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floats vs. page breaks

From: Joe Wells <sllewbj@blueyonder.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 2006 05:44:20 +0100
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <86y7rnh36j.fsf@blueyonder.co.uk>

Usually, one wants to position a float so that its top is as high as
the top of the lowest-positioned box from earlier elements of the
document.  When using paged media, doing so may cause the bottom of
the float to extend below the bottom of the page.  It seems valid (and
indeed proper) in this case for an implementation to decide to
postpone a float to the next page.  For example, Konqueror does this.
The relevant rule in CSS 2.1 (essentially the same rule is in CSS Box
Model Level 3) is "A floating box must be placed as high as
possible.".  It seems reasonable to decide that it is not "possible"
to position a float in a place where it would be cut in half by a page
break.

When this happens, there seems to be no way (in CSS 2.1 or CSS Box
Model Level 3) to ensure that any inline material from after the float
in the document gets moved down with the float.  This has horrible
implications for the way of implementing drop caps that is recommended
in <URL:http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/selector.html#first-letter>,
because it means that the drop cap can be moved after the paragraph it
is supposed to begin!

Comments?

Is there a solution?

Personally, I am not doing drop caps but rather something that should
be typeset like drop caps.  I have some paragraphs that should begin
with an image (several lines tall) which the paragraph text should be
wrapped around.  Using left floats for this works fine for online web
viewing, but gets messed up when printing due to the page breaks
causing some of the floats to drop down to the next page.

-- 
Joe Wells
Received on Wednesday, 11 October 2006 11:28:24 GMT

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