W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2008

Re: flowing around both sides of a float

From: Brad Kemper <brkemper@comcast.net>
Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2008 13:22:25 -0800
Message-Id: <3B1B13EB-CC73-4940-A074-0346009031A1@comcast.net>
To: WWW Style <www-style@w3.org>

On Jan 1, 2008, at 2:50 PM, David Woolley wrote:

> Actually, I've just done a quick scan of some of the magazines and  
> newspapers I have around (mainly English, but also a paper and  
> magazine in Simplified Chinese).  I can't find any centred displays  
> (with text around both sides).  On the other hand, I can find  
> several displays (pulled quotes, images, supplementary text, that  
> are symmetrically floated right in one column and left in the next  
> column, so it would seem that that has better use cases than  
> centring in a single column. (There are also ones spanning several  
> two or more columns completely, some which are unbalanced, and, at  
> least one that was quite narrow, but with edges cropped to the  
> image it contained, and placed between columns, so as to take  
> irregular chunks out of two columns.)

People may have a hard time coming up with printed, published  
examples of two sided floats that are not in columns, but that is  
largely due to the fact that most newspapers and magazines are  
arranged in columns of some sort. But a Web page is not the same as a  
static piece of paper, as I suspect even David would agree. Paper  
cannot have a fluid design, and columns (other than those that define  
page divisions, like sidebars and navigation bars) can cause problems  
on screen when the text gets so long that it requires re-scrolling  
from the bottom to the top of each column.

Since the conversation has largely ignored the fact that floats in  
Web pages are, probably more often than not, used for things other  
than pull quotes, I have put together a fictional Web page to show  
how a positioned float (or positioned element with "wrap", or a  
"free" floated element) could lead to creative possibilities that are  
not currently possible with CSS.

This is a liquid layout, so feel free to try it in different window  
sizes (it can be made very narrow). Right now, the positioned  
elements just overlap and cover up the text, but with some sort of  
positioned float, the idea is that the floats would split each line  
in two, rather than just overlapping:


You need not like the design in order to appreciate how a positioned  
float would open up new creative possibilities.

To those who think Web pages should only use the browser's default  
style sheets, and abhor the idea of pages with creative designs, or  
who think the Web would be better if all pages resembled the way they  
looked in 1993: you need not comment, as I already know you won't  
like it.

> I have a suspicion that the only time I've seen displays centred  
> within a column, they have have not had rectangular outlines.
Received on Sunday, 6 January 2008 21:22:41 UTC

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