W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > October 2010

Re: [css3-multicol] overflow and paging?

From: Brad Kemper <brad.kemper@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2010 15:25:24 -0700
Message-Id: <DDD416A7-6BCE-48D3-80F3-AF6EA896D4FD@gmail.com>
Cc: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, David Storey <dstorey@opera.com>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
To: "shelby@coolpage.com" <shelby@coolpage.com>

On Oct 14, 2010, at 11:33 AM, "Shelby Moore" <shelby@coolpage.com> wrote:

> In this case, wouldn't it be much more predictable if multi-col containers
> always limit their column height to any blocking constraint of their outer
> containers, up to but not including the viewport or frame?

No, because that is not how overflow and height normally interact. What you are essentially asking for here is that when the column count is more than one, that it automatically triggers a 'max-height:100%'. That would be unprecedented. We already have a max-height property in CSS, and it already has a predictable initial value. It would be very confusing if it didn't work consistently or had a different initial value whenever there was more than one column (or if there was a new property that did the same thing, which had to enter the existing fray of height, min-height, max-height, box model, display, etc. for determining the height of an object). 

The fact is, when you put a tall element (such as an auto height DIV with a lot of content and no max-height) into a shorter container, you have an overflow situation, and it would be very confusing if that weren't true just because there was more than one column. 

What's really needed for you use case is a way to handle overflow differently, so that it is paged, or otherwise worked more like the constraints of a fixed page size. The obvious place to handle that is with a new value for the 'overflow' property. This would be useful whether you put it on a container or on an actual multi-column element, or on elements that have nothing to do with multiple columns. In theory, it could even have a way to set a page changing animation ('overflow: paged slide-up 1s), or a way to have a more normal scrollbar with the overflowed content coming from a different side as a continuously flow of pages ('overflow: auto from-bottom', though that'd be a bit weird if you had both horizontal and vertical overflow). 

> And then have
> an explicit setting to turn that off, e.g. "column-height:auto".  So the
> default would be "column-height:constrain".

We already have ways to constrain height: min-height, max-height, and height. And the physical height of pages. 
Received on Thursday, 14 October 2010 22:26:16 UTC

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