Tue, 02 Oct 2007 00:39:20 -0700
changeset 6525 07ba6c2d189380f5d0b570d57eda1571459aefdc
parent 1 9b2a99adc05e53cd4010de512f50118594756650
child 94475 f4157e8c410708d76703f19e4dfb61859bfe32d8
permissions -rw-r--r--
Bug 397834 - "Clean up gfx and gfx/src makefiles" [ (Jonathan Steele) r+sr+a1.9=roc]

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<u>Line Layout</u></h1>
Line layout is the process of placing inline frames horizontally (left
to right or right to left depending on the CSS direction property value).
An attempt is made to describe how it works.
<p>nsLineLayout is the class that provides support for line layout. The
container frames nsBlockFrame and nsInlineFrame use nsLineLayout to perform
line layout and span layout. Span layout is a subset of line layout used
for inline container classes - for example, the HTML "B" element). Because
of spans, nsLineLayout handles the nested nature of line layout.
<p>Line layout as a process contains the following steps:
Initialize the nsLineLayout object (done in nsBlockFrame). This prepares
the line layout engine for reflow by initializing its internal data structures.</li>

Reflowing of inline frames. The block code uses nsLineLayout's <b>ReflowFrame</b>
method to reflow each inline frame in a line. This continues until the
line runs out of room or the block runs out of frames. The block may be
reflowing a span (an instance of nsInlineFrame) which will recursively
use nsLineLayout for reflow and placement of the frames in the span.</li>

<p><br>Note that the container frames (nsBlockFrame/nsInlineFrame) call
nsLineLayout's ReflowFrame method instead of having the line layout code
process a list of children. This is done so that the container frames can
handle the issues of "pushing" and "pulling" of frames across continuations.
Because block and inline maintain different data structures for their child
lists, and because we don't want to mandate a common base class, the line
layout code doesn't control the "outer loop" of frame reflow.
Finish line layout by vertically aligning the frames, horizontally aligning
the frames and relatively positioning the frames on the line.</li>
nsLineLayout is also used by nsBlockFrame to construct text-run information;
this process is independent of normal line layout is pretty much a hack.
<p>When frames are reflowed they return a reflow status. During line layout,
there are several additions to the basic reflow status used by most frames:
NS_FRAME_COMPLETE - this is a normal reflow status and indicates that the
frame is complete and doesn't need to be continued.</li>

NS_FRAME_NOT_COMPLETE - this is another normal reflow status and indicates
that the frame is not complete and will need a continuation frame created
for it (if it doesn't already have one).</li>

NS_INLINE_BREAK - some kind of break has been requested. Breaks types include
simple line breaks (like the BR tag in html sometime does) and more complex
breaks like page breaks, float breaks, etc. Currently, we only support
line breaks, and float clearing breaks. Breaks can occur before the frame
The handling of the reflow status is done by the container frame using
<u>Line Breaking</u></h3>
Another aspect of nsLineLayout is that it supports line breaking. At the
highest level, line breaking consists of identifying where it is appropriate
to break a line that doesn't fit in the available horizontal space. At
a lower level, some frames are breakable (e.g. text) and some frames are
not (e.g. images).
<p>In order to break text properly, some out-of-band information is needed
by the text frame code (nsTextFrame). In particular, because a "word" (a
non-breakable unit of text) may span several frames (for example: <b>"&lt;B>H&lt;/B>ello
there"</b> is breakable after the <b>"o"</b> in "<b>ello</b>" but not after
the <b>"H"</b>), text-run information is used to allow the text frame to
find adjacent text and look at them to determine where the next breakable
point is. nsLineLayout supports this by keeping track of the text-runs
as well as both storing and interrogating "word" state.
To support the white-space property, the line layout logic keeps track
of the presence of white-space in the line as it told to reflow each inline
frame. This allows for the compression of leading whitespace and the compression
of adjacent whitespace that is in separate inline elements.
<p>As a post-processing step, the TrimTrailingWhiteSpace logic is used
to remove those pesky pices of white-space that end up being placed at
the end of a line, that shouldn't really be seen.
<p>To support pre-formatted text that contains tab characters, the line
layout class keeps track of the current column on behalf of the text frame
<u>Vertical Alignment</u></h3>
Vertical alignment is peformed as a two and a half pass process. The first
pass is done during nsInlineFrame reflow: the child frames of the nsInlineFrame
are vertically aligned as best as can be done at the time. There are certain
values for the vertical-align property that require the alignment be done
after the lines entire height is known; those frames are placed during
the last half pass.
<p>The second pass is done by the block frame when all of the frames for
a line are known. This is where the final height of the line
<br>(not the line-height property) is known and where the final half pass
can be done to place all of the top and bottom aligned elements.
<u>Horizontal Alignment</u></h3>
After all frames on a line have been placed vertically, the block code
will use nsLineLayout to perform horizontal alignment within the extra