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

Re: [css3-multicol] minimizing scroll complexity of multiple multi-column blocks

From: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>
Date: Mon, 19 May 2008 17:31:26 -0700
Message-ID: <48321BDE.1090001@inkedblade.net>
To: Myk Melez <myk@mozilla.org>
CC: www-style@w3.org

Myk Melez wrote:
> 
> While experimenting with multi-column layouts recently, I realized that 
> there isn't a way to lay out multiple multi-column blocks containing 
> content that doesn't entirely fit into the viewport (like on roc's blog 
> <http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/roc/> with a short, wide viewport) such 
> that the user only has to scroll in one direction to read the whole page.
> 
> Content can either overflow the viewport vertically, if the blocks 
> specify only a column width, or horizontally, if they also specify a 
> height shorter than or equal to the height of the viewport.
> 
> In the former case, the user has to repeatedly scroll down and back up 
> to read the page,
> ...
> In the latter case, the user can read a whole block by scrolling to the 
> right but has to scroll back to the left to read the next block.
> ...
> One solution to this problem would be to enable columns to wrap around 
> when they don't fit the viewport horizontally, i.e.:
> ...
> That way the user only has to scroll down to read the whole page.
> 
> This solution is not without issues (f.e. how to prevent the user from 
> accidentally reading down across discontiguous columns when multiple 
> rows of columns are visible in the viewport), and there may be other 
> ways to address the problem, but this seems the most straightforward at 
> first glance.
> 
> It's also the way columns are laid out in paged media, according to the 
> spec, whose section 9 <http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-multicol/#overflow> 
> states that "in paged media, columns for which there is not room within 
> the page are are moved to the next page."
> 
> Might the spec be made to accommodate this use case using the solution 
> above or via some other mechanism?

Well, you could put scrollbars on the multi-column element itself. Then
you wouldn't have to scroll back to read the next block. I don't think
"paginating" the multi-column content makes much sense when you're using
scrollbars: it's kinda awkward to scroll through content that is paged...
But if you wanted to do that, you'd want something like nested multi-column,
where the outer multi-column has vertical "columns": I'd imagine authors
would want to be able to adjust the vertical gaps and put rules etc. in
between.

~fantasai
Received on Tuesday, 20 May 2008 00:32:38 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Monday, 27 April 2009 13:55:06 GMT