W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > June 2007

Re: Stylings only possible with Tables

From: James Elmore <James.Elmore@cox.net>
Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2007 12:23:46 -0700
Message-ID: <467D7342.6020007@cox.net>
To: www-style@w3.org

Raul Dias wrote:
> On Sat, 2007-06-23 at 11:11 -0700, James Elmore wrote:
>>Daniel Beardsmore wrote:
>>>> 4. Allow designers to constrain the height/width of sets of blocks ...
>>>This was the subject I introduced here some months back and was not well 
>>>understood. The only solution I've seen (that someone showed me) was 
>>>still a horrible hack. Combined with what you wrote in 5, this would be 
>>I remember the discussion. I don't have a complete, well thought out solution, 
>>but I am thinking about something like
>>      .blockset1   { width: max(); height: min(); }
>>This would require the CSS module to find the max, or min, or other constraint 
>>of a group of blocks. The blocks would be defined as belonging to a class (in 
>>the example, .blockset1). Other limitations, as in the table layout algorithms 
>>would need to be applied. If I read the specification correctly, the only 
>>information needed is the width of the parent block and the contents of the 
>>*children blocks.
> There is no problem with width: 100%, this is the default for block
> elements, so it is not a big deal, but the problem is with height: 100%.
> The specification says that a % value can only be used if the parent
> value is specified with an exactly metric (px).  Note that a parent
> height with % does nullify the children % height.
> This means you can never have a left/right column sided by content,
> which both have exactly the same height, if you dont specify splicity
> the height.
> This is fine for a static content where you can force the fontsize and
> heights.  However this is horrible for templating, where you dont know
> the content sizes (or the columns size).
> Right now the solution for this is bad css hacks (which breaks linked
> content on IE and anchors and other stuff) or javascript based solution.
> -Raul Dias
This is part of the problem I am suggesting needs solving. The bigger solution 
involves taking groups of blocks which are not in a table, not in a column, not 
in a row, just some number of blocks, possibly not related, except for being in 
the group, and applying something similar to the table layout algorithm to the 
group. This would allow designers to create areas on a page with the same size 
(width, height, or both).

Because the only way to do this now involves surrounding everything with 
<table>, <tr>, and <td> or <th> (at the very least), it is difficult for 
designers to make this magic happen. I have seen discussions in this group going 
back months where someone requests the ability to have CSS size blocks for them 
and the only possible solutions (currently) are to force the blocks to have 
exact sizes, to have the same parent and have the exact same percentage of that 
parent, or to be part of the same row or column of a table. As you point out, 
unless the columns are part of the same table, designers can not make left and 
right columns match in height.

This proposal would solve these and many other problems currently facing 
designers and would make CSS more useful and (hopefully) more used.

James Elmore
22162 Windward Way
Lake Forest, CA 92630
Home	(949) 830-9534
Email	James.Elmore@cox.net
Received on Saturday, 23 June 2007 20:06:45 UTC

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