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Re: [CSS2.1] col attributes: XHTML and CSS inconsistency?

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 14:39:04 -0600
Message-ID: <dd0fbad0812301239t17920b5ew5cdc920367e55cce@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Boris Zbarsky" <bzbarsky@mit.edu>
Cc: www-style@w3.org

On Tue, Dec 30, 2008 at 1:41 PM, Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@mit.edu> wrote:
> Quoting "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>:
>
>>> Boris Zbarsky wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Quoting Brad Kemper <brad.kemper@gmail.com>:
>>>> But the whole range of styling possibilities would apply to td:nth-
>>>> col(), if I am following this correctly. Right? That's kind of the whole
>>>> idea?
>>>
>>> I'd think so, yes.
>>
>> If :nth-col can apply the full range of styling (not just the standard
>> 4 attributes), then why can't we just move this functionality into
>> <col>?
>
> I guess you could similarly ask why the table-* display types exist at all,
> right?
>
> Because not everything on the web is HTML, and not everything that is a
> display
> table is a semantic table.

No, you misunderstand me.

You say that :nth-col() would allow us to apply arbitrary properties
to cells.  Apparently this means that pseudoclass resolution happens
(or at least, *can* happen) at some time after table layout.  My
question is if it is possible to cause this same sort of magic to
happen automatically.  It doesn't depend on html tables at all - my
question applies to any grouping of table-column and table-cell
elements.  During the initial pass through the CSS engine, it doesn't
know what cells are in what column.  Afterwards, though, it *does*,
and can then cause some special table-magic inheritance.  It wouldn't
be any more magic than applying this pseudoclass, would it?  After
initial style resolution, trickle table-column styles down to their
corresponding table-cells.

Your final comment ("not everything that is a display table is a
semantic table") seems to be saying that :nth-col is good because,
since things that utilize the CSS table-* display types may not have
actual table semantics, it's desirable to allow people to avoid
inserting a dummy element into their markup just to give it
display:table-column and style it.  Is this accurate?  If so, then I
can see this.  <col> elements (and display:table-column elements in
general) are strictly superfluous anyway.

~TJ
Received on Tuesday, 30 December 2008 20:39:39 GMT

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