Re: <PRE tab-width=4> (Thumbs Down)

Wayne Long (
Fri, 27 Jan 95 11:45:38 EST

(Sorry for any duplication in mailing - I have know way of determining
who the recipients in the html-wg alias are.)

> From Fri Jan 27 09:40:38 1995
> To: Multiple recipients of list <>
> Cc: wcl@ome (Wayne Long)

> In message <>, Paul Grosso writes:
> >> From: "Dave Raggett" <>
> >>
> >> Do we really want to encourage people to use tab chars in PRE text?
> >
> >No! Thank you, Dave, for saying what I was thinking.

Agreed. I do not espouse support of tab usage within HTML documents
themselves. It would be a nice convenience which would ease
the cut & paste of tab-ladden documents, or the creation of
heavily indented text, but it certainly isn't a neccesity.

I do believe support should be in place for tab conversion of
plain text documents which are referenced by HTML links.

> Actually... now that I think about it, the problem of implementing:
> <a href="foo.c">foo.c</a>
> has nothing to do with HTML at all: that's a text/plain body. You'd
> have to convince the browser to display tabs in plain text documents
> at every 4 spaces. So you'd have to put the info in the link,

Now you're with me... In the link info.

> or in a preference setting in the browser

No, we don't want to do that!

The tab setting can have different values for different text documents.
Only the HTML author knows what the tab setting is for a given document,
therefore the setting value for a given document must be passed along
with the link.

I suppose a special mime type could be deployed but this would not
be usable beyond a given site.

Seems to me what were talking about here is a generic text viewer.
Doesn't seem reasonable to expect every user/site to have their own
text filter but that appears to be the direction this going (Note 1).
Kinda sad since every browser out there can display text easily, it just
needs to be told it's receiving text and what the tab width is.


Note 1: Even if the decision was to require the use of generic text
viewer, some mechanism still needs to be in place to tell
that viewer (from the HTML link) what the tab setting is for
the specified document.

Wayne Long Internet:
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