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RE: Flexbox Draft, with pictures!

From: Alex Mogilevsky <alexmog@microsoft.com>
Date: Tue, 25 May 2010 21:59:42 +0000
To: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>, www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <5258A1A783764C478A36E2BC4A9C497E0A9887@tk5ex14mbxc105.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
I would like to make an overall comment on the draft and on the sort of changes you are proposing.

First, I have to say it is great to see new features and algorithms being proposed and discussed, this is the only way to make progress. And I very much appreciate your role in it, the way you make a running start at this group. And I do expect awesome results from your work.

With the due respect given, I have to say I am very concerned with the proposed Flexbox draft, in particular the kind of changes being proposed. Again, I don't want to be overly critical, I have no personal agenda to promote, my only interest here is getting good standards defined *and* implemented.

I have a number of concerns. Let me try to list them in categories.

	1) The Flexbox spec is currently in fairly stable state. It had no changes for a year, there are two generally compatible partial implementations. It is well received, and there seemed to be no major issues (at least until recently). It would be reasonable to expect Flexbox draft to move to CR fairly quickly, but that is not what will happen if we switch to an entirely new draft.

It is perfectly fine for a working draft to change a lot before becoming a standard, it is fine to even be dropped and replaced by something else. It is somewhat surprising to see that potentially happening with this particular one though.

	2) Although it is fine for a stable draft to change significantly, a major change needs a major reason. For example

		- solving major problems
		- addressing new important use cases
		- consistency with other standards, existing or emerging

We don't seem to have any of the above, at least so far. If we end up addressing approximately same use cases with different syntax and different algorithms, we should strongly consider iterating on existing spec.

	3) On the merits of the proposed changes: I believe the original draft is very simple and elegant, and adds a lot of power with minimal new concepts. Proposed draft doesn't quite have leave that impression. This by itself is not an issue but as this is the list of my concerns I have to put it here.

With all this said, I would like to reiterate that what I would like to see the most is a stable, implementable flex-box specification, or something similar that achieves the same goal. I may disagree with a particular step along that way but my goals are the same and I am willing to work on getting there, even if it involves discussing (or even implementing) a spec which I generally don’t agree with.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-style-request@w3.org [mailto:www-style-request@w3.org] On
> Behalf Of Tab Atkins Jr.
> Sent: Monday, May 24, 2010 3:38 PM
> To: www-style list
> Subject: Flexbox Draft, with pictures!
> In case you've stopped following the last flexbox thread, or just gave up on a
> text-heavy draft without any pretty pictures, check out
> http://www.xanthir.com/:wih .  I've added code+visual examples in several
> places, which I think make it much easier to digest.
> I'd welcome any feedback on the examples, as well as the actual text of the
> spec, of course.
> ~TJ

Received on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 22:00:17 UTC

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