Re: Remarks on Tables draft

Terry Allen (
Wed, 26 Jul 95 11:49:51 EDT

| [...]
| || * It is invalid to have cells overlap, see below for an example.
| || In such cases, the rendering is implementation dependent.
| |It would be good to point out that markup that is valid according
| |to the DTD may produce unpredictable results, rather than just calling
| |it invalid.
| Better still: change the rendering requirements so that cells don't
| overlap and therefore every syntactically correct table is also
| rendered correctly.

The problem here is with syntactically correct tables that it is
thought are marked up incorrectly wrt what the author desired.
I'm not calling for a change in the spec here (though I think
overlapping cells have *great* potential), just a change in the
wording of the warning.

| [...]
| || ALIGN
| || This can be one of: LEFT, CENTER, RIGHT, JUSTIFY and CHAR. User
| || agents may treat Justify as left alignment if they lack support
| || for text justification. ALIGN=CHAR is used for aligning cell
| || contents on a particular character. The attribute value for
| || ALIGN is case insensitive.
| |
| |A question that came up wrt CALS, and which I repeat here: how does
| |one set the gutter width between columns? (I don't have the answer
| |for CALS, can't see how to do it.) This was desired recently at ORA.
| That's interesting. Why would you want to (apart from aesthetical
| reasons)?

Readbility, which in typesetting involves the aesthetic. Notice you
don't have any way to set margins inside columns, which would solve
the problem a different way (again, a CALS problem too).

| One small problem with allowing flow around a CENTERed table si that you
| have two flow areas, so you have to decide whether to flow horizontally
| (text goes line by line, each lne with some text left of the table and
| some text right of the table) or to flow vertically (flowing down the
| column to the left of the table and then flowing down the column to the
| right of the table).

I've seen horizontal flow, not sure I've ever seen vertical in this
case. Bert asserts it's something an experienced typographer would
reject; I say, look about you, and don't assume the typographer isn't
taking orders from some "graphic artist."

|JUSTIFY can be dropped, since it is the same as CENTER, but
|for a full-width table.

Justification implies stretching something out so that it extends
from margin to margin. Not the same as CENTER; it should stay.


Terry Allen  (   O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
Editor, Digital Media Group    101 Morris St.
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