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RE: Definition of width on columns (was Re: Agenda CSS telcon Feb 26, 2008)

From: Arron Eicholz <Arron.Eicholz@microsoft.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2008 10:13:37 -0700
To: "L. David Baron" <dbaron@dbaron.org>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <66D5CB5D6AB0694592FAF5487C50368B1914CB81C8@NA-EXMSG-C111.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>

On Tuesday, 2008-02-26 09:29 -8:00, L. David Baron wrote:

> > It is preferred width but in using that term we would also have to
> > add more text to the spec to clarify what preferred width is. I'm
> > not against that but I think this is a bigger change that would
> > then change many sections not just chapter 17.

> Well, the problem is we really don't want the spec to say something
> that's incorrect.  We'd previously agreed not to try to specify
> tables further in CSS 2.1, but to postpone that to css3-tables.  If
> we want to specify more and more pieces of how tables work, we need
> to get it right; saying that a column or cell never shrinks below
> its specified 'width' is incorrect since it's incompatible with
> implementations going back years.

> That said, I think we're probably better off shipping CSS 2.1 pretty
> much as-is and trying to get the "feature" of specifying table
> behavior in for the next release instead.

I think you may be right. Not changing CSS 2.1 might be the right idea. To create a better definition we need to really rework all of tables definition, which we are doing for CSS3, and get that correct. I'm going to then close CSS 2.1 issue 1 as we will leave the definition as is and will focus on getting a good definition correct in CSS3 Tables.

Do you think we need to add any additional text to CSS 2.1 to explain that the width definition will be further defined in CSS3?

> > I don't completely disagree however the 'width' definition in
> > 17.5.2.2 is non-normative. I think this is ok to point to 17.5.2.1
> > for fixed table layout but for auto table layout maybe we need a
> > better definition.

> I don't think you're going to end up defining the behavior of
> 'width' on columns without making those sections normative and
> completely rewriting them to be accurate, along the lines of the
> proposals I've made for css3-tables at
> http://dbaron.org/css/intrinsic/ (which are, however, in need of an
> update).

I agree in order to clearly define 'width' auto table layout definition would have to be normative and most likely need a good rewrite. I think you and I should focus on getting a clear definition together for CSS3 Tables. I am updating what we presented at the last F2F and I hope to have it done later this week so we can review it for a couple of weeks before the F2F.

> > > In both cases, these are describing the behavior of values of 'width'
> > > other than 'auto'.  We also need to define what 'auto' does; for
> > > columns, I think it behaves the same as '0'.
> >
> > Column 'width: auto' should behave the same as '0' and actually it
> > isn't '0' but anything that is cells (border-box) width or less?

> I'm not quite sure what you're saying.
>
> However, I'd like to correct my original statement: actually, '0'
> may not behave the same as 'auto' in some implementations; it may
> make that column less likely to expand if the table's width is
> greater than the sum of the preferred widths of its columns.  (And I
> think that behavior is good, so if it's Web-compatible we should
> probably keep it.)

Web-compatible might be correct in this situation. We should address this more as we define CSS3 Tables.

--
Thanks,
Arron Eicholz
Received on Tuesday, 11 March 2008 17:14:05 GMT

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