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[css3-multicol] propose "column-width:minimum"

From: Shelby Moore <shelby@coolpage.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2010 06:26:11 -0400
Message-ID: <d1fc8a78c2c9cfb169059e4b6dcaeab1.squirrel@sm.webmail.pair.com>
To: www-style@w3.org
Another thread raised the issue of whether the CSS column layout model is
sufficiently generalized:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2010Oct/0280.html

Afaics (so far) it is, because the model does not preclude later
specifying how to to do variable column widths per column, and perhaps
even overflow into other elements via the proposed "overflow:" at the
above link (thanks to Brad Kemper for the idea on extending and re-using
overflow setting, suppose that is what Tab Aktins had in mind).

In addition to the proposed "column-height:constrain" default at the above
link, there is one more setting lacking in the current model which I think
is going to build bad inertia, and thus I think we should correct it asap.

Imagine the case where the content of the multi-column element contain
block elements (which may be intermixed with inline), e.g.:

<div style='column-width:250px'>
   Unwrapped Snicker bar at bottom of the swimming pool.
   <div>Something there</div>
   <span style='display:inline-block'><img src='person.jpg'/>Name</span>
   ...etc...
</div>

That will be common when columinating a large set of logically similar
items (e.g. in my case user profile summaries with a thumbnail photo).

The problem is that in that case, the page designer may be striving for
"give me as many columns, for which my content will fit, within the 250px
space I have allocated".  So in current spec the column-width as
hard-coded to specific length, is not what the designer needs. And
column-count isn't appropriate either. What the designer needs is for the
browser layout engine to analyze the block elements in the content and
determine the "minimum" column-width that won't clip the content. This is
a complex calculation which includes the text wrapping settings, etc..

Thus I propose "column-width:minimum".

Please let me know if that description of the problem is unclear,
insufficient, or incorrect.
Received on Friday, 15 October 2010 10:26:38 GMT

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