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Old 04-21-2011, 12:05 PM   #5
sourcejedi
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Posts: 155
Karma: 200000
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Britania
Device: FBReader/OpenInkpot on Hanvon N516.
How about negative margins on inline boxes?

Thanks for helping a newbie sort himself out! All your technical points look correct. It's interesting that the default styling of DIV is so convenient for lines of poetry; I hadn't realized that. You're also right that it's a slight improvement on P for my purposes: better to use a more semantically neutral element than to lie outright.

1. Even after re-fixing my test environment so my SPANs were actually displayed as block elements, I still see the mystery that a single BR at the end of the display:block SPAN has no effect. This is exactly what I want, but I can't rely on it unless I know why.

2. Thinking about it, I don't want to literally "disable" BR when the CSS is enabled. I realized I could do that simply using display:none, but then I break copy+paste -- it looks like Firefox very sensibly skips display:none elements during copy+paste.

3. The third solution, avoiding all the issues so far, would be to use display: inline-block (and put the BRs just outside the span). But it's not supported by EPUB 2.0.

4. That's pretty much everything you could do to get text-ident to work, but what about other properties? How about using negative margins on inline boxes:

Code:
<!DOCTYPE html><!-- complete (though technically invalid) document -->
<style>
.basic-poetry { margin-left: 2em; }
.basic-poetry > p > span { margin-left: -2em; }

/* P may well be styled with an indent, e.g. iBooks default stylesheet, so we'd better reset it */
.basic-poetry > p { margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 1em; text-indent: 0 }
</style>

<div class="basic-poetry"><!-- consider replacing DIV with SECTION or BLOCKQUOTE, according to context -->
<p>
<span>this is a very long line, a very long line, to i-i-i-ndicate the use, the usefulness of hanging indents to us all, except it's not real poetry so the point is probably lost, never mind, tra-la;</span><br />
<span>line 2</span><br />
<span>line 3</span></p>

<p>
<span>line 4, which starts a new stanza</span><br />
<span>line 5</span></p>
</div>
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