Deal-breaker problems with CSS3 multi-columns

I’ve been playing around with the new multi-column properties of CSS3 (column-count, column-width, and so forth), and I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re sadly not ready to really use. Sure, use them in experimental sites, and maybe even in mainstream sites in small doses with very particular types of content. But for most content, I found that there’s not enough control over how the content is distributed between columns to make them reliable. I’m not sure if the browser behavior I’ve been seeing is correct or not; the spec is unfortunately not well defined enough to make it clear—at least to me—of how browsers ought to be handling some of the problems I ran across.

Balancing column heights

The first problem is how the browser should handle one or more extra lines of content if the amount of content cannot fill up each column equally. In my opinion, the extra content should come at the bottom of the first columns, so that columns further to the right are never longer than columns further to the left. This is pretty standard practice in print design, and having it any other way just looks really strange. At least to me. Take a look and you decide: (more…)