When introducing width and height I explain that by default width takes as much horizontal space as it can, while height takes as little vertical space as possible. This leads to a discussion of these two opposed models that I excerpt below.
My question is: which names do I give to these models?
The three options:
- inside-out and outside-in
- context-based and content-based
- extrinsic and intrinsic size
There is more context in the post.
I definitely don’t like inside-out and outside-in — they make my head spin. I think I’m gonna vote for extrinsic and intrinsic size. I hear those terms thrown around a lot more lately and the fact that they match the specs is something I like. At the same time, I do feel like context-based and content-based are maybe a smidge more clear, but since they are already abstracted and made up, might as well go with the abstracted and made up term that already has legs.
Parent width and content height?
Takes up as much width as the parent allows, takes as much height as the content needs.
Didn’t we already solve this—maybe in some other industry? I thought the two terms for this behavior were “greedy” and “generous”.
I remembered where those terms came from (and, of course, discovered that “generous” is wrong; it’s “lazy”). They’re used to describe regular expressions—whether something matches as much of a string as possible (greedy) or as little as possible (lazy).
I don’t like any of these options much really – they can kinda make sense if you already know the thing they’re trying to express, but for explaining to beginners they’re quite opaque. Curse of knowledge.
I can’t really say that without having a go myself, so my attempt at terms would be:
Maximizing and minimizing.
Width is what I give you.
Height is what is in you.
Is that it?
I think a paragraph is both outside-in (width) and inside-out (height), and that is fine for a paragraph. Other cases may require other type of behavior we might have already used them without giving it a name.
I think these two termns describe best what is going on, and will be better globally understood.