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[csswg-drafts] [css-grid] Default Grid Columns, Rows, and Areas (#4002)

From: Timothy via GitHub <sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 04 Jun 2019 14:14:41 +0000
To: public-css-archive@w3.org
Message-ID: <issues.opened-452022721-1559657680-sysbot+gh@w3.org>
zzzzBov has just created a new issue for https://github.com/w3c/csswg-drafts:

== [css-grid] Default Grid Columns, Rows, and Areas ==
I’ve run into some scenarios where it would be convenient for parent nodes using `display: grid` to be able to control the [grid placement properties][grid-placement] of their child grid items.

As a simplified example, the main element of a page might have the following CSS:

```css
main {
  display: grid;
  grid-template-columns: [wide-start] 1fr [normal-start] 500px [normal-end] 1fr [wide-end];
}
```

Child elements would then have `grid-column: normal` to be centered on the page. For elements that should stretch full-width, `grid-column: wide` could then be used:

```css
p {
  grid-column: normal;
}
pre {
  grid-column: wide;
}
```

If specific elements are used, this will quickly become difficult to maintain as each new element needs to be added to the list:

```css
div,
dl,
ol,
p,
ul,
... {
  grid-column: normal;
}

pre {
  grid-column: wide
}
```

Clearly this already has a simple solution, use a child selector with a universal selector:

```css
main > * {
  grid-column: normal;
}

pre {
  grid-column: wide;
}
```

So what’s the problem?

The problem comes up once you start building with large amounts of components. Ideally with component code each component can be kept in isolation from each other, so they can be added and removed as a unit without causing breaking changes elsewhere in a site.

If we instead have an example of:

<sub>Sass</sub>
```sass
.Page {
  display: grid;
  grid-template-columns: [wide-start] 1fr [normal-start] 500px [normal-end] 1fr [wide-end];

  > * {
    grid-column: normal;
  }
}

...

.Code {
  grid-column: wide;
}
```

The cascade starts to become a problem for child elements.

If I’ve imported my components in say, alphabetical order:

```sass
@import 'Code';
...
@import 'Page';
```

`.Page>*` will always override `.Code` due to the cascade.

Now certainly this example is easily fixed by switching the source order of the two components, but in large-projects with potentially hundreds of components, this becomes harder to see the inter-component dependencies.

With recursively nestable components, it may not even be possible to properly reorder the components without splitting them across multiple files, or increasing specificity:

```css
:root .Code { //blegh
  grid-column: wide;
}
```

Instead, I think there’s a simple solution to this that already has some precedent in CSS grid:

I think we should introduce separate rules for the grid parent nodes to manage the same functionality so that the defaults can be specified but then the child nodes can override the behavior explicitly.

We’ve already got this with `align-self`/`align-items` and `justify-self`/`justify-items`.

I think it would be helpful to have something along the lines of `grid-column-items`, `grid-items-column`, or `default-grid-column` (the name doesn’t matter all that much, let’s not bikeshed).

Having a matched property for each of:

* `grid-row-start`
* `grid-row-end`
* `grid-column-start`
* `grid-column-end`
* `grid-row`
* `grid-column`
* `grid-area`

Would help solve this problem easily:

```css
pre {
  grid-column: normal;
}

main {
  display: grid;
  grid-items-column: normal;
  grid-template-columns: [wide-start] 1fr [normal-start] 500px [normal-end] 1fr [wide-end];
}
```

## Anonymous Grid Item Placement

Introducing default grid placement for child nodes also opens us up to being able to specify placement for anonymous grid items as well.

[I was surprised when I found out most of a year ago that plain text nodes have no way of being placed within a grid currently][anonymous-placement].

Having default grid placement managed from grid parents opens up the ability to place pieces of text without needing to introduce additional, potentially unsemantic, wrapper elements.

---

> I originally posted this on [WICG discourse][wicg] but I am migrating this to the CSSWG repo per the expert advice of @rachelandrew (thanks Rachel!)

[grid-placement]: https://www.w3.org/TR/css-grid-1/#grid-placement-property
[anonymous-placement]: https://stackoverflow.com/a/49312449/497418
[wicg]: https://discourse.wicg.io/t/default-grid-columns-rows-and-areas/3410



Please view or discuss this issue at https://github.com/w3c/csswg-drafts/issues/4002 using your GitHub account
Received on Tuesday, 4 June 2019 14:14:43 UTC

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