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Interpolate values between breakpoints #6245

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scottkellum opened this issue Apr 27, 2021 · 48 comments
Open

Interpolate values between breakpoints #6245

scottkellum opened this issue Apr 27, 2021 · 48 comments

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@scottkellum
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scottkellum commented Apr 27, 2021

Allow interpolation between both viewport and element breakpoints.

The problems with clamp(), min(), and max() is that you can only interpolate length values on a single property between two points. You may want to interpolate rulesets across multiple breakpoints. You may also want to interpolate things like variable font settings, color, etc. Additionally it would be nice to be able to ease how breakpoints are interpolated as rates at which things scale across different screen or element sizes can often be variable.

Update Dec. 7, 2022

I’ve created an explainer on this issue with a more detailed proposal: https://css.typetura.com/ruleset-interpolation/explainer/

This includes a more specific and detailed proposal as well as a companion proposal to expand scroll timeline. Expanding scroll timeline is likely the easiest solution at the moment but it would make it more user friendly to allow length values as keyframes. This can always be added at a later date though.

@mirisuzanne
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Yeah, this would be real useful for something like "intrinsic typography" - but I can imagine other use-cases as well. It's interesting to think about media/container "breakpoints" as keyframes in an animation, which we can then interpolate (with easing).

My immediate association is scroll-timeline. I wonder if there would be a way to adapt something similar to get, basically, a container-timeline.

@fantasai
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fantasai commented Sep 24, 2021

@mirisuzanne and I put together this proposal for defining and using query-linked timelines as part of rethinking various features for animation timelines and interpolation and how to fit them all together.

Query-linked Timelines

Query-linked interpolation uses a set of keyframes (minimally, two) to interpolate values along an easing curve based on the value of a query (such as a media query or container query). The timeline is therefore defined by the value of the query, and can be referenced by an interpolation function in individual property declarations.

Defining the Query Timeline

The @timeline rule defines a named timeline. It can be expanded later to define other types of timelines, but here we're defining only two types: media query timelines and container query timelines.

@timeline NAME {
  type: media | container;
  feature: <media-feature-name> | <container-feature-name>;
  from: <value>; /* 0% of the timeline */
  to: <value>; /* 100% of the timeline */
  container: <'container'>; /* only applies to container query timelines,
                               same seeking function as container queries */
}

A typical example might look like:

@timeline font-size-timeline {
  type: media;
  feature: width;
  from: 20em;
  to: 60em;
}

While query-linked timelines can be referenced in animation-timeline, it's not recommended to use this method in most cases because it would cause cascading problem: anyone using query-based interpolation via animation properties would override all affected properties at levels of the cascade.

They can, however, be referenced by an interpolation function within the affected property declarations, which allows the interpolated value to cascade the same as any other declared value.

Value Interpolation

Value interpolation uses a percentage value to indicate how close or far from the start/end points to calculate the interpolated value. Interpolation is interpreted through an easing curve, and the input percentage can be selected based on the current position on a timeline such as a query timeline.

Timeline-based Value Interpolation

This extends the generic interpolation function adopted (but as yet unnamed ;) in #581

  mix( [ <timeline> && [ by <easing-function> ]? ] ; <start-value> ; <end-value>)

By naming a timeline instead of giving a percentage directly (see percentage mixes in #581 (comment)), the author can use progress along a timeline as the progress percentage. Any value valid for animation-timeline or any timeline name defined via @timeline is valid, which allows the mix() to respond to query-linked timelines and scroll-linked timelines.

Value Interpolation with Keyframes

For more complex interpolation curves, the <start-value> and <end-value> can be replaced by a reference to a named set of keyframes.

  mix( [ <timeline> && [ by <easing-function> ]? && of <animation-name> ] )

Note: Using keyword markers (as in gradients) allows the arguments to be reordered, so that authors don't have to memorize positions of arguments.

@bramus
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bramus commented Sep 24, 2021

A typical example might look like:

@timeline font-size-timeline {
  type: media;
  feature: width;
  from: 20em;
  to: 60em;
}

As an addendum: for CSS @scroll-timeline — as specced in the Scroll-Linked Animations spec — the authors explicitly moved away from using start (here named from) and end (there named to) as descriptors.

They replaced it with one descriptor named scroll-offsets (which here could be named offsets), that accepts an array of values.

As per spec:

Scroll timeline offsets determine the effective scroll offsets in the direction specified by orientation that constitute the equally-distanced in progress intervals in which the timeline is active.

That way they allow more than two offset to be used.

Relevant Issue: #4912, specifically this comment.

@mirisuzanne
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@bramus If I understand right, we're thinking about timelines a bit differently here. They seem to be establishing the number and placement of keyframes in the timeline description, and that seems to me like the wrong location for that information.

In our proposal, the timeline doesn't establish the available keyframes, just the distance that we travel from 0% complete to 100% complete. Then authors can attach that to an animation or interpolation function with as many keyframes as they need. The individual offset concerns of each animation ("reveal, "unreveal", etc) are handled in keyframes, rather than in the timeline itself. So you have a single timeline (x to y), and then the ability to offset keyframes within that timeline. "Reveal" might happen between 20%-40% of the timeline, and "unreveal" happens from 60%-80%, each one using as many keyframes as it wants.

The number and placement of keyframes is controlled by the animation/interpolation rather than by the timeline.

But maybe I'm misunderstanding something there?

@bramus
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bramus commented Sep 26, 2021

@mirisuzanne You understand correctly there. Simply wanted to point out that “this move in the other direction” was made before, and that it perhaps could be relevant to take into account ;)

@css-meeting-bot
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The CSS Working Group just discussed interpolating values between breakpoints, and agreed to the following:

  • RESOLVED: Accept mix() function into Values 5
The full IRC log of that discussion <TabAtkins> Topic: interpolating values between breakpoints
<TabAtkins> github: https://github.com//issues/6245
<fantasai> https://github.com//issues/6245#issuecomment-926351855
<TabAtkins> miriam: This is building on that same idea, but creating timelines out of MQ/CQs
<TabAtkins> miriam: In this caes you're more often doing interpolated values based on the timeline, not animations specifically
<flackr> q+
<TabAtkins> miriam: We want to be able to create timelines off the size of the container
<TabAtkins> miriam: So for defining the query timeline, we have an @timeline syntax.
<smfr> q+
<TabAtkins> miriam: Give it a name, say what we're querying, what feature we're querying
<TabAtkins> miriam: And give it a from/to value to offset that range
<TabAtkins> miriam: So interp between a container being 100px and 40em to define the timeline
<TabAtkins> miriam: If it's a CQ we give the name of the container
<TabAtkins> miriam: If there are multiple CQs with that name this'll apply to all of them
<TabAtkins> miriam: Kids will look at their appropriate ancestor container
<TabAtkins> miriam: And we can use the timeline name in an animation-timeline
<TabAtkins> miriam: But more often we'll want a value that interps in the cascade instead, so we can override it if we need to
<TabAtkins> miriam: A generic interpolate() function has been discussed for a long time
<TabAtkins> miriam: We called in mix() here, named TBD
<TabAtkins> miriam: Idea is it could be generic, taking a %, or take a timeline which resolves to a %. Could invoke scroll timelines too, etc.
<TabAtkins> miriam: And then it takes an easing function and two values to interp between
<TabAtkins> miriam: In some cases this'll get more complex with multiple values, maybe get quite long
<TabAtkins> miriam: Wondered if mix() could ref keyframes
<TabAtkins> miriam: So you could pull out the value details into keyframes for more detailed control
<TabAtkins> fantasai: I wanted to point out the cascade effects
<chris> q+ to wonder about once more doing piecewise functions with no continuity
<TabAtkins> fantasai: We considered putting query-based timelines as a value of aniamtion-timeline
<TabAtkins> fantasai: That ends up applyin all the props at once, and at an overriding level of the cascade
<TabAtkins> fantasai: Usually you don't want that, you just want to specify a value at a normal cascade spot, but *based on* a timeline
<TabAtkins> fantasai: So my font-size timeline can just spec an interpolated normal font size, and then have an overriding rule setting the font-size to a specific value as normal.
<Rossen_> ack fantasai
<Zakim> fantasai, you wanted to react to flackr to point out cascade effects
<Rossen_> ack flackr
<fantasai> s/as normal/as usual in the cascade/
<TabAtkins> flackr: I think what fantasai just said might change my q...
<TabAtkins> flackr: So this isn't an animation timeline, it only exists for the mix() function?
<TabAtkins> fantasai: We were debating that.
<TabAtkins> fantasai: We definitely want it for mix(). Whether it's available for animation-timeline is an open question
<TabAtkins> fantasai: We've asked brian for feedback and he pointed out there were a lot of complexities, so we might not want to do it
<TabAtkins> fantasai: Not the most important; mix() is the primary case
<TabAtkins> flackr: Yeah was gonna raise the same complexities; if it's animation, we have to have the animation progress update in the middle of the cascade.
<TabAtkins> flackr: Anders said it would be a huge technical burden to have anims update as part of the cascade due to the cascade
<TabAtkins> smfr: This feels like calc() to me
<Rossen_> ack smfr
<TabAtkins> smfr: We could have one that interps with easing funcs
<TabAtkins> smfr: Missing piece is input from media features, could come in as env()
<TabAtkins> smfr: And so with a calc easing function thing
<fantasai> TabAtkins: not quite, implies only doing calc()-able things
<fantasai> TabAtkins: not all things that can be interpolated
<fantasai> TabAtkins: which includes colors, etc.
<fantasai> smfr: Can we make calc() accept these things?
<fantasai> TabAtkins: I don't want to but we can talk about it?
<Rossen_> ack chris
<Zakim> chris, you wanted to wonder about once more doing piecewise functions with no continuity
<TabAtkins> chris: So this is unpopular
<TabAtkins> chris: We start by lerping two values
<TabAtkins> chris: Then we add more values and lerp them
<TabAtkins> chris: And if you draw that it's jaggy on a graph because slopes are different
<TabAtkins> chris: And then we add easings, and you can maybe fake it to look continuous
<TabAtkins> chris: But we never get to a thing that smoothly interpolates thru N values
<TabAtkins> chris: Is that something we want to do or just continue keeping it pairwise?
<TabAtkins> flackr: Is this not having easing on the mix function?
<TabAtkins> chris: That requires the author to figure out C1 continuity on their own
<TabAtkins> fantasai: This seems compatible with what keyframes do right now, we could default to smooth interp
<TabAtkins> TabAtkins: So chris's request is for the abilty to spec an animation with N values and have it automatically smoothly interp, rather than only having pairwise interp control that needs manual adjustment
<TabAtkins> chris: yes
<TabAtkins> TabAtkins: c1 continuity, to be specific
<fantasai> fantasai: We specced multi-stop animations using @Keyframes, see last section of proposal
<Rossen_> q?
<fantasai> TabAtkins: I suspect that's something we can handle at a higher level
<fantasai> TabAtkins: we have a default for pairwise interpolation, default to ?
<fantasai> TabAtkins: could do smarter things in animations
<fantasai> TabAtkins: fits within existing syntax structure of animations
<fantasai> flackr: It will be challenging, though
<fantasai> flackr: easing function per keyframe is just between those endpoints
<fantasai> flackr: easin function on animation is just input time to output time
<fantasai> TabAtkins: animation-easing-function is the default between frames
<fantasai> flackr: that's correct for CSS. Web Animations also adds an easing curve to the timeline
<fantasai> TabAtkins: you're easing time into massaged version, that's separate from this
<Rossen_> ack fantasai
<TabAtkins> fantasai: i think we could easily have a "tweak the time"-based version, we could add that into the rule as well
<fantasai> s/rule/@timeline rule/
<fantasai> fantasai: Intention of mix() argument was the default easing between frames
<fantasai> fantasai: If we want to default to doing continuous magic, or adding a keyword to opt into it, that's fine
<TabAtkins> flackr: Yeah it would be like combining adjacent pairs that have the same value into one continuous timing function
<TabAtkins> fantasai: I want to point out we dont' ahve a resolution on the form of the generic interp function
<TabAtkins> fantasai: So our proposal is to have it accept %s and two values
<fantasai> https://github.com//issues/581#issuecomment-926353789
<TabAtkins> fantasai: So this would be a function that replaces the % with a timeline that computes to a %
<TabAtkins> fantasai: We have a resolution to *add* a mix() function but didn't settle on the syntax
<TabAtkins> Rossen_: So what can we resolve on?
<fantasai> s/this would be/this proposal is/
<TabAtkins> fantasai: resolution the first: generic interpolate function is called mix(). Takes %, then start value, then end value. Values are separated with semicolons to avoid ambiguity with comma-containing values
<TabAtkins> (you can interp a comma-separated list, for example)
<TabAtkins> TabAtkins: Simon had some thoughts about this in calc(), do you want to continue talkinga bout this?
<TabAtkins> smfr: I'm not quite sold on @timeline yet, but I don't want to stall this
<fantasai> https://github.com//issues/581
<TabAtkins> fantasai: Right now it's just mix()
<TabAtkins> smfr: Would this be like a calc()?
<TabAtkins> fantasai: Like, but wider.
<fantasai> fantasai: It has to be able to interpolate every possible computed value in the entire space of CSS
<TabAtkins> smfr: It requires UAs to have a parallel version of calc trees, for every possible value
<TabAtkins> fantasai: You kinda already have that since everything can interp
<TabAtkins> fantasai: Like, how do you interp between currentcolor and blue? No way to represent that right now. (color-mix() is coming, but this is a wider issue)
<TabAtkins> fantasai: So we have lots of places where we want to interp things that don't have intermediate values
<TabAtkins> smfr: That makes sense, we also invented cross-fade() to hit the image case
<TabAtkins> smfr: I'd like to hear from other impls about their thoughts on impl complexity, and whether it makes sense to think of it in terms of calc()
<fantasai> TabAtkins: I don't have problem of thinking about it in terms of calc(), can re-use machinery there
<fantasai> TabAtkins: but I think that's an internal detail
<TabAtkins> fantasai: Note that we *resolved* to add the function years ago but didn't resolve on the syntax
<fantasai> see also https://github.com//issues/2854
<TabAtkins> RESOLVED: Accept mix() function into Values 5
<Rossen_> s/Accept mix() function into Values 5/Accept mix() function into Values 4/
<TabAtkins> fantasai: So next is do we want mix() to accept a timeline+easing function instead of a %
<TabAtkins> fantasai: If no, I don't need to go into details. If yes, we'd use the @timeline rule discussed previously.
<TabAtkins> TabAtkins: This just got proposed last week, it's a little big. I'd like more time to review on it.
<TabAtkins> fantasai: And this would def go into level 5
<fantasai> ScribeNick: fantasai

@scottkellum
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I have updated this issue with a more detailed explainer containing a proposal. Here is the explainer.

@danielsakhapov
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Hello, everyone!

Since we now have scroll- and view-timelines, maybe it makes sense to do something similar for this problem?
Like, container-timelines? They will allow to drive a regular CSS/Web animation using the size of a query container’s content-box.

A container timeline is created similarly to how a scroll/view-timeline is created:

#container {
  container: mycontainer inline-size;
  container-timeline: mytimeline inline-size;
}

And then the animation is set up as you would set up a scroll/view-timeline:

#target {
  animation: anim auto;
  animation-timeline: mytimeline;
}

And keyframe offsets will accept <length> values. The following defines an animation that takes place between 40em and 800px:

@keyframes anim {
  40em {
    color: green;
  }
  800px {
    color: red;
  }
}

So, overall:

container-timeline-name: #<dashed-ident>
container-timeline-axis: #[ block | inline | x | y ]
container-timeline-range: #[ <length> <length> ]
container-timeline: #[ <container-timeline-name> [ <container-timeline-axis>? || <container-timeline-range> ] ]

With container-timeline-range being min and max lengths for the progress of the animation.

@bramus
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bramus commented Sep 5, 2023

I’m very much sold on the idea.

Two remarks though:

  1. For ScrollTimeline/ViewTimeline the range is not part of the Timeline; there are no view-timeline-range or scroll-timeline-range properties. Instead, the range part of the animation, using the animation-range property. That way one can re-use one timeline instance for multiple animations with different ranges.

    I would suggest to do the same for container timelines.

  2. ScrollTimeline and ViewTimeline also have anonymous timelines, via the scroll() and view() functional notations. Ideally there should also be an anonymous container timeline.

    Strawperson proposal is to name it container(), with this syntax:

    <container()> = container( <axis>? )
    <axis> = block | inline | x | y
    

    An anonymous container timeline would always look up the nearest container in the ancestor tree. The default value for <axis> is block.

@andruud
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andruud commented Sep 6, 2023

For ScrollTimeline/ViewTimeline the range is not part of the Timeline;

It very much is, it's just that it's set automatically from min/max scroll (etc) for those. The animation attachment range is not the same thing as the timeline range itself. Notice how animation-range-start/end:normal refers to the start/end of the timeline. Without container-timeline-range, we'd need another way of understanding the start/end.

@bramus
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bramus commented Sep 6, 2023

Ah yes, I see now why one would need to define the container-timeline-range, because unlike scroll-timeline and view-timeline it cannot be automatically determined for containers. Thanks, @andruud.

@danielsakhapov
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Sorry, I forgot about the functional notation. Container timeline can be created directly with a functional notation.
The following creates a timeline from the nearest inline-size container:

#target {
  animation: anim auto;
  animation-timeline: container(inline-size);
}

@kizu
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kizu commented Sep 11, 2023

Just so people could play with the “mix” or “position-of” type of syntax: https://codepen.io/kizu/pen/BavRKBK

It is a fork of my previous pen, but just using the scroll-driven animation to distribute a registered custom property from 0 to 1, which can then be used for “mixing” values in a manner very similar to the mix() and position-of() proposals — obviously, basically the position-of() as we get the fractional value in the end, but also can be seen as an approximation of what mix() can achieve.

I think, as an author, I can see cases where I would want to have the animation-like keyframes definition, as it can be very expressive, but also see the mix() variant be useful as a convenient way to assign something for a single property, but also the position-of() which could be then used as a part of more complicated calculations (see the corresponding section of my article, where I modify the variable using CSS math functions to change the way it is distributed).

Basically, the more I think about it, the more I want to have all 3 ways to get these interpolated values, as I can see various use cases benefiting from each of them.

@ydaniv
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ydaniv commented Sep 11, 2023

What if we worked around the animation issues by using a new property, e.g. interpolation, and then get all the benefits of this method while avoiding the baggage?

@scottkellum
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As a more generalized problem: we are designing for fluid media when designing for the web, yet we lack a way to control how styles interpolate across that fluid media.

Typography illustrates a specific need here as ensuring optimum readability is a function of changing sizing and spacing with changes in measure (width). Additionally the proportion between headings / body copy increases with measure. The optimal relationship is usually non-linear.

HOWEVER, typography is not the only need. More fluid layout changes and media scaling may be desirable. @lynnandtonic designed her whole website around this interpolation approach in 2021: https://lynnandtonic.com/thoughts/entries/case-study-2021-refresh/

I love the idea of a position-of function (and don't think it should be clamped as you might want to query how far out of bounds something is). I proposed abstracting scroll timelines so timelines could be more general purpose a while back, and they could be bound to scroll, container width, or something else with a custom property. My strong opinion remains with needing more control over interpolation of styles with container inline size, not with the means to this end.

@mirisuzanne
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mirisuzanne commented Sep 11, 2023

What if we worked around the animation issues by using a new property, e.g. interpolation, and then get all the benefits of this method while avoiding the baggage?

@ydaniv I don't think that quite works. The animation origin exists because styles from @keyframes don't belong to a selector, but have to go somewhere in the cascade – and have to override the styles that would be applied otherwise (by selectors). Even with a new property name, we still have those issues.

Taking the spirit of that approach, tho – what if we had ways to 'reach into' keyframes from declarations? Something like font-size: from-keyframes(typography, 50%). I'm not sure that's possible or reasonable, but the idea is to grab a keyframe-interpolation value and insert it into the cascade directly?

@kizu
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kizu commented Sep 11, 2023

A wild idea, not sure how viable and possible it is (and maybe something like this was already discussed and dismissed previously?), but… Now that we have our custom cascade @layers, what if we could somehow say “ok, for this animation, instead of its regular behavior, let's put it into this one named layer”. All the current rules for the keyframes would work, but only inside this layer, meaning that any declarations/animations from other layers that are defined to go over this layer would override any properties that were set with these layered animations.

This way any animations, be it scroll-driven, container-based or regular ones could be safely overridden by utilizing the custom cascade layers.

@ydaniv
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ydaniv commented Sep 12, 2023

@mirisuzanne

The animation origin exists because styles from @Keyframes don't belong to a selector, but have to go somewhere in the cascade – and have to override the styles that would be applied otherwise (by selectors). Even with a new property name, we still have those issues.

But that's exactly what I meant. The "baggage" of animation being that we have to use it's origin as a mechanism for applying styles from @keyframes. But if we add a new property, can we decide on a new mechanism without breaking anything, i.e. decide it uses same origin it's defined in?
Animations require a special origin because of their nature, but simple interpolation of this sort should just fit into it's surrounding.

@andruud
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andruud commented Sep 12, 2023

What if we worked around the animation issues by using a new property, e.g. interpolation, and then get all the benefits of this method while avoiding the baggage?

(Discussed with @mirisuzanne off-GitHub). A new kind of property that expands to other declarations (pulled from keyframes/animations) cascade-time should be possible.

font-size: from-keyframes(typography, 50%). I'm not sure that's possible or reasonable, but the idea is to grab a keyframe-interpolation value and insert it into the cascade directly?

That sounds approachable as well. As long as from-keyframes() doesn't end up on the computed value.

@mirisuzanne
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But if we add a new property, can we decide on a new mechanism without breaking anything, i.e. decide it uses same origin it's defined in?

Got it. I think this is interesting, and I'm not sure it would need a cascade-layering mechanic to work – though that might be a nice addition at some point. My initial expectation would be something like:

  • (name TBD) interpolate: [<keyframes> <timeline> <easing>?]#;
  • We treat the property somewhat like a 'mixin' or 'macro', inserting the interpolated properties from keyframes in-place, where interpolate is defined. Those declarations cascade as though defined in the same location as the interpolate declaration, and in the order listed (in case multiple keyframes define the same property).

That [font-size: from-keyframes(typography, 50%)] sounds approachable as well. As long as from-keyframes() doesn't end up on the computed value.

There's clearly more work needed to flesh out the details. But in my mind, either of these approaches would address the concerns about how the values are applied in the cascade, and remove the mix() pre-requisite.


On the other end we have how timelines are defined. I do like the idea that this feature could/should play well with scroll timelines etc. And I take the point that this is only one more example for why we need additive cascade – that shouldn't block us. And @flackr, I think I understand now, you were suggesting an interpretation of timeline-range: normal? That makes sense to me, sorry I didn't follow.

I do think it would also help to have a more generic timeline-defining function like the one @emilio proposed? That would somewhat relieve the need for new timeline functions for every specific use-case.

@andruud
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andruud commented Sep 12, 2023

That [font-size: from-keyframes(typography, 50%)] sounds approachable as well. As long as from-keyframes() doesn't end up on the computed value.

There's clearly more work needed to flesh out the details. But in my mind, either of these approaches would address the concerns about how the values are applied in the cascade, and remove the mix() pre-requisite.

More thinking out loud: from-keyframes(typography, 50%) would probably need to take the effect value from a hypothetical animation with that progress. This will produce some interesting complexity, since the effect value depends on the computed keyframes, which in turn can rely on the ("main") computed values of the element. So we may have added a brand new way of creating cycles. Hopefully we can ask IACVT to save us (again).

@astearns astearns moved this from Unslotted to Friday Morning in TPAC 2023 agenda Sep 14, 2023
@mirisuzanne
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mirisuzanne commented Sep 14, 2023

Attempting once again to summarize the discussion for TPAC…

The goal is a more robust way of describing fluid values based on container features. While calc and clamp provide some basics:

  • the math is not intuitive
  • the scaling is always linear
  • the interpolation is always between two points
  • and related properties like font metrics can't be grouped

We also want to avoid relying on 'animation' for this. The animation origin is needed to ensure smooth motion, but fluid typography belongs in the author origin, cascading where defined. To get where we're going, we need two parts…

Query Timelines:

We need a way to access our current position along a 'timeline' of container attributes (e.g. the inline-size of the container is currently 30% of the way between 30em and 2000px). Ideally we can create both named timelines, and anonymous on-the-fly timelines for various aspects of the container.

For named timelines:

  1. @fantasai and I originally proposed a @timeline rule. Part of the reason we avoided animation-timeline is that we didn't want to rely entirely on animations, for cascade reasons.
  2. @danielsakhapov proposed container-timeline properties to match scroll-timeline properties – without necessarily being tied to animations for usage.

For anonymous timelines:

  1. @bramus points out we would also want a container() function to match scroll() and view().
  2. @emilio has proposed (offline) a generic unit-based syntax, eg timeline(100cqi from 320px to 75ch) (name and details TBD). The advantage is that it's very flexible for mixing and matching a variety of units, as long as they can be expressed with CSS math. That might also be the downside, since it requires a bit more mathematical mental model.

(Depending how those resolve, they could also be captured in custom properties to achieve a named use-case?)

Value Interpolation:

Ideally, we want the ability to define both one-off interpolations between two values, and also more complex grouped properties/keyframes.

  • The already-approved mix() function can potentially handle the single-property, two-state cases in a fairly generic way. But it may be too broadly defined, or not well-enough defined?

Grouped properties and multi-keyframe values could both be handled well by @keyframes definitions, if we have good ways to access those values without relying on the animation origin. To that end…

  • There's been discussion over the last week about accessing a keyframe-interpolated value with a new function like from-keyframes(<keyframes>, <timeline>). Looking back, this is the same as our original accepted proposal for mix(). Maybe we just need to define the details better, and make sure it can be implemented?

My hope for this discussion:

  • Can we agree on a direction for defining the query timelines? An at-rule or set of properties for the named option, and an anonymous function of some kind?
  • Can we better define a mix() function that can be implemented? Maybe narrowing it to the scope of properties that have defined interpolation for transitions, animations, gradients, etc? Would there be more required?
In the future…

It would still be useful in some cases to get all the properties from a keyframe rule, without using animations. There's a proposal above to do that with a new property that expands to represent multiple interpolated properties. @astearns has pointed out that sounds like a 'mixin'. Maybe something we want to think about as a separate issue, and not necessarily required for a first version of the feature.

@bramus
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bramus commented Sep 15, 2023

  1. @bramus points out we would also want a container() function to match scroll() and view().

Also see the follow-up remark that adds the root keyword to container() to prevent code from breaking when multiple CSS rules set the container-timeline-name on :root.

fantasai added a commit to fantasai/csswg-drafts that referenced this issue Oct 19, 2023
fantasai added a commit that referenced this issue Oct 23, 2023
@mirisuzanne
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mirisuzanne commented Nov 8, 2023

The changes to CSS Values Level 5 Editor's Draft reflect our latest proposal, based on the conversation here:

  • a set of progress()/*-progress() math functions that returns the position of one value between two end values. The media-progress() and container-progress() functions simplify that even farther for checking a size feature of the viewport or a given container. (This is a variant of Emilio's proposal above for anonymous timelines)
  • A set of mix()/*-mix() functions that return the interpolation between two values, with an optional easing curve. The generic mix() interpolates full properties, while the individual *-mix() variants provide interpolation of individual typed tokens. By passing a progress() result (or a fraction/percentage, or an animation timeline) to a mix() function, we can interpolate values based on dynamic timelines.
  • Along the way, we defined a <progress> type that accepts a percentage, fraction, or animation timeline - and an optional easing curve.

We punted on the question of named timelines for media/container progress, because it seems likely that we can store anonymous progress in custom properties, and name them that way. If we do find that we need an explicit syntax for named timelines, we can revisit that.

We also proposed that the mix() function can reference a @keyframes rule - similar to the from-keyframes() proposal above. That allows setting up complex multi-step interpolation with easing across frames, without using the animation origin of the cascade. Ideally this would also be possible in the typed *-mix() functions, but we're not clear if there's an implementation path for that? Can we access component values from keyframes?

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andruud commented Nov 13, 2023

The progress() parts look good, but I'm not sure about the keyframe-connected aspect of mix(). The mix() function would need to "know" the property it's being used in for it to grab the correct would-be effect value from the referenced @keyframes. That is a bit disturbing.

I'm not yet sure how implementable this is, but I wonder if it's more consistent to instead expose this feature as a native mixin-like thing:

@keyframes anim {
  from {
    color: rgb(0, 0, 0);
    top: 0px;
  }
  to {
    color: rgb(100, 100, 100);
    top: 100px;
  }
}

div {
  @mix(50% of anim);
  width: 10px;
}

Here, @mix grabs all the would-be effect values of anim at 50%, and produces styles equivalent to:

div {
  /* @mix */
  color: rgb(50, 50, 50);
  top: 50px;

  width: 10px;
}

And then we just say goodbye to the mix() function. :-)

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The CSS Working Group just discussed Interpolate values between breakpoints.

The full IRC log of that discussion <bramus> miriam: I can intro this
<bramus> astearns: and outline what we may want to resolve for a future meeting
<bramus> miriam: goal of this is to be able to look at set of MQs or CQs and say that we dont want to just the font size in a linear way but want to do …
<bramus> … not just use viewport/container units
<bramus> … we want to follow an easing curve
<bramus> … similar to an animation in some ways, but are looking at one specific frame
<bramus> … more complex easing … eg font size change in one way while line height … several props that follow some easing path as the container grows
<bramus> … ppl are using hacks for this
<bramus> … would be nice if we have this built into the platform
<bramus> … pieces you need are a way to look at container/media and know where you are
<fantasai> -> https://drafts.csswg.org/css-values-5/#progress
<bramus> … proposal is for a progress function
<fantasai> progress(<calc-sum> from <calc-sum> to <calc-sum>)
<fantasai> media-progress(<media-feature> from <calc-sum> to <calc-sum>)
<bramus> … instead of returning dynamic value at min/max and say “where is between both min/max” and get back the fraction
<fantasai> container-progress(<size-feature> [ of <container-name> ]? from <calc-sum> to <calc-sum>)
<bramus> … so you can have generic progress() ???
<bramus> … also a media and container progress, to look at media/container features
<bramus> … next part is being able to mix values using those progresses
<astearns> s/???/that is like clamp(), using calc()
<bramus> … so we proposed several typed mix functions
<bramus> … color-mix and calc-mix
<bramus> … that take 2 values and a progress and give you an interpolation between the two values
<bramus> … last step is to have a way to set up multiple values in a keyframes way and track across multiple keyframes
<bramus> … ??? but go across values
<bramus> … to do that we had in a mix function that can reference keyframes and look at the property
<bramus> … andruud had some concerns
<bramus> … we proposed a mixin like syntax
<bramus> … might at least be a first step
<bramus> … trying to piece all parts together
<bramus> … hopefully that made sense?
<bramus> astearns: so what are the next steps you think?
<bramus> miriam: I would likely tackle them in the proposed order
<bramus> … ??? gets us part way
<bramus> … then the mix functions give us a lot of power to get interpolated values
<astearns> s/???/progress()
<bramus> … and then keyframe access
<fantasai> Proposal: Add *progress() functions to css-values-5 ED
<bramus> fantasai: we added these all in the ED (?). we have previous resolution to draft a bunch of things, but not specifically these things
<bramus> … proposal is to add progress() and calc-mix next to values-5
<fantasai> Proposal: Add calc-mix(), and prallel type of color-mix(), cross-fade() to css-values-5
<bramus> … ??? and parallel types of color-mix, cross-fade (?)
<TabAtkins> Note also that many of these functions hit the "arguments might contain commas" problem; we'll need to resolve on <https://github.com//issues/9539> as well.
<bramus> … eventually we want to ?? but first we ask if we are in the right direction
<fantasai> s/prallel/parallel/
<bramus> astearns: lets take these up in future meetings
<bramus> … progress() can be async
<bramus> … we’ll have to do this on future meetings
<bramus> … thanks for intro’ing this
<fantasai> calc-mix( <progress>, <calc-sum>, <calc-sum> )
<bramus> … see you next week and hopefully get to the zoom items
<bramus> … thanks!
<fantasai> <progress> = [ <percentage> | <number> | <'animation-timeline'> ]? && by <easing-function>

@scottkellum
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Just to reiterate that interpolation across widths can be useful for layout and other styles as well as typography. @lynnandtonic used this approach extensively for her 2021 redesign: https://lynnandtonic.com/thoughts/entries/case-study-2021-refresh/.

But yes, typography is important here because ideal sizing/spacing rarely fall along a linear path. progress() feels really good to me and has use cases beyond the scope of this issue.

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andruud commented Dec 7, 2023

From #9343 (comment):

[@tabatkins]: The "extract a value from particular progress along a keyframe'd animation" idea is completely unrelated to mix(); it was discussed around the same time, but it's not in any way a "mixing" function. I'm annoyed it got folded into the spec; it needs to be a completely different function. I suggest ignoring it; I'm pinging Elika right now about killing it (and potentially reviving it in a dedicated function instead).

@tabatkins Is your objection mostly towards the re-use of the name mix(), or it is something more significant? We're considering a prototype of some of the primitives needed for this use-case, so it would be useful to know how deep this objection goes.

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Just the name. I have no particular opinion on the functionality - last time it was discussed I acknowledged it as having reasonable use-cases.

@kizu
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kizu commented Dec 11, 2023

I did play a bit with the current prototype implementation in Canary, and stumbled upon an issue: https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=1503730#c6

It seems, that the current formula in the spec does contradict the intended purpose of the function:

The value returned by a valid progress() notation is progress value / (end value - start value),

vs

returns a value representing the position of one calculation (the progress value) between two other calculations (the progress start value and progress end value).

With my example being progress(75px from 50px to 100px) — we want to know where the 75px lies between 100px and 50px. Per current formula it ends up being 75 / (100 - 50) === 1.5, but, I think, the intended formula was:

(progress value - start value) / (end value - start value)

Which, for the given values, will be (75 - 50) / (100 - 50) === '0.5', which will mean that 75px is half-way between 50px and 100px.

So, I think, the spec should be updated?

@mirisuzanne
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Yeah, that looks like a typo in CSS Values 5.

(I'm willing to help edit this spec, if that's useful - since I've been working on it anyway. Not sure about the process for that.)

@tabatkins
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Feel free to fix obvious typos regardless ^_^

@mirisuzanne
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Progression calculation fixed in 921e2c0

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