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Friday, September 14, 2007

W3C First Public Working Draft: CSS Grid Positioning Module Level 3

W3C announced that members of the CSS Working Group have released the
First Public Working Draft for the "CSS Grid Positioning Module Level
3" specification. This Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) module describes
integration of grid-based layout similar to the grids traditionally
used in books and newspapers, with CSS sizing and positioning. This
design strategy complements the different approach defined in the CSS
Advanced Layout Module. Grids may be explicitly authored or implied
and combined with Media Queries. Grid systems have provided great
value to print designers for many years, and the same concepts may
be applied to online print content. Unlike print media however,
dimensions of online devices vary broadly; a single fixed-sized grid
that worked perfectly for print pages only works in a subset of web
scenarios. Adaptable solutions require dealing with a grid that adapts
to fit devices of varying form factors. This CSS module adds
capabilities for sizing and positioning in terms of a scalable grid.
The grid can be specified directly by author, or can be implied
from existing two-dimensional structures e.g., tables or multi-column
elements. Grid positioning addresses layout in continuous media and
in paged media. The "CSS Advanced Layout Module" specification defines
template-based positioning as an alternative to absolute positioning,
which, like absolute positioning, is especially useful for aligning
elements that don't have simple relationships in the source
(parent-child, ancestor-descendant, immediate sibling). But in
contrast to absolute positioning, the elements are not positioned
with the help of horizontal and vertical coordinates, but by mapping
them into slots in a table-like template. The relative size and
alignment of elements is thus governed implicitly by the rows and
columns of the template. It doesn't allow elements to overlap, but
it provides layouts that adapt better to different widths.

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