W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > July 2005

Re: New layout language.

From: Laurens Holst <lholst@students.cs.uu.nl>
Date: Wed, 06 Jul 2005 21:23:37 +0200
Message-ID: <42CC2FB9.50300@students.cs.uu.nl>
To: Orion Adrian <orion.adrian@gmail.com>
Cc: www-style@w3.org

Orion Adrian wrote:

>>>My point is that it wasn't obvious. You yourself said, you had to
>>>figure some things out. I've spent years with CSS and while I haven't
>>>recently, the system is very complex in how it interacts with itself.
>>I'd just like to point out here that most CSS experimentation involves
>>finding out what IE will do with certain types of code.  It's rare that
>>I run CSS through both Firefox and Opera and find major differences with
>>how it's interpreted.  In fact, 99 out of 100 times, it'll be
>>interpreted exactly as the CSS standards say, which means I can
>>visualize it in my head.
>The idea I've been trying to get across this whole time is that the
>mental models of the people here are very unlikely to be the mental
>models of most designers.

It is utterly simple. You have a block, which is initially the size of 
the content (if any, or 0x0). If you want it to have a 10 pixel empty 
space around it, you position it 10px from the top, left, right and 
bottom, which will make it ‘stretch’ horizontally and vertically as 
necessary. Linking the dimensions to the window borders ensures that the 
box resizes with the browser window.

Similarly, if you want a box from (0,0) to (50,200) you just specify 
left, top and width, height. If you want a box next to that from (50,0) 
to (total width, unspecified) then you specify left, top and right.

I don’t see how that is so terribly unintuitive. The only reason why it 
might not be is because it is currently impossible in IE to use absolute 
positioning like that, and CSS users have therefore never used it as 
such and are also not taught to do that. Instead they think in terms of 
percentage widths, and that is pretty much the point where they usually 
start to complain about the content box model.

This should also work perfectly fine for GUI tools to layout a design.

By the way, in your example that you gave without right: and bottom:, 
how can you specify that something ends x pixels before the end of the 
window? In fact, how can you specify the place where a box ends in 
anything else but percentages? You can’t, so I think that makes your 
proposal officially less powerful than CSS currently is :).


Ushiko-san! Kimi wa doushite, Ushiko-san!!
Laurens Holst, student, university of Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Website: www.grauw.nl. Backbase employee; www.backbase.com.
Received on Wednesday, 6 July 2005 19:23:39 UTC

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