W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > December 2011

Re: [css3-multicol] Clarification on column-fill

From: Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>
Date: Sat, 3 Dec 2011 00:14:42 +0100
Message-ID: <20185.23522.766401.747642@gargle.gargle.HOWL>
To: robert@ocallahan.org
Cc: Scott Johnson <sjohnson@mozilla.com>, www-style@w3.org
Robert wrote:

 > >> > The spec says "In continuous media, this property will only be consulted if
 > >>  > the length of columns has been constrained. Otherwise, columns will
 > >>  > automatically be balanced." Unfortunately "constrained" is completely
 > >>  > undefined :-(.

 > > I actually don't know what it means.
 > >
 > > Clearly an element whose computed height is non-auto is constrains the
 > > length of its columns.
 > >
 > > I assume an element whose computed max-height is not 'none' constrains the
 > > length of its columns, but that's not 100% clear.
 > >
 > > Is an element in a context which permits breaking in the block progression
 > > direction considered to have a constraint on the length of its columns? I
 > > honestly don't know.
 > >
 > > What about an element with an ancestor whose computed height or max-height
 > > is not auto/none? Probably doesn't constrain the lengths of columns in
 > > descendant elements, but I'm not sure.
 > >
 > 
 > Håkon, can you please at least fix this issue? It should be editorial so
 > shouldn't disrupt any W3C processes. I think at least 'height' not 'auto'
 > or 'max-height' not 'none' should be considered to constrain the length of
 > the columns of the element. (With appropriate generalization for vertical
 > writing.)

Thanks for reminding me -- yes, we should try to resolve this. 

The current CR says:

   In continuous media, this property will only be consulted if the
   length of columns has been constrained. Otherwise, columns will
   automatically be balanced.

   http://www.w3.org/TR/2011/CR-css3-multicol-20110412/#cf

The intention of this paragraph is to balance columns when the height
of the column can grow infinitely so that space isn't wasted by having
empty 2nd, 3rd etc. columns.

To this, you wrote:

 > I think it would be simpler to remove that paragraph and just make the
 > property always apply. This means when the element's height is auto and
 > max-height is none, and there's no pagination or region stuff happening,
 > column-fill:auto will put all the content in the first column, but that's
 > OK IMHO; 'auto' is not the default value, and authors should only use it
 > where it makes sense.

Which makes sense. I'd hate to drag the spec through LC again, though.
Removing the paragraph means a change in behavior, but not a change in
syntax. I'll schedule it to be discussed in the WG.

The CR also says:

  In paged media, this property will only have effect on the last page
  the multicol element appears on.

Would you like to remove this as well?

-h&kon
              Håkon Wium Lie                          CTO °þe®ª
howcome@opera.com                  http://people.opera.com/howcome
Received on Friday, 2 December 2011 23:15:26 GMT

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