W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > July 2012

Re: [css3-flexbox] Painting order

From: Morten Stenshorne <mstensho@opera.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2012 17:20:33 +0200
To: Anton Prowse <prowse@moonhenge.net>
Cc: "www-style\@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>, "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Message-ID: <871uk6lari.fsf@aeneas.oslo.osa>
Anton Prowse <prowse@moonhenge.net> writes:

> On 20/07/2012 16:37, Morten Stenshorne wrote:
>> Anton Prowse <prowse@moonhenge.net> writes:
>>
>>> On 20/07/2012 13:22, Morten Stenshorne wrote:
>>>> Anton Prowse <prowse@moonhenge.net> writes:
>>>>
>>>>> On 20/07/2012 12:48, Morten Stenshorne wrote:
>>>>>> Anton Prowse <prowse@moonhenge.net> writes:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> On 20/07/2012 11:14, Morten Stenshorne wrote:
>>>>>>>> Anton Prowse <prowse@moonhenge.net> writes:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> On 20/07/2012 09:35, Morten Stenshorne wrote:
>>>>>>>>>> "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com> writes (Wed, 27 Jun
>>>>>>>>>> 2012 09:10:47 -0700):
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> On Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 6:34 AM, Morten Stenshorne  <mstensho@opera.com> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>>> Morten Stenshorne <mstensho@opera.com> writes:
>>>>>>>>>>>>> "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com> writes:
>>>>>>>>>>>>>> On Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 1:35 AM, Morten Stenshorne  <mstensho@opera.com> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net> writes (in
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> "[CSSWG]  Minutes and Resolutions 2012-06-20"):
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>        - RESOLVED: order affects painting order
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Will 'flex-direction' and 'align-content' also
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> affectpainting order then?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>> No, neither have any effect on painting order.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Makes sense. Can you update the spec?
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> But then again I can't really say I'm convinced that it's
>>>>>>>>>>>> agood thing that 'order' affects painting order at all.
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>         <div style="display:flex;">
>>>>>>>>>>>>           <div id="a" style="order:3;">a</div>
>>>>>>>>>>>>           <div id="b" style="position:relative; order:2;">b</div>
>>>>>>>>>>>>           <div id="c" style="position:relative;">c</div>
>>>>>>>>>>>>           <div id="d" style="position:relative; z-index:-1; border:4;">d</div>
>>>>>>>>>>>>         </div>
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> Painting order will here be d-a-c-b? So we have two levels of paint
>>>>>>>>>>>> ordering? Isn't this just confusing?
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> Yes, that's the right painting order.  This correctly matches the
>>>>>>>>>>> visual order, as if you had written it in the order c-b-a-d.
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> (doesn't sound very pleasant to implement, either)
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> It was trivial on our side, as we make 'order' literally reorder the
>>>>>>>>>>> box tree (iiuc).
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> What about this one:
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>        <div style="display:flex;">
>>>>>>>>>>            <div id="item1" style="position:relative; order:1;margin-left:-5px; border:2px solid blue; background:lime;">
>>>>>>>>>>            xxx
>>>>>>>>>>                <div id="abspos" style="position:absolute;margin-top:-5px; border:2px solid violet; background:cyan;">
>>>>>>>>>> 	           yyy
>>>>>>>>>>            </div>
>>>>>>>>>>          </div>
>>>>>>>>>>          <div id="item2" style="position:relative;margin-left:-5px; border:2px solid red; background:yellow;">
>>>>>>>>>>            zzz
>>>>>>>>>>          </div>
>>>>>>>>>>        </div>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Three positioned elements. One stacking context. In what
>>>>>>>>>> orderare they painted?
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> You treat order as if it literally reorders the box tree.  So your
>>>>>>>>> putting order:1 on item1 (which is already in the first position)
>>>>>>>>> achieves nothing whatsoever,
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> ???
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Initial value of 'order' is 0, so reordering will certainly occur.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> My bad; I thought it was 1.
>>>>>
>>>>>>> So the painting order would be item2 followed by item1 as per the
>>>>>>> current ED;
>>>>>
>>>>>> When is "abspos" painted?
>>>>>
>>>>> Well, the abspos doesn't establish a stacking context; it's positioned
>>>>> but with z-index:auto.  (Hence it establishes a painting context or
>>>>> pseudo stacking context or whatever we want to call it.) So it
>>>>> participates in its closest ancestor painting context or stacking
>>>>> context, as per CSS21.  This ancestor is item1, which is also
>>>>> positioned with z-index:auto and hence establishes a painting context.
>>>>>
>>>>> So as part of CSS21 9.9.1 layer 6 (for things with stack level 0)
>>>>> you'll be painting item2 first (order:0) and item1 second (order:1),
>>>>> and as part of painting item1 you'll be painting its abspos child.
>>>>
>>>> But "item1" doesn't establish a new stacking context, so "abspos" should
>>>> be treated separately. It's just another member of the root element's
>>>> (or viewport's) stacking context, just like "item1" and "item2".
>>>
>>> No, that's not how the CSS21 painting order works.  Relpos elements
>>> with z-index:auto establish a "painting context" or "pseudo stacking
>>> context", which behave like bona fide stacking contexts except that
>>> their would-be dependants which themselves establish stacking contexts
>>> do not in fact participate in the painting context and instead
>>> participate in their closest ancestor stacking context (which in your
>>> example is established by the root element).  However, your abspos
>>> doesn't establish a stacking context because it doesn't have integer
>>> z-index.  So it participates in the painting context established by
>>> item1.
>>
>> I don't think so.
>> What the spec says (http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/visuren.html#z-index):
>>
>> (1)  "Within each stacking context, positioned elements with stack level
>>       0 (in layer 6), non-positioned floats (layer 4), inline blocks
>>       (layer 5), and inline tables (layer 5), are painted as if those
>>       elements themselves generated new stacking contexts,"
>>
>> And it goes on like this - the crucial part:
>>
>> (2)  "except that their positioned descendants and any would-be child
>>        stacking contexts take part in the current stacking context."
>
> You're right.  (This hasn't been my day, really, has it? :-( Sorry.)

;)

It's complicated.

> The fact that /all/ positioned elements "bubble up", not just the ones
> which establish stacking contexts, was a change to the spec from a
> long time ago, motivated by excellent interop at that time.

I don't remember when that happened, but it's really really long ago, I
suppose?

Actually, too bad it happened. Letting each positioned element establish
a stacking context would have been so much simpler. And then we wouldn't
even have needed this discussion. :)

>> (3)  "Boxes with the same stack level in a stacking context are stacked
>>       back-to-front according to document tree order."
>
>> According to (3), painting order should simply be "item1", "abspos",
>> "item2",
> Yes, they're all in layer 6 for stack level 0 elements, within the
> root stacking context.
>
>> but because of the 'order' property, "item2" should be painted
>> before "item1".
>
> Yes, I agree.
>
>> This is where I get problems. Where does "abspos" go?
>>
>> item2-item1-abspos?
>> abspos-item2-item1?
>
> The former.  The flexbox ED says:
>
>   # This also affects the painting order [CSS21], exactly as if the
>   # elements were reordered in the document.
>
>> It seems weird to follow tree order for "abspos" here, although that
>> would be closer to the spec.
>
> I think I see what you're getting at now.  You're saying that the spec
> isn't clear whether it's just the element itself that is painted in a
> new order, rather than the subtree rooted at the element?

Yes. And by "spec" I meant CSS21.

> It never occurred to me to interpret the spec as describing anything
> other than subtree reordering.

That makes sense, apart from the fact that it violates CSS21 a bit
more. That was my thinking, anyway. I still feel uncomfortable with
letting 'order' affect painting order, but maybe it will finally occur
to me as a very natural thing in a few months time. :)

-- 
---- Morten Stenshorne, developer, Opera Software ASA ----
---- Office: +47 23692400 ------ Mobile: +47 93440112 ----
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Received on Friday, 20 July 2012 15:20:21 GMT

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