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Re: [css3-layout] Proposal for CSS Layout Addition

From: Bert Bos <bert@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2006 19:14:58 +0200
To: "Catherine Brys" <c.brys@lib.gla.ac.uk>
Cc: www-style@w3.org
Message-Id: <200608301914.58249.bert@w3.org>

On Friday 11 August 2006 18:19, Catherine Brys wrote:

> We have come up with a proposal
> (http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~wim/consultancy/papers/CSS3layout/) which
> in many respects is similar to the current draft. Our aim has been to
> provide a syntax and semantics which would be as intuitive to web
> designers as possible, while being compatible with the current draft
> and extensible to support multiple document formats. The proposed
> syntax still adheres to the formal CSS syntax.
>
> Your thoughts on this proposal would be very welcome.

Here are some comments:

1) The idea to designate slots in the grid by coordinates (row, column) 
instead of by a letter is something I tried. My arguments against it 
were finally that I didn't like to count, that sometimes I preferred 
reordering the letters in the grid instead of changing the 
'position' (or row/column) properties of the elements, and that using 
letters allowed me to indicate visually and concisely how slots spanned 
several rows and columns.

2) The idea to give a range of layouts that are tried in order until one 
fits is interesting, because it avoids that designers have to calculate 
themselves at what size the next design should be tried. On the other 
hand, we have already decided for an approach based on Media Queries to 
select among different styles. Media Queries are more powerful in that 
they allow to swap whole style sheets, not just the layout, and they 
allow expressions over several characteristics (type of device, height, 
availability of color, etc.), not just width.

3) It seems the proposal only allows a single layout per page and you 
cannot nest them. The Advanced Layout working draft on the other hand, 
allows each element to have a layout. Just like tables can be nested, 
so can layouts. The advantage is that a piece of content that is 
syndicated from elsewhere can be put in a slot and can keep its own 
layout. The two layouts don't have to be merged into a single layout 
with the sum of their rows and columns. (The disadvantage is that 
elements cannot be placed outside their hierarchy: an element inside 
that syndicated content cannot be pulled out and placed in a different 
slot, at least not by using these properties alone.)

4) It is not clear in the proposal how slots that span rows or columns 
are handled, although the intention seems to be to support them.

5) There are several details of how to compute the width and height of 
rows that need to be better defined (e.g., what is the width of an 
empty column?), but I guess there are ways to do that.

6) The Advanced Layout working draft allows authors to indicate directly 
on the grid what the size of the rows and columns is (or whether they 
are flexible). Your proposal only takes the size indirectly from the 
elements. Although I want most things (colors, backgrounds, borders) to 
be set on the elements, the size is something that I expect to see 
specified in a central place, on the grid itself, not on the elements.



Bert
-- 
  Bert Bos                                ( W 3 C ) http://www.w3.org/
  http://www.w3.org/people/bos                               W3C/ERCIM
  bert@w3.org                             2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
  +33 (0)4 92 38 76 92            06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Wednesday, 30 August 2006 17:15:49 GMT

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