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Re: [css3-regions] content:flow-from(flow) and ::before/::after

From: Vincent Hardy <vhardy@adobe.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2011 13:41:25 -0700
To: Alex Mogilevsky <alexmog@microsoft.com>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CA5C5B4A.DFC5%vhardy@adobe.com>
Hi Alex,

My comments below.

From: Alex Mogilevsky <alexmog@microsoft.com<mailto:alexmog@microsoft.com>>
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2011 12:18:55 -0700
To: "www-style@w3.org<mailto:www-style@w3.org>" <www-style@w3.org<mailto:www-style@w3.org>>
Subject: [css3-regions] content:flow-from(flow) and ::before/::after

I think there is a problem with using “content:flow-from()” to put named flow into a region.

Whatever property is used for “flow-from”, it is actually doing two things:

1)      Makes the element a region

2)      Identify the named flow to flow from.
If there was “display-inside:region” it could be used as an explicit trigger. We set display type implicitly but the result is same – element’s nature changes when  it becomes a region.

Now, the meaning of ‘content’ is literally placing content inside an element, not changing the element otherwise.

Consider this:

#region { content:flow-from(foo); }
#region::before { content:”before”)
#region::after { content:”after”)

The flow “foo” may start at this region, or it may continue from elsewhere (possibly interrupted in the middle of an element, inside a table, or in a thick bottom border).

What is supposed to happen?

I think the generated content spec is very clear about it. It should have exactly same result as actually placing the pseudo-elements in content:

                <div id=”region”>
                                ... portion of named flow that fits in this region ...

Now, the element is a region, which means that it completely disregards its own content and replaces it with the named flow:

                <div id=”region”>
                                ... portion of named flow that fits in this region ...

that would be the effect when set on a regular dif. However if the div is a flexbox, “content:flow-from” will be ignored and befor+after will merge into one anonymous flex item:

                <div id=”region” style=”display:flexbox”>

This makes the definition of “content:flow-from” self-contradictory, or at least underderfined.

Ways to fix it:

1)      Define that “content:flow-from” (when it applies) discards “::before” and “::after”

2)      Define that “content:flow-from” doesn’t change the parent element but instead inserts an anonymous region block

3)      Use a different property – “flow-from”. It doesn’t need to have priority over ‘content’ because dom content of a regin is  ignored

>> [VH] I think there is another way to look at it and have another option:

4) ::before and ::after address a pseudo-element that is distinct from the element itself. Setting 'content:flow-from()' on the element does not impact the element's pseudo-element ::before and ::after just like removing all the children from an element using the DOM API will not impact the element's ::before and ::after.

While I agree that content:flow-from() differs from the other values for content in that it grabs a fragment from the flow and not a specific content set, I suggest we stick with the resolution from the group and use option 4). What do you think?

Received on Monday, 1 August 2011 20:42:04 UTC

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