Re: [xep-support] Z-Index and Complete Support for Absolutely Positioned Block Containers

From: David Tolpin (
Date: Fri Nov 01 2002 - 12:02:09 PST

> Currently XEP only supports absolutely positioned block containers by
> positioning them relative to the page's reference area, not the nearest
> ancestor reference area (e.g., region-body reference area). Any word on
> when absolute positionging will be fully implemented? We're using it in
> one document type to overlay text or graphics on top of another graphic,
> e.g. (ignoring issues of dimension specifications):
> <fo:block-container>
> <fo:block><fo:external-graphic src="url(mygraphic.eps)"/></fo:block>
> <fo:block-container
> absolution-position="absolute">
> <fo:block>PROOF</fo:block>
> </fo:block-container>
> </fo:block-container>

Yes, I understand the usefullness of this technique.
Well, probably by the next release; shouldn't be a lot of work to do
since essentially it is the same as floats.

The problem, however, is that fo:block-container may create multiple
areas. (That is, in XEP it can unless it's height is explicitely given).
If the space on the current page is enough for the image but not for the
absolute block-container, then the block-container may end up on the following

The only solution I see right now is to limit placement of absolute containers
to block-containers with explicitely defined block-progression-dimension.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

> Also, any plans to implement z-index? Not a hard requirement since
> stacking order seems to be pretty well defined within a flow, at least,
> but handy for make sure you're 100% clear about what the result should be.

Well, z-index is a good thing. It is possible to do great things without
this feature. Unless we get paid for the implementation, it will wait
till we finish other things.

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