The min-content and max-content values are defined as "otherwise compute to the property’s initial value". I read that as "otherwise (in the block-axis) the computed value of this property is the property’s initial value". This is not what UAs actually implement and would be problematic to implement since it would introduce a dependency on the writing-mode property. For example:
The Working Group just discussed Incorrect use of the word "compute" in definition of intrinsic keyword values, and agreed to the following:
RESOLVED: change to "behave as" instead of "compute"
The full IRC log of that discussion
<dael> Topic: Incorrect use of the word "compute" in definition of intrinsic keyword values
<dael> github: https://github.com//issues/2708
<dael> fantasai: Changes are ^
<dael> fantasai: The min content and max content keywords and that type are currently defined to behave as property initial value if spec in block axis.
<dael> fantasai: Spec says they compute to property initial value so auto on height or none or max-height.
<dael> fantasai: Mats would prefer it to say "bahevs as" rather then "computes to"
<dael> fantasai: TabAtkins and I have no strong opinion. Up to impl.
<dael> fantasai: Example from Mats is if you explicitly inherit height and gave one of these keywords you should get that keyword. Makes sense, but can't imagine anyone inheriting height.
<dael> dbaron: Issue is impl have to impl what spec says and that can be a pain to do
<dael> florian: If no real use case and simplier thing to impl, why not?
<dael> dbaron: Note one interesting point that request is the opposite of the request a few issues ago.
<dael> fantasai: Yep
<emilio> https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=850872 is a broken site for inheriting height fwiw :-)
<dael> dbaron: Maybe figure out underlying principle. Maybe if it's a property that effects type of boxes.
<dael> Rossen_: Any reasons to not word it as "behaves as"?
<dael> Rossen_: I sympathize with Mats and having dependency between properties when computing the value of others is usually a thing to avoid. By not being a strict as current wording it at least doesn't explicitly say this is what it is.
<dael> Rossen_: We're not fixing issue by changing wording
<dael> Rossen_: For current sizing spec, are we okay make the change to "behave as" instead of "compute"
<dael> Rossen_: Objections?
<dael> fremy: Wasn't change to revert?
<dael> Rossen_: revert what?
<dael> fantasai: Resolution asked is to accept the change
<dael> florian: Reverse is earlier issue
<dael> Rossen_: I said change to behave as instead of compute.
<dael> RESOLVED: change to "behave as" instead of "compute"