Last modified: 2008-04-11 20:26:26 UTC
I've been seeing reports of multiple bugs with CSS3 multi-column layout.
I'm not sure where the issue is, whether with Wikimedia, MediaWiki, or the browsers themselves, and so I'm not sure if this is the proper place to ask about this, but I'm pretty sure that you would be able to tell me at least if the problem is in the browser, MediaWiki, Wikimedia, or simply that CSS3 is Broken As Designed.
tells us about an issue where multiple columns cause a page to load half as quickly as a single-column one. (Firefox 22.214.171.124)
gives several bugs:
- jumping to the incorrect reference (Safari 3.0.4)
- links showing up in incorrect places (Safari 3.1)
- columns running into each other (unknown)
So is this a problem that this bugzilla can handle, or do I need to take it to the browser companies?
Well.... IMHO multicolumn layout is a Really Bad Idea, especially for things like references lists, as it horribly messes up formatting, line wrapping, etc, and doesn't work at all well on narrow or small screens.
I would strongly recommend against any use of multicolumn formatting on Wikipedia.
By all means report the speed and linking problems upstream to the browsers though; those things should work. :)
The issue is certainly not with MediaWiki. That includes no CSS column styles by default. (We have horrible ugly table-based multi-column layouts for some special pages, though.) Fluid multi-column layout is good in principle for things like reference lists, if it doesn't break progressive rendering and doesn't force a certain number of columns. But I don't know if that pans out in practice.
At any rate, this is a wiki-level policy decision, not something we can do anything about, unless more specific issues are brought up. Any problems appear, from your description, to lie with the browser implementations and/or the spec (surely this breaks progressive layout if no height is specified?). I would close as INVALID, but Brion didn't, so . . .
I don't think it's a policy decision. It's a bug, somewhere. You say it's not within MediaWiki, so I assume you're right. (though I have a strong suspicion that the browser developers will try to pin the issue on someone here)
If I can get someone from Wikimedia to confirm that these are not issues with broken or inefficient code here, I'll recommend marking the bug INVALID and I'll start pestering the browser guys and gals.
If the browser folks make a good case that the problem is on your end, I may reopen the bug.
There are two separate issues here.
1) Multicolumn layouts are bad practice and should be avoided in reflist templates.
2) Multicolumn layouts have bugs in some browsers.
Now, 1) is true independent of 2), and 2) is true independent of 1).
1) doesn't really belong in the bug tracker as it's a matter for local template work.
2) doesn't really belong here as it's just a mention of general problems elsewhere.