W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > whatwg@whatwg.org > August 2008

[whatwg] Joined blocks

From: Russell Leggett <russell.leggett@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 2 Aug 2008 20:10:44 -0400
Message-ID: <680cacd10808021710s1a6c2c06he1e66b00cf1c8b98@mail.gmail.com>
Ignore my last statement. It was a draft I wrote before reading Ian's
response. If he has something in mind to get the same thing accomplished
without adding extra tags, all the better.

On Sat, Aug 2, 2008 at 8:06 PM, Russell Leggett
<russell.leggett at gmail.com>wrote:

> I would be happy to have this as a purely css solution, but if multiple
> container elements are required for the content to flow to, would you not
> want that relationship in the html? We specify anchors, links, and
> relationships in html, why not this? How the flow between blocks should
> certainly be controlled by css - when to break between blocks etc., but
> there a semantic and structural aspect as well.
> -Russ
> On Fri, Aug 1, 2008 at 11:00 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage at gmail.com>wrote:
>> On Fri, Aug 1, 2008 at 7:28 AM, Russell Leggett <
>> russell.leggett at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> For what it's worth, Shannon, I totally agree with you. Not only is this
>>> something I have been wanted for a long time, but I think it belongs in the
>>> html. It's one thing if you just want columns, which is being covered here:
>>> http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-multicol/. The CSS covers that nicely, but
>>> there are times when the joined blocks are more remote and distinctly not
>>> columns, requiring the extra markup to control where it must join to.
>>> However, while useful for complex layouts, this is definitely the much
>>> smaller use case. I think it would make a great addition, but I suppose
>>> people have to have priorities! ;)
>>> -Russ
>> This is definitely and distinctly a CSS issue, not a HTML one.  The fact
>> that the contents of an element flow into another box elsewhere in the page
>> has nothing to do with the underlying structure of the data - it's still a
>> single cohesive element, and thus in html it would be marked up exactly as
>> normal.  You just happen to be displaying it differently.
>> As noted, CSS3 Multi-Column Layout directly addresses the wide use-case of
>> dynamic columns, which will be the most common need for this sort of thing.
>> However, it's certainly reasonable that one would want more than that, to
>> allow the contents of an element to flow to an arbitrary location elsewhere
>> on the page.  I could have sworn there was a flow-to property proposed in
>> one of the working drafts, but I couldn't find it, so it's possible it only
>> existed in my fevered imagination (it's also possible I was misremembering
>> the "named flows" feature in Generated Content for Paged Media [1]).  A
>> limited form of this property exists in the Paged Media section of the
>> Template Layout module [2], where you can specify a template that spans
>> across several pages.  If the contents of a slot would overflow, it instead
>> forces a page-break within the slot and flows onto the next page, filling
>> the slot of the same name.
>> I've got some ideas in this regard, but we should move it to the CSS list,
>> www-style at w3.org.
>> ~TJ
>> [1] http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-gcpm/#named1
>> [2] http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-layout/#templates
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