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Re: [css3-text] character-based alignment ambiguously defined

From: Leif Arne Storset <lstorset@opera.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 14:10:17 +0100
To: "John Daggett" <jdaggett@mozilla.com>, "Kang-Hao (Kenny) Lu" <kanghaol@oupeng.com>
Cc: "www-style list" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.wojdjfo8tmo5g6@laus>
On Wed, 28 Nov 2012 14:46:28 +0100, Kang-Hao (Kenny) Lu  
<kanghaol@oupeng.com> wrote:

> (12/11/28 14:50), John Daggett wrote:
>> The current editor's draft of the CSS3 Text spec defines a way of
>> specifying character-based alignment as an additional property value
>> for text-align [1].  It doesn't seem clearly defined at an
>> implementation level and I'm not sure I see a strong use case for it.
>> I would suggest this functionality be dropped in the interests of
>> moving more important features forward.
...
> Having said above, I do agree that this feature doesn't seem to have
> important use cases or need. I just got confirmed by some Web developers
> about this. They just never heard of this need.
>
> As data input, Excel and Open Office don't seem to offer this feature.

Excel and Open Office do have a feature that ensures numbers are lined up,  
though they also ensure that the numbers have consistent number of decimal  
places. In LibreOffice, setting the number format "(1,234.12)" makes  
numbers line up as

|    1.20 |
|   (1.40)|

I don't have Excel in front of me, but I remember seeing "decimal points  
line up" explicitly described in the UI.

As CSS doesn't have advanced number-formatting capabilities that could  
otherwise have done the job, I see this as a feature that addresses that  
need. It might even be better to declare the goal of aligning by a  
specific character rather than the specific number format used to achieve  
it.

In addition to use cases mentioned by Alan elsewhere in the thread, I'll  
mention that you may want some numbers bold or otherwise differently-sized  
(for sums, for example). Not all fonts maintain their advances when bold.

Having said all this, deferring the feature makes sense. John is right  
that we need implementation experience and possibly a different,  
column-oriented approach.

-- 
Leif Arne Storset
Opera Software
Oslo, Norway
Received on Thursday, 29 November 2012 13:11:04 GMT

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