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

Re: Stylings only possible with Tables

From: David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 08:38:49 +0100
Message-ID: <46836589.8070904@david-woolley.me.uk>
To: www-style@w3.org

James Elmore wrote:

> If the rules for margin collapse were consistent for every block object, 
> they would be much simpler to understand. Right now, there are different 
> sets of rules for blocks in text flow, blocks which float, and blocks 
> inside tables. Make one set of rules for margin collapse and allow 
> designers to control when and how to apply them.

The SS in CSS stands for style sheet.  Style sheets are documents that 
define the layout rules for a whole family of documents and typically 
define a house style.  In the original intended use of HTML, which 
corresponds to white papers, user guides, and internal documents, not to 
the glossy brochures that most web sites try to emulate,one wants to be 
able to write simple and compact style sheets that will result in 
correctly marked up text being rendered according to reasonably good 
typographical practice.  That means putting a lot of simple document 
typography into the CSS language definition.

The demand for sophisticated layouts comes from people writing the 
equivalent of glossy brochures, a rather different problem area.  Tools 
for doing sophisticated but fixed layout, designs for these pre-date the 
web; HTML made a very deliberate choice not to emulate them.

Personally I am not sure that many designers have the mathematical 
skills to create rules for sophisticated fluid designs, and many work in 
a very visual way.  For fixed layout, there are tools designed for 
electronic brochures, like PDF (which even allows the presentational 
design to be annotated with the semantic structure, even if this is 
rarely done; you can extract the HTML from a properly constructed tagged 
  PDF file.

Although one might be able to use a model where the primary document is 
semantics structured and there is a complex presentational overlay, I 
think it will be difficult to do without presentational artifacts in the 
semantics.  The existence of semantic artifacts in tagged PDF is less of 
an issue, because semantic boundaries are always potential 
presentational ones.

Note with regard to tables, I hope that you understand that 
display:table is not restricted to table elements.  Also, at least at 
one time, CSS3 would allow phantom containing elements to be generated 
and styled.

David Woolley
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Received on Thursday, 28 June 2007 07:38:52 UTC

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