# Block Model Additions: Float Positioning

From: James Elmore <James.Elmore@cox.net>
Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2007 15:11:35 -0700
Message-Id: <B145AB1B-0EA3-492C-8BC9-19F7B453295B@cox.net>

```
This is another part of my investigation into the features missing
for control ‘between blocks.’ It took a while because this is part of
a larger and more complex area of inter-block interactions. Enjoy!

parameters of the ‘float’ styles. This will allow users to  adjust
the positions of floated elements (or leave the positions alone) more
than just ‘float: left;’ and ‘float: right;’ permit. If the block is
floated with a value of ‘position’ then the values of the ‘position’
style (static, relative, absolute, and fixed) come into effect and
provide control, allowing users to float without moving, or float
relative to the original position, relative to the enclosing block,
and relative to the viewport. Adjusting the ‘top,’ ‘bottom,’ ‘left,’
and ‘right’ style properties allows more control of floated elements.

NOTE for the Advanced Placement people: this feature would allow at
least a partial answer to problem #4 in Section 8. I hope to offer
more possible solutions to the problems presented in that section in
future proposals.

I’m not sure exactly how flowing the text boxes and blocks around the
‘floated’ block would work, especially when the floated element
extends into another block. Also, positions where there is limited
space (e.g., where only short words would fit on one side of the
floated element) might allow some words to flow, skipping across the
floated object and leaving other line blocks empty. This is all open
to discussion, if the primary proposal is accepted.

A short form, using 'float: static;' and the other position
parameters (static | relative | absolute | fixed) could set the
'float' and 'position' parameters at the same time. This would make
'float: static;' equivalent to 'float: position; position:
static;' (Relative, absolute, and fixed are possible values, as
well.) To shorten the amount you read, I will use the short form in
my examples.

‘Float: static;’ would not move the floated element, only allow text
and blocks to flow around it.

‘Float: relative;’ would allow the floated element to move along with
the text and blocks which surround it, just as a ‘relative’ element
would, except the TRBL (top, right, bottom, left) parameters could
move the floated object relative to its original position. Perhaps
there could be another parameter which would permit the empty space
where the floated object originally was positioned to remain open or
to close, although the definition of 'float' would already indicate
that the hole would close.

‘Float: absolute;’ would allow the floated element to be positioned
in relationship to the enclosing block. This would be the closest to
the current ‘float: left;’ (or right), permitting more accurate
positioning of floated elements, perhaps with:

float: absolute; top: auto; bottom: auto; left: 0; right: auto;

producing the same effect as ‘float: left;’

Finally, ‘float: fixed;’ would place the floated element relative to
the viewport. This might be harder to program, since the inline,
text, and regular blocks would need to be ‘reflowed’ every time the
viewport or the elements displayed in it changed. (Perhaps this could
be delayed until a later release, although it seems that it might be
very useful to designers.)

Of course, the control of the size of the floated object is another
feature of this procedure, offsetting the increase in the complexity
of the styles. Using the older ‘float: left;’ would still be
possible, keeping backwards compatibility with prior styles.

James Elmore
```
Received on Friday, 20 July 2007 22:11:55 GMT

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