[whatwg] Joined blocks

Russell Leggett russell.leggett at gmail.com
Sat Aug 2 17:06:51 PDT 2008

I would be happy to have this as a purely css solution, but if multiple
container elements are required for the content to flow to, would you not
want that relationship in the html? We specify anchors, links, and
relationships in html, why not this? How the flow between blocks should
certainly be controlled by css - when to break between blocks etc., but
there a semantic and structural aspect as well.

On Fri, Aug 1, 2008 at 11:00 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage at gmail.com>wrote:

> On Fri, Aug 1, 2008 at 7:28 AM, Russell Leggett <russell.leggett at gmail.com
> > wrote:
>> 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! ;)
>> -Russ
> This is definitely and distinctly a CSS issue, not a HTML one.  The fact
> that the contents of an element flow into another box elsewhere in the page
> has nothing to do with the underlying structure of the data - it's still a
> single cohesive element, and thus in html it would be marked up exactly as
> normal.  You just happen to be displaying it differently.
> As noted, CSS3 Multi-Column Layout directly addresses the wide use-case of
> dynamic columns, which will be the most common need for this sort of thing.
> However, it's certainly reasonable that one would want more than that, to
> allow the contents of an element to flow to an arbitrary location elsewhere
> on the page.  I could have sworn there was a flow-to property proposed in
> one of the working drafts, but I couldn't find it, so it's possible it only
> existed in my fevered imagination (it's also possible I was misremembering
> the "named flows" feature in Generated Content for Paged Media [1]).  A
> limited form of this property exists in the Paged Media section of the
> Template Layout module [2], where you can specify a template that spans
> across several pages.  If the contents of a slot would overflow, it instead
> forces a page-break within the slot and flows onto the next page, filling
> the slot of the same name.
> I've got some ideas in this regard, but we should move it to the CSS list,
> www-style at w3.org.
> ~TJ
> [1] http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-gcpm/#named1
> [2] http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-layout/#templates
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