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Re: [gcpm] border-parts

From: Brad Kemper <brkemper.comcast@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2008 09:04:37 -0700
Cc: "Håkon Wium Lie" <howcome@opera.com>, www-style@w3.org
Message-Id: <7912B93F-CC9B-42B4-8C62-5396FC59E94E@gmail.com>
To: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>

On Oct 30, 2008, at 5:34 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:

> On Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 11:54 PM, Brad Kemper <brkemper.comcast@gmail.com 
> > wrote:
> It still looks to me like you are trying to define the dashes in a  
> dashed line, which would be awesome. But it seems kludgey to use a  
> "solid" (not "dashed") border with dashes in it, just for the single  
> use case of wanting a short line segment over a footnote. This is  
> "underloading" what it means to have a dashed line (not solid at  
> all), and overloading "border" if all you really want is a short,  
> horizontal line segment. Has HR been deprecated? It seems to be what  
> you are actually trying to have in your use case; an HR with a  
> width. If there was no CSS, you would probably still want the HR  
> there to provide the semantic meaning of "separator of different  
> kinds of content".
>
> As I pointed out last time Hakon asked for comments, actually  
> switching to making this a special kind of dashed border would be  
> much less powerful.  We would then be stuck with solid segments, and  
> have no way to change this.  What if I wanted a short dotted  
> segment?  The current border-parts proposal allows this trivially.

That's why I don't think this should be used for generating short line  
segments. Short line segments are not borders, and it seems like what  
you really want is to be able to create short line segments AND have a  
way to specify the dashes and gaps of a dashed border. Me too, but I  
don't think it is the same thing. It would be more useful to have this  
type of notation to specify the dashes or dots in dashed or dotted  
lines (dotted lines could automatically have rounded ends). You are  
talking about a very powerful mechanism that can essentially create  
defacto dashed lines on all four sides, then saying that the reason  
you want to use it is to create a de facto short HR.

We should have something else for creating short line segments. Maybe  
even this:
P.note:before { content:  
"...................................................."; font-size:  
8px; }
Or this:
P.note:before { content:leader(dotted); display: block; width: 100px; }
Or this:
HR { width: 100px; border: 1px dotted black; }
border |ˈbôrdər|
noun
3 a band or strip, esp. a decorative one, around the edge of  
something : put a white border around the picture.

Note that a short line that happens to correspond with a small segment  
of one edge of a boundary would not fit this definition of going  
"around the edge of something". At least, not to me. People talk about  
"overloading" a property, and that seems to be what this is doing,  
when the primary reason for the spec is to just generate a single  
segment.

> As well, it doesn't seem possible to use stretchy lengths in a  
> dashed border, where the border is conceptually an infinite line  
> that wraps around the box.  Using fr units in border-parts gives a  
> lot more flexibility.

I think that if once you start using stretchy units that each edge  
becomes symmetrical, then that is not so bad. Really, I am not  
suggesting to change that. I would just rename the property "dashes"  
instead of "border-parts", and only have it apply to dashed borders  
(and maybe to dotted borders too). Do not apply to lines specified as  
solid, because it has the effect of making them NOT solid.

> (With that being said, let me say again that I'd like a way to  
> specify dashes as well, because that *does* offer me things that  
> border-parts cannot.  Say a dashed border where the pieces gradually  
> get long and then return to short, with this effect wrapping around  
> the box.)

I think this spec could and should be turned into something that  
satisfies the needs you describe for specifying dashes. I think it  
mostly does already.

>
> ~TJ
Received on Thursday, 30 October 2008 16:05:16 GMT

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