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Re: Publishing the flexible box model

From: Alan Gresley <alan@css-class.com>
Date: Sun, 08 Jun 2008 13:56:43 +1000
Message-ID: <484B587B.6050609@css-class.com>
To: Brad Kemper <brkemper@comcast.net>
CC: Andrew Fedoniouk <news@terrainformatica.com>, robert@ocallahan.org, fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, dbaron@dbaron.org, www-style@w3.org

Brad Kemper wrote:

> I believe the thrust of the debate in this thread is whether "flex" 
> should be its own set of properties (and display value) or should it be 
> a unit of measure.
> I don't think Andrew meant that authors would not be able to use floats 
> or tables for layout if we really wanted to. His point seemed to be that 
> flex could add a new way to do certain types of layout that previously 
> might have been done with floats or tables,  and I find no fault with 
> that idea. I don't think the concept of "flex" as a measurement unit 
> should be attacked just because authors may choose to continue to use 
> floats in ways they found advantageous over flex.

I am not attacking 'flex' units at all. I would like to see the 
'flex-box-model' in CSS. My major concern is undefined behavior in 
CSS2.1 which I believe must be resolved before adding another way to use 
CSS for layout (currently the existing 'visual formatting model').

You don't add a fancy penthouse on top of an existing building with poor 
or ill defined foundations.

In saying this I do understand that CSS was originally designed just as 
a language for styling a web document. It wasn't meant as a means to 
layout a web document.

> There are still many authors who find tables to be the easiest way to 
> achieve their layout needs, and who find it awkward and difficult trying 
> to do the same thing with floats and negative margin, or absolute 
> positioning. You don't have to agree with those authors' choices. If 
> flex, in whatever form, can provide a new, simpler way to achieve the 
> same layout ends then shouldn't we, as authors, welcome that? Can we not 
> attack Andrew for suggesting that flex can help with layout problems 
> that many people use tables or floats to do now? Maybe he overstated the 
> scope of how much floats would be rendered irrelevant, but his basic 
> point of its usefulness is sound. I think we all agree without argument 
> that floats will not be going away any time soon, and that if there are 
> ambiguities to "block formating context" that they should be resolved. 
> Let's try to keep this thread focused on how flex should be defined and 
> implemented.

I am completely in favor of what you have said above.

>> This can also apply generally, can a good spec be written by those who 
>> are not experience enough in using CSS?
> That really sounds like a personal attack against Andrew, and is 
> uncalled for. Lets limit our arguments to be for or against the 
> proposals, and not against the person.

This is not a personal attack on Andrew. Let me put it this way. A 
person can not write a good book about cooking if they have not had much 
experience in cooking and a better book about cooking can not be written 
by authors of such cook books when they continuously do not listen to 
experience cooks.

The CSS WG consist of many spec writers and implementors but I have seen 
none who have experience as authors of CSS. I happy to stand corrected.

My wish is for the CSS WG to incorporate more CSS authors who have a 
very good understanding of the current spec (in any state) and 

CSS2.1 must be spelled about like A, B and C. If this breaks layouts 
across the web to achieve a better spec, so be it.

Received on Sunday, 8 June 2008 03:57:48 UTC

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