May 18, 2011

Adobe’s enriching CSS, WebKit

HTML is great, but its text-layout limitations have always been a drag for print designers–particularly those now wanting to create tablet-based magazines. That’s why Adobe has been proposing to enhance the CSS spec & contributing to the WebKit browser project.

Now you can download a build & learn more about CSS Regions. According to the project page, key highlights of CSS Regions include:

  • Story threading — allows content to flow in multiple disjointed boxes expressed in CSS and HTML, making it possible to express more complex, magazine-style threaded layouts, including pull quotes and sidebars.
  • Region styling — allows content to be styled based on the region it flows into. For example, the first few lines that fit into the first region of an article may be displayed with a different color or font, or headers flowing in a particular region may have a different background color or size. Region styling is not currently implemented in the CSS Regions prototype.
  • Arbitrary content shapes and exclusions — allows content to fit into arbitrary shapes (not just rectangular boxes) or to flow around complex shapes.

Cool. (And do wake me when the Adobe-scourging Apple fansites pick up this news, won’t you?)

Update: To answer some questions I’ve seen, here’s some clarification I pulled from CNET’s coverage of the news:

“We’ve talked to everyone,” Gourdol said, noting that all the browser makers, though; all of the major ones are active in the CSS working group. They’re all very excited about it.

Next stop is getting the software accepted. Adobe has a team of 12 programmers [emphasis added] in the United States and Romania who work on WebKit, Arno said. Adobe hopes to build its CSS software into the browser engine, making it easy for Google, Apple, and others “downstream” of the central project to incorporate it into their actual browsers.

“Webkit is the most interesting area to focus right now because of its mobile presence,” said Paul Gubbay, vice president of engineering for Adobe’s design and Web group. “We’ll see if the [WebKit] community takes it.”

Posted by John Nack at 8:01 AM on May 18, 2011
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