Re: Styling table columns--why so limited?

> [Original Message]
> From: Ian Hickson <>
> On Wed, 31 Mar 2004, Dan Delaney wrote:
> >
> > I guess what it boils down to for me is this: in practical terms, Web
> > designers need to be able to use, on COL and COLGROUP, all the
> > styles they can use on TDs.
> The working group agrees; unfortunately no-one has yet suggested a
> practical solution to this problem. As I describe in:
> is a problem with the entire way CSS works. I have yet to see a
> workable solution (though many people have tried, over the years, to
> develop solutions).
> So, please propose a solution!

I already have, if you want me to look up a reference to the post
I will, but it's simple enough I'll repeat myself.

Implement a second table model. it would be much the same as
the current one except that 'rowspan' and 'colspan' would be CSS
properties and would cause the cells to overlap other cells in the
source document instead of requiring them to not be there.
Selection of rows and columns so as to apply style to them
would be via already existing selectors.

Advantages: Anything that can be done via existing HTML tables
can be done using this scheme.  Also, it will be easy to implement,
requiring a grand total of two new properties: 'colspan', 'rowspan'
and one new value for the 'property' to trigger the new table model,
such as "table-model2".

Disadvantage:  It doesn't allow existing HTML tables that use
either the rowspan or colspan attributes to have CSS work on them

The magical solution that will enable CSS to work with HTML tables
that use the rowspan and colspan attributes without drastically
changing the way CSS works doesn't exist.  It is long past time to
forget about trying to do this.  Instead we should concentrate on
how can CSS have a table model that does what HTML tables
can do, even if it doesn't do it the same way.  This is one area
where trying to maintain total backwards compatibility is not
a good thing.

Received on Friday, 2 April 2004 10:20:38 UTC