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Bug 6607 - wrapping text to limit line length without a table
Summary: wrapping text to limit line length without a table
Alias: None
Product: HTML WG
Classification: Unclassified
Component: HTML5: The Markup Language (editor: Michael(tm) Smith) (show other bugs)
Version: unspecified
Hardware: PC All
: P2 enhancement
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Michael[tm] Smith
QA Contact: HTML WG Bugzilla archive list
Depends on:
Reported: 2009-02-22 07:21 UTC by Nick Levinson
Modified: 2009-02-26 07:16 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

See Also:


Description Nick Levinson 2009-02-22 07:21:04 UTC
Text line lengths should not be so long before line breaks as to make human reading uncomfortable. Newspapers and magazines are typeset for more ideal line lengths. As computer monitors have gotten wider over the years, as the installed base of monitors are very much not the same size, and as users vary in whether they maximize windows within a large monitor, some means is needed to allow an author to limit line length and force wrapping at an arbitrary distance from the left margin and before the browser's right edge is reached regardless of monitor and window sizes.

To that end, I use a table, since I can specify a cell's width. You don't want us using the <table> element for nontabular data, but I use it successfully, for example, to set a 13-point font into a 600-pixel-wide cell and leave the left and right areas empty.

The concept is already present in HTML 5 regarding textarea, a feature I'm not sure I'd use just for this purpose, especially with long texts.

I've seen many examples of long line lengths that lead the eyes to swim seemingly forever before coming back to the starting margin, I generally think they should fix their layouts.

If you can add a nontabular nontextarea method that will work with older browser versions, that would be fine.

This responds to <>, Working Draft, 12 February 2009. For Bugzilla, I selected all OSes; I develop on Win95a and 98SE and Linux and want pages to work on whatever users use.

Thank you.

Comment 1 Boris Zbarsky 2009-02-23 20:13:50 UTC
What exactly is the problem with CSS width styles on blocks?
Comment 2 Nick Levinson 2009-02-26 07:10:27 UTC
They don't work in older versions, namely IE5, although they generally do in 5.5. Long-tail marketing supports a website having consistent presentation across older browsers as well as newer versions. I tested margin, padding, and border, both 4-sided and left and right only.

However, I'm closing this enhancement request, because I shouldn't have submitted it. I remembered the general problem but forgot the specifics till you reminded me. Reviewing HTML5's purpose again, it's clear that adding the feature is not going to help since HTML5 isn't meant to aid compatibility with browsers too old for this subset of CSS1 compliance.