Re: <PRE tab-width=4> (Thumbs Down)
Fri, 27 Jan 95 12:21:17 EST

A brief note on tabs:
Really, they only make sense
or are only really useful
in a monospace world.

If you're reading this in a proportional typeface, you won't notice
the alignment of the previous sentence.

If I use tabs, and your browser uses Times, and mine (as it does) uses
Gill Sans and Bembo, the document will look different, and, more importantly,
semantic information will have been lost.

I admit I've often wanted tabs, but not for indenting.
consider the following, where the Thomases should all align, but where one
might not want to use a monospace font to achieve that...:
(: indicates elided SGML markup)

Chalmers-Biography/Vol10:Coke-Crewe/Cranmer-Thomas.sgm == ./Chalmers-Biography/Vol10:Coke-Crewe/Cranmer-Thomas.sgm
1:ERSON SYSTEM "person.dtd" [ :Cranmer:Thomas:
2:hop: of :Canterbury:, was the son of Thomas Cranmer, esq. and of Agnes, da
3:purpose, and placed in the family of Thomas Boleyn, earl of Wiltshire and
4:2:, :for the restoration in blood of Thomas ad Margaret, children of the l
5:rsons by whom it was composed, where Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterb
6: of Rochester, afterwards of London; Thomas Goodrich, bishop of Ely; Henry
7:coln; John Skip, bishop of Hereford; Thomas Thirlby, bishop of Westminster
8:William May, dean of St. Paul's; Dr. Thomas Robertson, archdeacon of Leice
9: the lives of bishop Fisher and :sir Thomas More:; so now, when Ton
10:t:. Such was the end of the renowned Thomas Cranmer, in the 67th year of h
11:nswer by the reverend father in God, Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury, Prom
12:rials of the most rev. father in God Thomas Cranmer:1694:everend father in God,
13:SON SYSTEM "person.dtd" [ :Sternhold:Thomas:
14:e title :All such Psalms of David as Thomas Sterneholde late grome of the
15: the singing-psalms in our version. :Thomas Norton: translated twen

etc etc...

Howver, this can be done with SGML tables, using two columns,
one right adjusted and one left adjusted, if one uses the Netscape
keep-on-the-same-line extension....
In a word processor, a right-adjusted and a left adjusted tab could be used.

Another way to do this sort of thing is with an &align; entity.

I don't have strong feelings about including or not including tabs,
but tabs can considerably reduce document portability.


Liam Quin, SoftQuad Inc +1 416 239 4801   <URL:>
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