David Perrell" <davidp@earthlink.net> wrote:
> I don't see any DSSSL 'characteristic' comparable to the 'float'
> property in CSS1. By "graphic runaround", do you mean a simple flow
> around a rectangular area?
Well, or non-rectangualar, at least in principle.

> A CSS floated SPAN should make drop caps easy.

No, because you can't get the size right in CSS.  If you use Netscape's
Bitstream fonts together with precise positioning (layers), you can
probably come close; you could write a CGI script to take the screen
resolution into account (if Netscape includes that in the http header)
and then come a lot closer.

The difficulty is that you generally (not always) want to align the baseline
of the drop cap with the baseline of the 3rd (say) line of text following,
and the cap height with the cap height of the 1st line of text, taking
any extra inter-line spacing into account.

The size for an N-line drop cap initial is that size at which the cap height
of the cap's font is equal to (n - 1) times the line spacing plus the
cap-height of the text font on the 1st line.  If the first letter is a
lower case one with an ascender, the ascender height can be used instead.

The best way to do drop caps is to have a built-in property, e.g.
P { initial-letter: @drop-cap(lines: 3 font: xxx) }

In DSSSL you could select the 1st letter of the text, or select the first
word if it's only one or two letters (and treat the space differently),
and then apply the drop cap property, but that characteristic isn't in
the published spec.

See DSSSL 12.6.2 for some of the uses of CSS floats (I think).  See
fig. 20 for another.


Liam Quin, lee@sq.com         | lq-text freely available Unix text retrieval
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