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RE: [css3-text-layout] "design philosophy" or "basic idea" how vertical writing would work in CSS

From: Ishii Koji <kojiishi@gluesoft.co.jp>
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2010 05:10:28 -0400
To: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>
CC: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <A592E245B36A8949BDB0A302B375FB4E09E9A91A88@MAILR001.mail.lan>
Fantasai, thank you for the reply, and I think I've got much better understanding of what you said. Also thank you again for the link to the CSS3 box module. I didn't know about that.

Please allow me to ask a few more questions. Sorry I'm slow to understand.

1. So the plan is not about margins and paddings, but to make all left/right/top/ bottom are against page, and add start/end/before/after properties to all existing properties, like border-* and position:*. Is this correct?
2. Regardless of the flow, width is horizontal length, and height is vertical length. Is this correct?
3. There might be some exceptions to the rule 2 though, like line-height. Or are you also adding line-width property?
4. All existing CSS 2 documents must be converted to start/end/before/after to make them usable for vertical flow. Is this correct?

Koji Ishii

-----Original Message-----
From: fantasai [mailto:fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net] 
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2010 4:18 PM
To: Ishii Koji
Cc: www-style@w3.org
Subject: Re: [css3-text-layout] "design philosophy" or "basic idea" how vertical writing would work in CSS

On 06/24/2010 07:27 PM, Ishii Koji wrote:
> Hello,
> As I spent some time thinking myself, I noticed that my question is 
> not about margins and paddings, but is higher level question.
> The question is, do you have any "design philosophy" or "basic idea" 
> how vertical writing would work in CSS, and if you do, what is that?

There are several elements to this:

First, block layout must be generalized to accommodate both vertical and horizontal flows. Bert Bos started to do this years ago, you can see his progress in the CSS3 Box Module, which, unlike the CSS2.1 spec, is written with the assumption that both vertical and horizontal writing modes exist.

Second, properties need to be defined that allow switching between vertical and horizontal writing modes. This is the role of the 'writing-mode' and 'block-flow' properties proposed (but not yet standardized) in the CSS3 Text Layout Drafts.

Third, the definitions of various CSS features need to be adapted or extended to handle the vertical layout case. This is what Murakami-san was trying to address in his definitions for the *-start properties, and it is why 'start' values exist for e.g. text-align in CSS3.

> Now I think I understand the current situation better. I'm guessing, 
> my questions must come from one of two possibilities.
> 1. You want to re-invent a new vertical system that I have never seen.
> 2. You want to use the same philosophy [of rotating the page], but
>    margins and paddings are very special cases to be treated differently.
> I still don't know which way you guys are trying to go.

If rotating the page is option 2, then we're going with option 1.
Vertical writing should be a first-class alternative to horizontal writing in CSS, and it must be possible for the two to mix gracefully.
This means horizontal and vertical layout will be analogous. It does not mean that vertical writing mode rotates the layout.

> Could anyone please tell me how W3C is trying to define vertical writing system in CSS?

W3C does not yet have a definite answer for this, and certainly won't until we have at least a First Public Working Draft of CSS3 Text Layout.

Received on Monday, 28 June 2010 09:11:04 UTC

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