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johnm
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I've been spending alot of time trying to nail down some of my CSS layout techniques recently (layout is NOT my point however). In the process I've spent countless hours sifting thru books, artciles, and forum posts that are jam packed with work arounds primarily in 2 areas:
1) IE shortcomings (I won't bother talking about them)
2) CSS layout and spacing short comings

Its amazing to me how much energy is sucked out of what could otherwise be productive time spent on moving CSS and other things forward, either collectively or just on an individual's basis. The point is, I think the amount of time everyone is taking to 'work-around' CSS layout shortcomings could be better spent discussing, designing, and actually changing the aspects of CSS that seem to cause the most problems.

I think it would be very relevent to have Forum topic to discuss where is CSS known/documented to be going from here (roadmap) and then maybe even more importantly, where should it be going (WishList). But in fear that I'm the 'only' one who think there's an innappropriate allocation of time, I'll provide an example, which is the whole height property and related issues. Anyone that spends any time at all on these forums and reads any CSS books, is going to read about all the various work arounds for the fact that CSS does not seem to spec the height property effectively and browsers have an inherent difficulty as well. Then there's the countless complex schemes for layout using floats and negative margins and all that and much much more.

It seems to me that there are some obvious shortcoming in CSS (even though I love CSS) that could be addressed for some of this, but I don't see any discussion of it. Hence the need for a 'Wishlist' forum so these things could be discussed without clogging up the other 'Help' oriented forums.

So if the powers that be don't see fit to have that type of forum here, where should I start some threads on these topics (here or elsewhere)? For the record, I found some very useful info here already in the few weeks I've been visiting this forum and I think it's great!

Thanks in advance,

John M.

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WishListHeight = 100%

Wishlist : Being able to make the height of a container 100% would be incredibly useful. For starters, no more faux columns. It would just make things a lot easier!

That's me over and out for now,

Cheers,

John

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johnm wrote:Anyone that

johnm wrote:
Anyone that spends any time at all on these forums and reads any CSS books, is going to read about all the various work arounds for the fact that CSS does not seem to spec the height property effectively and browsers have an inherent difficulty as well. Then there's the countless complex schemes for layout using floats and negative margins and all that and much much more.

You've obviously not been doing your reading properly then because if you had, you'd realise that CSS already has the solution to this problem at hand - the display: table property - it's the fact that it's not supported by IE that is the source of what you deem 'inappropriate allocation of time', and guess what? It's going to continue as long as IE continues to not follow the specs and for as long as it remains the dominant browser.

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johnm
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what is obvious

Moderator... what's with all the attitude? I made a reasonable suggestion and all you do is take swipes at me? You should be a little more welcoming, unless you simply don't care whether or not people participate. The worse part is that you're wrong. I did do my reading properly, and as a result, I do know about the table setting for the display property.

You obviously missed the greater point I made, which was to suggest a forum to discuss where CSS might be going with regard to changes to the spec and ways it could be improved. My point was NOT about any one thing like the lack of height:100% to fill verticle space. The fact is that most people don't know about setting display:table, and it is a non-intuitive way around an obvious shortcoming. It would be a whole lot easier and more intuitive to simply set height to 100% without any other requirement. This is in addition to countless other work arounds for layout that could be fixed or changed.

However, things won't happen without a broad-based dialog on forums such as this. There has to be discussion, so that concensus can work for change. Often times the gaurdians of things loose perspective and until they see things thru the eyes of others, sometimes they don't see the problem.

Bottom line is that as Moderator you should have addressed the greater point I was making instead of cherry picking elements of what I said in order to fault my comments in some way. The guy who responded prior to you seem to understand.

BTW, if there was some opening tag in my post, I didn't see it and did not intend to put it there.

Back at you,

John M.

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johnm wrote:BTW, if there

johnm wrote:
BTW, if there was some opening tag in my post, I didn't see it and did not intend to put it there.

That's my signature.

Quote:
Bottom line is that as Moderator you should have addressed the greater point I was making instead of cherry picking elements of what I said in order to fault my comments in some way.

You seem to be quite forthright in telling people how they should respond for someone who's been here such a short time.

Quote:
You obviously missed the greater point I made, which was to suggest a forum to discuss where CSS might be going with regard to changes to the spec and ways it could be improved.

Improved? Or just changed so that it suits your way of thinking? So you want the way height is dealt with in CSS changed because you think using display: table is counterintuitive and people don't know about it. Don't sound like very valid arguments to me.

And the point that I was making (although referring directly to the height example given) is that the solution already exists but is unusable due to IE's shortcomings and this applies to the majority of techniques that exist in CSS but which can't be used due to IE's lack of implementation.

There's plenty of discussion that goes on around this area in plenty of other places. It gets discussed on this forum too in different individual threads. If you want to make a wishlist for things you want to see included in future versions of CSS, then by all means, do so here, but there are far better places to air these views, ie, by telling the CSS Working Group.

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Johnm, height is a really

Johnm, height is a really bad example to choose.

(1) As Tyssen points out, equal height columns are currently hamstrung by IE's failure to support some CSS2.1 values. CSS3 also already includes a layout module to better handle layouts.

(2) Height:100% is not what you want. Percents have to be based off something, ie. 100% of something else and that isn't what you want.

So although a CSS wish list thread might be really useful, you really need to make yourself familiar with the current CSS2.1 spec and the proposed CSS3 spec. If you think there is something you can't work out how to do or you think should be doable easily ask here about it first.

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Quote:You seem to be quite

Quote:
You seem to be quite forthright in telling people how they should respond for someone who's been here such a short time.

I don't want to tell you how to respond. At the same time, I don't expect a moderator to take swipes at a post that had nothing but good intentions.

Quote:
Improved? Or just changed so that it suits your way of thinking? So you want the way height is dealt with in CSS changed because you think using display: table is counterintuitive and people don't know about it. Don't sound like very valid arguments to me.

Are you trying to tell me that everything is perfect the way it is? On the height property and using display:table, it is counterintuitive. If it weren't then there wouldn't be so many questions about doing something so simple as filling the vertical space of a parent element. Another example of a potential good idea (which I'm sure has been discussed at some point) is to enable the orientation of block level elements. That way if someone wanted to have elements flow left to right they could just orient the parent element horizontally.

I'm just pointing this out as an example of how there could be improvements to how CSS enables easier layouts. I'm not the only one who thinks this as the Mozilla folks did some of these very things in XUL, which made layout very easy and work the same in both directions, horizontally and vertically.

Quote:
And the point that I was making (although referring directly to the height example given) is that the solution already exists but is unusable due to IE's shortcomings and this applies to the majority of techniques that exist in CSS but which can't be used due to IE's lack of implementation.

What solution already exists? I'm not sure what you're referring to. IE screws everything up and its amazing the entire development universe hasn't boycotted the use of it and/or aggressively evangelized the public away from it.

Quote:
There's plenty of discussion that goes on around this area in plenty of other places. It gets discussed on this forum too in different individual threads. If you want to make a wishlist for things you want to see included in future versions of CSS, then by all means, do so here, but there are far better places to air these views, ie, by telling the CSS Working Group.

Well the fact that we're discussing this proves there's something to discuss. I just think that the more issues are sounded off on, the more likely the broader community can come to consensus. Note the keyword consensus, which is what I want... not just "my way of thinking."

IMHO, for someone to think that there's no glaring issues of layout over-complexity with CSS, and that there aren't some very straight-forward potential solutions to work toward, tells me they're too close to the forest to see the trees.

For the record, I'm taking the time to post these comments so others might connect with them. Not because I think that I'll get some where with them here.

Anyway, best of luck to you with this forum!

John M.

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I'd love a central

I'd love a central repository of fonts we could tap into, instead of being restricted to the very few we hope everyone has installed on their machine.

Life's a journey. Enjoy the trip.

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johnm wrote:What solution

johnm wrote:
What solution already exists? I'm not sure what you're referring to. IE screws everything up and its amazing the entire development universe hasn't boycotted the use of it and/or aggressively evangelized the public away from it.

*sigh*

I guess you aren't a professional in this area. People and organisations that want websites, don't pay to have websites developed that can't be used by 80-90% of people. Most people want their computers to be simple and easy to use, they don't care about IE or Firefox or Opera. They click on a website and it should work. Even if IEs share of the market fell to 5-10% it would still be difficult for the vast majority of websites to move away from supporting it.

IE isn't so much bad, its old. At the time it was released it was the best. Microsoft's sin was that after winning the browser war it did zero to further develop its browser (until a serious competitor came along).

And still web development is hamstrung by Microsoft. No matter what spec or other browsers do the web will struggle to move forward if Microsoft doesn't develop its browser.

Oh, and read this http://www.w3.org/TR/2005/WD-css3-layout-20051215/

Phreestyle... yes fonts would be a great asset. The problem isn't so much technical as DRM. Graphics Designers will purchase a font if they wish to use it in their designs. Over time they build up a library of fonts. How could that work for the web?

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Oi!

I must confess I liked johnm's intention with this thread. I don't see the harm in what he was trying to do. But what I'm surprised at is the unfortunate reaction the thread has provoked.

CSS does have room for improvements, of course it does. And if there is another thread in which these can be discussed and explained (particularly if one person thinks something could be done, only to have someone else helpfully point out it can be), then I applaud the idea.

Anyway, I have one or two minor frustrations with CSS myself, but will see if this thread survives before posting.

Apologies for being uncharacteristically moody,

John

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johnm
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a revisit of this thread

I just wanted to revisit the thread I started here. I simply wanted to see if there was an interest in opening up a dialog to discuss any shortcomings of CSS and what ideas people might have to address the issues. Suggesting a "Roadmap and Wish List" forum was simply for lack of a better idea on where and how to get the dialog going. So to clarify what I was talking about, I came up with a couple examples of what *I* think are shortcoming in regard to CSS layout capabilities. I wasn't trying to level a broad criticism against CSS (on the contrary, I love CSS), or even suggest that I had done thorough research on my examples. That simply wasn't my point.

Unfortunately some of the responses I got (not all... thanks burlster), seem to be rather critical of my post (you can review this thread and decide for yourself). I must admit that I was somewhat frustrated and annoyed by a couple of the comments that basically insuated that I'm not too bright, lack reading skills, and that I'm certainly not a professional. Well that was discouraging, and to think all I wanted to do is to suggest a forum subject.

So am I saying all this because I want sympathy from this forum? No! I just hope for the sake of others that might have a suggestion, that the moderators take a note from Eric Meyer's philosophy, which he states in the policies on the CSS-Discuss website:

eric_meyer wrote:
Above all, if you can't answer with a modicum of respect, or without feeling somehow annoyed by the question, then DO NOT ANSWER AT ALL. I'm dead serious about this. You may have seen and responded to a question six thousand times, but the person asking has only heard it once: when they asked it. They're asking it in order to fill a gap in their own knowledge. Make your answer an encouragement for more questions, not an incentive to unsubscribe.

Well my first experience here wasn't exactly an encouragement to ask more questions. But I'll keep trying!

John M.

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I don't want more CSS, I

I don't want more CSS, I want better CSS support in IE Tongue

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DON'T SHOOT!

I will be shot for saying this of course, but Internet Explorer may well be the stupid bully of the class but CSS is getting us all in to trouble by being stubborn.

I have my hands above my head waving a white flag as I say this, but perhaps CSS ought to just accept IE are the leading browser, and try and accept the stupid thing wants to see things differently? Perhaps some new alternatives which react one way in FF, another in IE, but is still only simple and looks the same in both?

I like Internet Explorer about as much as I like Muggers, but at the end of the day if they've got the gun, you've got to give them what you can.

That's just a theory of course, perhaps IE8 will be all web standard compliant making our lives easier?

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(No subject)

:jawdrop: Sick :curse: :mad: :scared: Sad :shrug:

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Sorry :(

Hahaha, my apologies.

Of course it is a ridiculous idea. I just think occassionally that with all these problems with IE, perhaps we should look at them from a different angle.

I look at IE like a traveller might a massive mountain in their path. It's a massive inconvenience, and a pain in the backside. You can swear, curse or kick at it all you like but it's not going to change.

At the moment we're accepting our problem and either spending a long time walking around it with hacks, or a frustrating time climbing over it leaving our sites looking somewhat messy.

With CSS being more flexible then Mount Irritating, it has the power to at least drill a tunnel through it by just giving in a little. This mountain is not going to move but CSS can!

Ow! Did someone just poke a Voodoo replica of me?

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johnm
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the time spent on IE

I didn't intend to go on one of my IE rants in this thread, but since it has come up, I will, but only once. So be warned if you're not interested in reading yet another IE rant... SKIP THIS POST!

I agree that we have to work at making CSS successful depsite IE. It's like CSS has to be the bigger person. With that said however, I'm still amazed that there isn't a more effective anti-IE campaign in the web dev world.

I know my perspective might somewhat unique here in that I don't have to develop public web sites for a living. I develop web applications that only have to conform to standards, so my apps don't have to work in IE, (although they do for the most part). I couldn't imagine having to spend so much time twisting my standards compliant code around to work in IE, not to mention testing it against 3 versions of IE.

The whole thing is a vicious circle in that as long as there are developers willing to work around IE, there will be a world that expects it. I know that it's totally unrealistic, but wouldn't it be great if the entire web dev universe just said no! If everyone said that they only develop to web standards and that's it. If CSS books stopped consuming 1/2 there content on IE work arounds. If the W3C CSS Working Group stopped spending their time on IE considerations and only focused on moving CSS forward in the best possible way. And here's the real kicker, if the public could be educated enough to know to use a standards compliant browser.

Anything is possible, but it will never happen so long as the web dev world continues to enable MS/IE. It's like the alcoholic uncle that needs an intervention, but as long as the entire family ignores and even supports the behavior (enabling), it will continue.

As far as I can see, MS loves this mess. They want to own the web and as long as they can hold it hostage with IE, they will. As it stands, they have no incentive to do otherwise. The only way they will, is if the web dev world and the public stop enabling and rewarding their bad behavior. But it starts and stops with developers. I for one refuse to use my carreer to support the drunk uncle, and work at the mercy of MS. The beauty of web-standards bodies, is that are standards, and technologies are not subject to one person or organization. So again I cannot help but to think, why does the web dev world enable IE to dictate so much of our time and what we do. At least for me, there is plenty of work developing standards compliant code. If that works in IE, great. If not, it's not my problem.

I know, I know... how dare I say all that. I'm not in touch with the real world (well that's by design). This is just my crazy opinion. I know that I'll never get work developing public web sites. And yes, I also know that the compliant browsers aren't perfect either, but at least they work toward compliance and that's noble enough for me.

Apologies in advance,

John M.

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No need to apologise in

No need to apologise in advance or anywhere else. The situation you describe is a problem for those people who need to build websites to eat. My clients won't pay if the website doesn't work with IE. Where I get an opportunity, I do install FF on machines and explain that it is a better and more secure browser. But that can't compare with IE being preinstalled. Do I build for IE? No. Do I use cutting edge features? No. Do my websites work in IE? Yes.

From a pragamatic point of view, IE7 is fine(*). For me IE6 was never so much a problem because it wasn't standards compliant (to CSS2.1) but because it had so many bugs. As a web developers we'll always need to build to a lowest common denominator. Its important that the lowest common denominator continues to move forward. With luck in two or three years time IE6 will just be a bad memory - like IE5, Netscape 4, et. al are now. No doubt, by then, there will be a new browser that we are screaming about as holding back web development.

(*) Right now the browser which causes me the most grief is Safari 2.0.