[whatwg] Joined blocks

Russell Leggett russell.leggett at gmail.com
Fri Aug 1 05:28:43 PDT 2008

For what it's worth, Shannon, I totally agree with you. Not only is this
something I have been wanted for a long time, but I think it belongs in the
html. It's one thing if you just want columns, which is being covered here:
http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-multicol/. The CSS covers that nicely, but there
are times when the joined blocks are more remote and distinctly not columns,
requiring the extra markup to control where it must join to. However, while
useful for complex layouts, this is definitely the much smaller use case. I
think it would make a great addition, but I suppose people have to have
priorities! ;)

On Fri, Aug 1, 2008 at 1:35 AM, Shannon <shannon at arc.net.au> wrote:

>  I agree this is _mostly_ a CSS issue except that there is semantic meaning
> to the join attribute beyond layout. The attribute could serve as a guide to
> search engines, web-scrapers or WYSIWYG applications that two areas of the
> page should be considered a single piece of content. I am also unsure as to
> how this might affect other aspects of browser, javascript or DOM behaviour.
> There may be other uses or side-effects I can't imagine. At any rate CSS
> cannot associate elements so the join attribute should be considered
> independent of the style considerations as a means of saying "this block
> follows that one". Nonetheless I will do as you suggest.
> Shannon
> Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Fri, 1 Aug 2008, Shannon wrote:
>  Something I think is really missing from HTML is "linked text" (in the
> traditional desktop publishing sense), where two or more text boxes are
> joined so that content overflows the first into the second and
> subsequent boxes. This is a standard process for practically all
> multi-column magazines, books and news layouts. It is especially
> valuable for column layouts where the information is dynamic and
> variable in length and therefore cannot be manually balanced. This is
> not something that can be solved server-side since the actual flow is
> dependent on user style-sheets, viewport and font-size.
>  I agree that this would be a useful feature for the Web platform. However,
> I believe the CSS working group is a better venue for exploring such
> options. I recommend forwarding your proposal to www-style at w3.org.
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