Though these connotations are not 100% consistent throughout the spec, they
are by far the dominant connotations for those terms in CSS, and thus it
makes sense for new uses of those terms to be consistent with those dominant

> and it implies that any other value is
> "abnormal". ;)

To some minor extent that may be true, though no more so than the other than
'normal' values for other properties that accept 'normal'.

> If the WG still feels 'normal' is more appropriate than 'auto',
> I would *really* like to know why. *formally requests a reply*

Bottom line: 'auto' implies more calculation/intelligence/special-behavior
as opposed to 'normal' which implies doing less work, doing the usual thing,
which precisely reflects what content:normal does.

Thanks again for the feedback,


CSS-WG note:
Issue 94. Name of initial value of 'content'.
Further communication completed.
Received on Thursday, 5 February 2004 18:00:55 UTC

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