experience with/opinions on justification and CSS white-space properties in email?

Bryan Clark clarkbw at mozillamessaging.com
Fri Jul 2 21:59:58 UTC 2010

  Hi ~

Thanks for the heads up!  I just got back from a break and wanted to 
make a note here.

On 30/06/10 9:58 PM, Daniel Glazman wrote:
> Le 01/07/10 01:43, David Ascher a écrit :
>> If they're using HTML email, then just choosing a monospace font won't
>> affect TB's ability to send an email that's full-justified, right? If
>> they're using plain-text (<pre>), then there are a lot of things that
>> would look different.
>> Can you summarize why the CSS-WG is proposing this change?
> Sure. 'pre' and 'pre-wrap' mean preservation of all whitespaces 
> including tabs, CR and LF. Justification of such a text would then
> imply distribution of available space to all existing embedded
> whitespaces and that is exactly something <pre> prevents... So
> 'pre' and 'justify' are a bit antinomic here. We just want to make
> sure you understand the issue.
If this request was simply for 'pre' and not 'pre-wrap' I wouldn't have 
any concerns.  I would characterize 'pre' as preserving white space at 
all costs (meaning lots of overflow/scrolling may happen).  The 'pre' 
form is mostly used for code blocks and other places where line wrapping 
would ruin the required structure of the text, possibly degrading it's 

With 'pre-wrap' I believe it's a much looser form where we want to 
preserve white space but not at the cost of causing overflow.  This can 
be used for code and other pieces that require their line structure I 
think it's more ideal for layout where the structure is desired but not 
requisite.  In practice it's commonly applied to a displayed message 
text content as we want to preserve inherent white space structure but 
not cause overflow inside the window.

I don't believe that we will need this justify on pre-wrap but I'm not 
as sure as I am with just pre.

> I guess that your reactions mean:
> 1. we can go ahead
I believe so.
> 2. if you ever want to justify text in monospace i the future, you can
>    switch to a <p style="font-family: monospace; text-align: justify">
I don't believe that a monospace font would actually preserve white 
space (tabs, CR, and LF) in the same way however I do believe we can 
work around this if it became a problem as we always have to process the 
message in some form and could run some kind of conversion filter.

~ Bryan

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