Re: DP attribute - correct overrides?

Dave Raggett (
Wed, 26 Apr 95 09:09:09 EDT

>> If there is no matching character in the text in question, the
>> alignment defaults are inherited from the enclosing element.
>> For <tab> the behaviour in this situation is currently unspecified.

> It is common in my experience to have a column of figures where one
> of more does not have a fractional part and hence no 'matching
> character'. In that case at least, the expected behavior would be
> to pretend that the decimal point was to the immediate right of
> the units position.

My problem is that authors want to use the align on char feature
for other things than decimal points, e.g. "%" or ":" chars.
As a result, the parser has no special knowledge of numbers, such
as what character denotes the units position. Testing with word
processors suggests the following strategy.

For TABs you first define where you want the tab stop
to be with <tab id=t1 align=char char=".">

On subsequent lines you use <tab to=t1> followed by a number (or string).
If the number (or string) contains a matching char (in this case a ".")
then the tab acts to center the matching char at named position, otherwise
the tab acts like a tab right to the named position. That is the number is
aligned flush right to the named position. For tables with cells aligned on
designated character, the <tab to=t1> is implied at the start of each line.
Note that the procedure doesn't have any special knowledge of numbers.

Thanks for helping me to clarify this!

-- Dave Raggett <> url =
Hewlett Packard Laboratories, Filton Road, | tel: +44 117 922 8046
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