W3C

CSS Drop Shadows

fantasai from the CSS WG asked me if I could cross-post her weblog post on Q&A blog, so she could reach a broader and diverse community. Please read and comment here or on www-style.

I’m working on the CSS3 Backgrounds and Borders module with Bert Bos, and I’d like to start a new Q&A series because I think we need some help: This time I’ll ask the questions, and you give me answers. Ok? :) Since the CSS Working Group Blog currently doesn’t accept comments, CSS3.info and W3C’s Karl Dubost have kindly allowed me to cross-post so that you can write back. The first issue is a complicated one, so I’ll start with an easy question. The topic is drop shadows.

In the latest public working draft we have a box-shadow property. The point is, obviously, to be able to draw a drop-shadow for a CSS box. It starts to get complicated once you ask “what happens when there are semi-transparent parts of the box?” At first we figured ‘box-shadow’ should just draw the shadow as if the box was opaque. Then Dave Hyatt, who had started implementing this, started questioning that logic. We’ve got proposals for a ‘border-shadow’ property to shadow just the border and a ‘background-shadow’ property to shadow just the background color (but not the image?), etc. We could also just “shadow everything drawn in this element”. This all sounds rather complicated to me so I want to step back and ask:

What do you, the web designers of the world, want to do with shadows? What’s the end result you want to get?

Show me. Post a few links to stuff from your portfolio that uses anything beyond pure text shadows, even if it’s all done with pure Photoshop(/Painter/GIMP) graphics. Draw (or explain) a picture of what you want to achieve. Then maybe we can figure out how best to make it happen in CSS.

Discuss on www-style, CSS3.info.