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Flexbox and Grid Percentage Margins: Feedback Needed

By Tab Atkins Jr. May 5, 2015 (Permalink)
Categories: Feedback

The CSS Working Group has reached an impasse on the issue of percentage margins (and padding) in flex and grid layout, and needs your input to help decide it.

Option 1: Flex and grid items resolve percentages in margin-top and margin-bottom against the height of the element’s containing block.

Option 2: Flex and grid items resolve percentages in margin-top and margin-bottom against the width of the element’s containing block.

Option 1 makes vertical margins consistent with horizontal margins (which resolve percentages against the width of the element’s containing block). This is a theoretically simpler model, and works well with Flexbox and Grid’s dimension-agnostic layout concepts. However, it is inconsistent with CSS block layout, and causes the margins to collapse to zero when used in an auto-height container.

Option 2 is consistent with the behavior of vertical margins in block and table layout. It has usable behavior in auto-height boxes, and enables the “aspect ratio hack”. However, it is a less obvious behavior, and means the layout interactions change based on whether a flexbox is “row” or “column”.

(For more background, see discussion on www-style.)

We’re looking for comments from authors explaining which behavior they think is better for Flex and Grid layout, and why. Do you have use-cases that can only be achieved with one behavior or the other? Show us in a comment on CSS3.info!

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Last updated 2015-05-05 20:42:15