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Re: Block Model Additions: Float Positioning

From: James Elmore <James.Elmore@cox.net>
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2007 15:41:46 -0700
Message-Id: <AA8FA404-F80E-4204-B81E-1FEDF8944925@cox.net>
To: www-style@w3.org

On Jul 22, 2007, at 4:53 AM, David Woolley wrote:

>
> James Elmore wrote:
>
>> I have seen numerous requests, suggestions, and proposals for  
>> positioning floats in this mailing list in the last few months.
>
> How many of those have really been about floats, and how many have  
> been about making it easier to use floats as a hack to achieve  
> other purposes?
>

On scanning the archives, I was only able to find three. The urls are  
for the threads, probably not the original post or request. List  
below. (My own threads are excluded, just because I am asking.)

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2007May/0028.html
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2007Apr/0177.html
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2007May/0043.html

But, I have a problem with your request. I am proposing a feature  
which doesn't exist in CSS. There is no way people can be asking to  
use this feature, since it doesn't exist. The discussions I  
remembered were about placing floats in different ways, not  
necessarily the way(s) I am proposing, because my proposal didn't  
exist then. I have provided some possible uses for my proposal, but  
there is no way to demonstrate its utility.

This is a catch 22. No one can ask for a new feature because they  
have to have examples of its use. But there can be no examples of its  
use because it doesn't exist. If someone tries to use floats for  
something they can't currently do, it is a hack. But if someone asks  
for an extension feature to floats, they need to provide examples of  
people using the feature or requesting the feature.

If a proposed new feature doesn't fit in what is currently considered  
as the CSS Feature Set, it is a hack, rather than a proposed new  
feature. And which purposes are allowed when asking for a new  
feature? Perhaps my proposal will provide the new genesis of the web  
interface. (Probably not. ;-) But because someone who might support  
my position is trying to create a 'hack' their input is invalid. And  
my input is invalid because I am not, at this exact minute, trying to  
build a web page with these features. So, no new features are allowed  
in CSS, right?

That's just silly.

Perhaps I am asking the questions in the wrong order. Should I ask  
how I can position a float relative to its current position, then  
propose 'float: relative;'? Then ask how I can position a float  
relative to its enclosing box (beyond 'left' and 'right), then  
propose 'float: absolute;'? Then ask for a float in the middle of a  
paragraph, then propose 'float: static;'? I thought I had provided  
sufficient rationale for the proposal, but apparently not.

Because I can't use this feature now, it isn't useful, ever?

As I said before, I'm still not tuned into the 'correct' order for  
making a proposal. Please forgive me for doing this in the wrong  
order. But I would appreciate your comments about why this proposal  
won't work. If I haven't given enough details, ask, and I will try  
and provide them. If I give too many details, let me know and I will  
try and moderate my postings myself; I know some people don't have  
time to read long posts. (In fact, this is only about 30% of a set of  
proposals having to do with positioning. I decided to try a smaller  
set, closer to the current CSS standards, first. Then add features  
which are 'further out'.)

> David Woolley

Thanks for your input, David.

James Elmore
Received on Sunday, 22 July 2007 22:42:02 GMT

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