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

Re: Property "rotate"

From: Wingnut <wingnut@winternet.com>
Date: Sun, 15 May 2005 13:06:20 -0500
Message-ID: <42878F9C.8040701@winternet.com>
To: www-style@w3.org

Manuel Strehl wrote:
> Hello.
> Every time I used CSS for styling web pages I found myself wondering, why there isn't a property to rotate objects. For example, on the W3C recommendation pages is a picture with text running from bottom to top (fixed background of the body). Using a style property like rotation, one could simply define it as a rotated div.
> My question is: Has a property like this ever been suggested, and if yes, what were the arguments against it? Because in my opinion such would allow to reduce the necessary amount of pictures by quite a bit (like two pictures being just one, if you'd like to display an ornament on top and vice versa on the bottom of your page).
> Suggestion like:
> div { rotate:-90deg; }
> Manuel

Hi Manuel (and commentors)!

    I once did some yacking about z-rotation... in the bowels of this 


I don't have the slightest idea of how browsers deal with "flow" and 
"layout", but I can imagine some problem areas with z-rotation of box 
models. (box models = html element-like critters)

First, once a div is rotated... say 90 degrees clockwise... did the 
box's bottom PADDING and MARGIN... rotate as well? 
style="padding-bottom: 4pt;" now affects the LEFT padding instead?  Or 
not?  *shrug*

Secondly, there's content.  Let pretend that's there's some text in the 
rotated div.  Did that rotate too?  Did the chars tip sideways, so that 
their tops aim to the right now?  Or did the text take on a vertical 
layout AS A PHRASE, but the chars themselves never rotated?  And how do 
all these hassles affect css props like lineHeight, letterSpacing, 
widths, heights, and the myriad of critters allowed
in the css 'display' property.

Now, what if the content ISN'T "just" text, but a table, or form 
elements, or an image, or a media player plugin?   Does IT spin too?  If 
so, small animals need to go hide right now. :)

That's why I suggested "we" overload the OBJECT element... in such a way 
as to allow it to make "specialty nodes".  (I wanted rotatable arrows, 
circles, and (angled) annotation-allowances so teachers could "grade" 
webpapers from students... with red lines and comments and all those 
other esteem-destroying things.)

The object element is already all-ready for huge expansionism, via its 
PARAM child elements.  One still has to fight with the problem of how to 
'flow' such a critter.  One might consider growing a "second dom tree" 
that doesn't interfere with the primary one.  Its a "layer" over the 
display of the primary dom tree... and its members are absolutely 
positioned in reference to the primary dom tree.  This is no easy task 
for the flow-meisters either, as you my suspect.

Yep, rotating box models around various axis... would be nice... jaggies 
and all... but its still left to other methods.  Most use paintbox 
programs to fake it... with images, or use contorted SVG or VRML 
operations to accomplish it.  I've seen some abolutely wonderful stuff 
in VRML, and the whole world of 3D websurfing is still ahead.  The DOM 
trees are called 'scene graphs' in that land. When you see onCollision 
and onOverlap hit the box model events, you know we're starting to 
gear-up. :)  3D browsing will become VERY common eventually, and CSS 
styling will take on a whole new meaning in that world.  Can you wait 
for a few years... for when your box models can REALLY rotate... and 
bonk you on the head, and dance like Gilda Gray, or up and fly away on ya?

Best regards!
Received on Sunday, 15 May 2005 18:08:44 UTC

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