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Fixed table layout and how it affects ancestor widths

From: Morten Stenshorne <mstensho@opera.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2010 14:59:46 +0200
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <87k4q1u5vh.fsf@dido.oslo.opera.com>
In recent builds [1] of Opera we have implemented letting tables with
table-layout:fixed with non-fixed width (i.e. percentual width) affect
the with of an ancestor shrink-to-fit container or auto-layout table.

This caused some problems, for instance on http://zh.wikipedia.org/ ,
which now becomes incredibly wide (6000 pixels or so).


    <!DOCTYPE html>
        <p>There should be no scrollbar</p>
        <div style="display:table; width:1px;">
          <div style="display:table; table-layout:fixed; width:100%;">
            <div style="overflow:hidden;">
              <div style="width:4000px; height:20px;"></div>

This has started to fail in Opera, because the width requirement of
4000px from the inner div is now propagated to the outer table (since
the fixed-layout table has no fixed width specified). However, I
believe this is correct behavior (and that the above testcase is
invalid), although Opera now disagrees with Safari, Chrome, Firefox
and IE8 (not in compatibility view mode, though).

The CSS 2.1 spec isn't very detailed regarding shrink-to-fit and
automatic table layout, but to me it seems that child content like
this (nice and well-behaved, fixed-sized, statically positioned, no
negative margins, etc.) overflowing a shrink-to-fit or table ancestor
horizontally is a FAIL.

One thing that all browsers (including Opera) agree on, is that the
overflow property should not affect the size of an ancestor
auto-layout table-cell or shrink-to-fit container. One could argue
that a container with overflow set to 'auto' or 'scroll' hardly needs
any width at all, since it provides a scrolling mechanism. No (modern)
browser seems to do it like that, though (which I find reasonable; how
wide exactly should we require an auto-width container with scrollbars
to be, then?). I don't know how relevant this is (hopefully not much
at all), but it seems that all the websites we have found to fail so
far combine something wide inside overflow:hidden inside fixed-layout
table inside automatic-layout table. So I'm mentioning it. Again, CSS
2.1 isn't very specific here.

So I would like to find out:

1. Is Opera right in letting content C inside a fixed-layout table B
affect a shrink-to-fit container or auto-layout table-cell A ancestor
of B?

2. Are the browsers right in not letting the overflow property on an
element affect an ancestor shrink-to-fit container or auto-layout

[1] http://my.opera.com/desktopteam/blog/2010/06/12/saturday-snapshot

---- Morten Stenshorne, developer, Opera Software ASA ----
---- Office: +47 24164206 ---- Cellular: +47 93440112 ----
------------------ http://www.opera.com/ -----------------
Received on Monday, 14 June 2010 15:58:55 UTC

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