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Adobe demos its vision for the future of CSS

Responsive layout includes regions, editor's marks and more

Adobe has provided further insight into its experimental work with responsive digital layout.

On the Web Platform Team Blog, Christian Cantrell, engineering manager at Adobe, shows the latest demo, which represents the beginning of a technical and design collaboration with National Geographic The demo explores innovating around web layout while responding to real-world needs of National Geographic’s designers.

For the most part, Adobe’s demo draws heavily on the company’s rich history in print design, bringing conventions such as drop-caps, text columns and complex text-wrapping to the web. The first of those things is realised through the use of CSS Regions; the others are achieved by way of CSS Exclusions. Adobe also showed off a number of visual effects, along with real-world use for the rather more practical text-balancing proposal.

In the blog article’s embedded video, Cantrell called the demo a “really great example of the kinds of online experience that we’re going to increasingly see, and that readers are going to increasingly demand, and that Adobe’s contributions to the web platform are going to increasingly enable”.

Although some of the demo will doubtless prove controversial (not least online columns, given that columns originated through a limitation of print primarily concerning the costs of paper), CSS Exclusions and text-balancing could increase scope for rich online layouts that remain relevant to the medium.

To view the demo, you’ll need to run Chrome Canary, with the following runtime flags enabled: Experimental WebKit Features and CSS shaders.

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