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Re: DTP with XHTML+CSS

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2005 21:17:57 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200506132017.j5DKHwd06822@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: www-style@w3.org

> 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

There are at least two ways in which DTP and HTML+CSS differ:

- a typical DTP package has access to the whole document, but web 
  standards are designed for incremental rendering;

- a DTP package can be used in a closed loop environment, where the 
  designer sees the result, and can fine tune the fit of text to the
  page, but the assumption under which CSS operates is that it only 
  hints at presentation - the browser may impose constraints for 
  technical reasons and the user may impose constraints for reasons
  including accessibility - that means designs must be created open
  loop.

> 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. 

That's an abuse of structural markup.  You shouldn't have empty block
level elements to serve a presenational purpose.

More general overflows were discussed before the current columns option
was decided upon, but I assume that there was really no satisfactory
way of making them work open loop.

As you are using CC, rather than GFDL, I presume that having a revisable
form of the document for distribution isn't important, in which case I
think I would tweak the HTML/CSS to produce the right effect locally and
then produce a PDF image of the brochure, if the exact form of the
printout is that important.  Tagged PDF, in particular, is much better
at handling conflicting logical and presentational structures than 
HTML+CSS.
Received on Monday, 13 June 2005 20:19:30 GMT

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