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you can't see my mouse pointer pressed on the column H, but it is, and that column is as small as its gonna get, but the actual size is unaffected, if I increase the size it'll get wider, but...oh it's just screwy.
Honestly, you must have extraordinary patience to have deal with all of the silly little subtleties of fiddling with things like this in the UI (also when you change the zoom on the page it seems to alter the relative widths and heights of columns and rows...argh). My hat's off to you.
Have you considered employing SlickGrid in your project?
The current rendering semantic corresponds to table-layout: automatic in CSS, which makes the column at least as wide as the longest word in any of its cells.
The semantic you proposed, namely table-layout: fixed with overflow: hidden, seems quite useful as well.
I'm about to board on a flight from Taipei to Palo Alto, and so may not be able to respond in a timely manner in the next couple days; but I'll experiment with SlickGrid a bit and keep you posted.
whether you've considered SlickGrid as yet (after thinking about it a bit more, it may be a bit heavy/complicated for this project), another worth considering: ember-table
as for the table-layout semantic, if that could be configurable as a future enhancement (or denied), go ahead and close this ticket.
By the way, trying to down-size a column with long word/url affects other column widths somehow (width of target column stays untouched)
* Fix #26 and #32 by defaulting text to table-layout: fixed.
Fixed in npm as of 0.20130116.0 and pushed to ethercalc.org; please give it a try and see if it works for you. Thanks for the report!