block by tophtucker c7fcb00c54c6ce5100be

Type topology

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It is too hard to play with the topology of type in HTML! This effectively spools (or coils) a long column of text onto a cylinder with a circumference equal to the height of the first section, so that when you get to the beginning of the second section, the top of the first section comes around again. (To prove it’s the same DOM element, try highlighting a sentence from Solon and notice that your highlight is still there when it comes around the second time.)

For example text I’ve chosen Plutarch’s Parallel Lives, so that you may compare Solon and Poplicola.

If you view on a sufficiently wide screen, you’ll notice that when you get to the third section (Plutarch’s comparison of the two), it breaks down a bit. What I’d like is for the beginnings of the previous two sections to be aligned, so that you have three columns of text with headers aligned. But, since the sections are different lengths, that would require different columns scrolling at different rates. I haven’t gotten there yet.


There are definitely more elegant ways to do this but I’m an idiot. You can imagine other topologies, especially for periodic prose. Like maybe there’s a daily weather report. Maybe it’s more, like, elliptic, i.e. periodic in two dimensions; what if the previous day’s weather is aligned at left, and the preview year’s weather on a row above? Is that a good idea? Probably not!!!

Also, not necessarily topologies per se, but there are lots of ways you could recollect (re-collect) earlier passages in margins when references come up. Hmmm. It’s cute that DOM stays intact here but probably you’d want lots of clones.