The CSS 3 multi-column layout model analysed
Andy Clarke spent Christmas reading W3C’s latest working draft of the CSS3 module: Multi-column layout, and comments on the good, the bad, and the missing features of multi-column layout in CSS3 Multi-Column Thriller.
Multi-column layout caused a bit of a debate in September 2005, and I posted my thoughts in the badly named post CSS3 Multi-column layout considered harmful. I still see a lot of potential problems with CSS3 multi-column layout, most of them related to usability and readability. Andy mentions some of these in his article, and adds some that are more related to design. He also suggests a few ways of improving the multi-column specification to better meet the needs of designers.
Don’t get me wrong - I can definitely see uses for CSS3 multi-column layout, but you’ll have to try really hard if you want to convince me that splitting an article into columns works on the web. Like all powerful tools, Multi-column layout can be dangerous in the wrong hands.