On Sun, 12 Nov 1995, Gavin Nicol wrote:
> Multiple columns have the unfortunate problem of requiring one to
> parse at least half way through the multicolumn text before one can
> decide where the second column starts (and so on for more than two
I must be missing something. Surely one only need parse enough to fill
the current visual 'page'. Which would be about the same amount, I would
think, as one must look at to fill the first page without columns. So
some delay perhaps.
But I do think some kind of mechanisms similar to style sheets (or the same)
that provides quite a bit of end-user control would be in order. For
multiple columns to be useful for me, as a user, I want to provide
the formatter with guidance such as use 1 column if the current window
is between x and y in width, use 2 if between x' and y', use 3 etc.
I would also like to determine if scrolling a 'page' shifts the left most
column out placing the next column to the right on the left (assuming we
are scrolling 'down'), etc. That is, let me keep reading while the
formatter thinks about how to fill in the right most space. I often set
up my text viewing programs (editors or whatever) to scroll 1/2 pages so
I can request the next increment and let ist start coming before I'm out
of reading material. The overlap of reading and receipt/processing is
very productive for me.
So record this as a vote in favor of some form of multiple column