Re: list-item alignment in CSS

At 18:24 -0700 6.3.97, David Perrell wrote:

> I agree that would be a more useful interpretation, but it doesn't jive
> with the spec as I read it.

As long as we're still in the realm of interpretation, and in the
absence of any implementations setting precedent, does it not make
sense to promote the most useful interpretation rather than propose
outright amendments to the recommendation ('cept for fixing up some
obviously erroneous ascii-art)? - I mean, alignment is just style,
not content, right? ;^)

> The above interpretation requires an
> implicit floated :list-marker (or :before) pseudo-element and a
> positive margin on LI.

Seems to me that a floated list-marker is implied any way you slice
it: the list-item content is typically rendered as a block, where the
first (non-generated) character aligns with the first of wrapped
lines beneath - not the same as an "inline" hanging indent effect. So
the marker is floated.

> The "outside" example above would require the
> list-marker to have a negative left margin equal to the positive left
> margin of LI. And to accommodate NSN's treatment of ordered lists (with
> numbers flush right in a column), the list-marker pseudo-elements would
> need a fixed width equal to the margin.

I'm beginning to grasp the difficulties for narrow margins and long
list markers. As with other "float" instances, I would think it
appropriate to wrap the list-item content around the marker, or
alternatively to shift to "inside" style if the margin were too
narrow to allow about .5em separation between marker and block.

Let me get this straight: in your interpretation of the spec, in the
case of a list item with every available white-space property set to
0 (with no inherited margin), and the list-style set to "outside",
there should still be a phantom left-margin on the list-item block,
and the marker would touch the canvas edge? In the case of ordered
lists, as the marker width changed for extra characters, the phantom
margin would change as well? How much phantom-margin is sufficient to
deal with arbitrarily wide markers; e.g., in the case of an ordered
list that went from I-XVIII?

It would really help to get an authoritative clarification of the
expected behavior(s) here. Lists are obviously quite an important
HTML construct. If their formatting cannot be regimented visually
with blockquotes and indents of other sorts in a document with CSS,
the temptation to rely on tables and spacer GIFs looms large.

Has there been any discussion or detailed specification on how lists
(or normal block-level elements) should be rendered when their
display type is set to "inline"?

Todd Fahrner

The printed page transcends space and time. The printed page, the
infinitude of books, must be transcended. THE ELECTRO-LIBRARY.

--El Lissitzky, 1923