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Re: Adaptive Size Determination / Formating Using Tables Considered Harmful

From: Daniel Beardsmore <public@telcontar.net>
Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2007 15:04:20 +0100
Message-ID: <46602764.40306@telcontar.net>
To: www-style@w3.org

James Craig wrote:
> James Elmore wrote:
>> There is no other HTML / XHTML element which can automatically resize 
>> contained elements (or their margins / padding) so the elements appear 
>> all the same size. This ability is strictly formatting and should 
>> logically be part of CSS. I would, therefore, like to propose adding 
>> to CSS the ability to make sets of elements conform to a common size. 
> Hi James, apologies if I'm simplifying your request, but I think you're 
> looking for the table display values defined in CSS 2:

I would like to see some clearer examples. Since he's taken my subject line, 
then if he's failing to explain what I originally wrote then, no, tables 
won't work at all. Nothing I wrote about could be solved by using the table 
formatting model or a real table.

Assuming the use of my subject line is a confusing decoy, then what he 
originally wrote would appear to be doable with a table, and thus the table 
formatting model.

However, anyone who's used tables for mark-up will remember that they were 
ungainly to use for layout and I don't seriously suggest people using 
display: table to attempt to lay out a page. It would also tie you into a 
left-to-right, row-by-row mapping of physical to logical layout, whereas a 
good layout mechanism would allow you to distance the logical (rendered, 2D) 
layout from the physical (1D HTML) layout.

My own nested, cell-based layout allowed for pretty simple page content 
division and the ability to slot multiple successive items from the page 
into the layout cells. I forget whether I mentioned it on this list ... to 
me, it seemed nicer than the CSS3 attempt to tackle page layout -- more 
flexible, easier to specify and understand.

None of this has got anything to do with adaptive size determination. My 
very first example of this on this list was to show the creation of a fluid 
grid which is something that a table can *not* be used for, and PRECISELY 
why I was introducing a different concept to layout than tables. Tables 
cannot handle this case.
Received on Friday, 1 June 2007 14:07:16 UTC

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