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Re: [csswg-drafts] [css-multicol] Extend 'column-width' to take multiple <length> values to support varying column sizes? (#4896)

From: Florian Rivoal via GitHub <sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2020 05:13:35 +0000
To: public-css-archive@w3.org
Message-ID: <issue_comment.created-606404291-1585631614-sysbot+gh@w3.org>
One the one hand, this is interesting and examples of such layouts are commonly found in print. I'd be very happy if this could be added. On the other hand, it's not obvious to me that it is actually easy:
* what does it mean? If you have 600px + 2ems to fill, `column-width: 300px 200px 100px; column-gap:1em;`, then yes, you get 3 columns of 300px, 200px, and 100px. But what if you had 700px? What do you do with the extra space? distribute equally? proportionally? Do you introduce an additional column as soon as you have enough room for the smallest specified one? Or do add them in repeating order, going from "300 200 100" to "300 200 100 300" to "300 200 100 300 200", etc? Or in mirrored order, going from "300 200 100" to "300 200 100 100" to "300 200 100 100 200", etc? Or do you need to have enough room to repeat the whole set? Then there are analogous but not identical questions when you have not enough space instead of too much. Do we need a slew of additional properties to allow authors to pick between such variants?
* Implementation wise, if it turns out to be easy I'll be delighted, but I was under the impression that not all implementations were currently able to support fragmentation into a series of fragmentation that have different widths. That's something we'll need to crack eventually, as there are multiple situations where we'll need to cope with that but if we're still at a stage where engines cannot yet cope, that would put us out of the "fairly easy" bucket.

Another observation I would add is that I believe this sort of varying column layout is most commonly found in layouts that aren't just text in columns, but rather, like magazine layouts, in places which make a heavy use of page/column floats, of things that span some but not all columns, and other kinds of exclusions, etc. We have sketches for these features, but no mature specs or implementations. Unless this proposal is as easy as you think it is, I wonder if we shouldn't worry about these other things first.

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Received on Tuesday, 31 March 2020 05:13:38 UTC

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