W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > April 2009

Re: text-align property for columns (once again)

From: Brad Kemper <brad.kemper@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2009 08:14:50 -0700
Cc: "www-style@w3.org list" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <961B6487-8406-486F-9B7D-82EE7887EB11@gmail.com>
To: Reg Me Please <regmeplease@gmail.com>

On Apr 9, 2009, at 7:23 AM, Reg Me Please wrote:

> Well, all these interesting discussions actually opened my mind to  
> this
> brave new world :-). Thanks a lot once again.
> What still puzzles me is that the CSS is not going to follow and  
> support
> what's in (X)HTML. [...] To allow authors to split table data  
> completely away from its
> appearance.

CSS goes further, and splits markup language (such as (X)HTML) away  
from appearance/style. And it does so with the assumption of a parent/ 
descendent structure to the markup language. The COL element predates  
CSS, was created mostly for styling inside the markup language (where  
it no longer belongs), and is really an oddball in the way it pretends  
to be a father to the TD, when really the TD only has a mother (the  
TR). I can really think of nothing else in HTML that is similar. It  
should really be deprecated, IMO.

> After all, "Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a simple mechanism for
> adding style (e.g. fonts, colors, spacing) to Web documents."
> If C language preprocessor was not going to fully support (and extend)
> the C language syntax and semantics, it's use would be heavily  
> limited,
> despite still interesting.

Are you suggesting that the people on this list are not interested in  
extending CSS with new features and properties to make it more useful?

COL's lack of parent/descendent relationship to the TD or TH throws  
normal CSS property inheritance (which is a very key feature of CSS),  
right out the window. To add it backóin a way that allowed a table  
cell to inherit from the table columnówould be very complicated,  
requiring a lot more time and effort than you would probably guess.  
And for anything that gets added to CSS, its usefulness must be  
balanced against the effort required. You have not shown a use case  
for doing so that could not be handled just as well (or better) by the  
":nth-col()" or ":col()" pseudo-classes that we have been discussing.  
These new pseudo-classes for selecting a table cell based on its  
column number would allow styling beyond what is available in COL, and  
would be much easier to implement.
Received on Thursday, 9 April 2009 15:20:48 UTC

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