W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > February 2011

Re: [css3-multicol] pseudo-algorithm

From: Brad Kemper <brad.kemper@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 08:34:19 -0800
Cc: Stephen Zilles <szilles@adobe.com>, Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <F31449DB-CC55-4BC7-8DD9-E49EA60F09F8@gmail.com>
To: Sylvain Galineau <sylvaing@microsoft.com>

On Feb 11, 2011, at 7:52 AM, Sylvain Galineau wrote:

> [Brad Kemper:]
>> For myself, it is not all that unusual to find myself creating zero height
>> blocks (with content in them) for one reason or another. I think columns
>> should not be prevented from having zero width or a couple pixels of width
>> when there are enough columns to do so (not infinite). It may end up being
>> a very useful technique.
> I want to emphasize my intent has never been to prevent such scenarios. I 
> just prefer when defaults are set up in such a manner as to make the primary
> use-case easier to achieve. So the claim is not that there shouldn't be
> a min-column-gap behavior. Just that this may not be a suitable default for
> overconstrained cases given the main use-case for multicols.

Maybe I misunderstood then. I thought Stephen and maybe others were saying that columns should have a minimum width that I would not be able to override until possible some future version of the spec added that capability (CSS4 Columns?). That would seem to make it impossible to have a truly flexible-width column (down to 0 pixels) with a fixed-width gap and fixed number of columns. 

My gut tells me that there are all kinds of useful but unforeseen things authors could do with that if it was possible, and it would certainly be less surprising than running into a hidden UA constraint. The edge cases of actual text going into columns that end up in that sort of over-constrained situation, where the author allowed many columns in a narrow space but didn't put in anything to deal with it, seems less likely. Writing a one or two line media query to reduce the number of columns does not seem at all onerous when dealing with all the other issues of extremely flexible (in terms of min-width) layouts. 

If we want min-column-width, then lets just have that property and let authors set it. For that matter, a min-width on the multi-column element would seem to work just as well.
Received on Friday, 11 February 2011 16:34:54 UTC

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