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Re: [css3-multicol] accessibility and UX

From: Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2010 22:36:18 +0200
Message-ID: <19647.21186.867701.295886@gargle.gargle.HOWL>
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Cc: Daniel Glazman <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Also sprach Tab Atkins Jr.:

 > As it is, multicol is only production-usable in Paged Media, where the
 > problems brought up by Daniel and Shelby don't exist.  It *cannot* be
 > used in continuous media for anything other than experiments until
 > this problem is fixed in some way.

I find many uses for it. For example, lists in Wikipedia are laid out
in two-column tables, but using multicol is much more naturel as there
is no logical reasons for breaking. E.g., this page:

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counties_of_Norway#Fylke_in_the_10th_to_13th_century

Also, CMS systems generally have an idea of how long a certain entry
is and can select a style sheet accordingly.

You can also set a max-width on the multicol element and the worst
thing that happens is that you get horizontal scrolling.

However, I agree that multicol works best for paged media. This has
been known and discussed ever since the <multicol> element was
introduced:

  http://devedge-temp.mozilla.org/library/manuals/1998/htmlguide/tags15.html#1077197

I last raised the issue on this list here:

  http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2008Oct/0148.html

The proposal has similarties with what (I believe) Shelby is proposing. 

The proposal was discussed at some length at the F2F meeting in
Mandelieu i October 2008:

  http://www.w3.org/2008/10/20-css-irc.html

The conclusion was that we should leave multicol as it is and add
something like "overflow-mode: paginate" in the future. 

I did that here:

  http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2009Jan/0030.html

But it has since been removed. I'm happy to put it back on track. 

But the WG has decided, after discussions, to not address the issue in
the CSS3 multicol draft, which is now in CR.

Cheers,

-h&kon
              Håkon Wium Lie                          CTO °þe®ª
howcome@opera.com                  http://people.opera.com/howcome
Received on Wednesday, 20 October 2010 20:37:05 GMT

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