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DTP with XHTML+CSS

From: David Pratten <d1@jibekjoly.net>
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2005 15:20:10 +0600
To: <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <E1Dhl7q-0000cG-MC@maggie.w3.org>

Dear All,

(This posting clarifies the content of my earlier posting.)

Recently I have been impressed with the possibilities of using a browser's
layout engine for wide distribution of Creative Commons licensed health
information brochures.  Using Unicode+XHTML+CSS+PDF writer and a browser, I
recently created a print-ready brochure and a webpage with common source.
See
https://www.jibekjoly.net/theshed/index.php?title=A_way_to_create_and_publis
h_health_brochures for a detailed description of how it was done. 

This solution works well for us and has all kind of advantages.  It is
future proof, non-propietory, platform agnostic, low cost, simple, and human
language agnostic.  

However it has some disadvantages.
1) the text must be manually separated into columns and pages.
2) the proper nesting requirement of XHMTL conflicts with the column and
page structures in a way that makes the column and page break and graphics
insertion markup messy.

I would like to propose a simple way of removing these disadvantages and
opening the door to greatly expanded use of XHTML+CSS for publishing
activities.  A concept used to solve these disadvantages in other publishing
solutions is the use of finite chains of "textbox"s which allow separation
of the page structure from the content.  Lets add this capacity to CCS
through 3 new properties: 

overflow-to:  If CSS was extended to include a new property "overflow-to:"
then text and images that can not be rendered in a block level element could
be carried forward into a designated block-level element later in the XHTML
file. The 'overflowed' content would be inserted before other content in the
later element. 

overflow-before and overflow-after:   Overflow from one block element to the
next in sequence could also be forced by overflow-before and overflow-after
properties. These proposed properties would have comparable meaning to
page-break-before and page-break-after but act at the level of block-level
elements rather than pages.

Some examples and further discussion may be found at:
https://www.jibekjoly.net/theshed/index.php?title=Desktop_Publishing_with_XH
TML_and_CSS

David Pratten 
Received on Monday, 13 June 2005 09:21:04 GMT

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