Re: Please Tables in HTML+

Dave_Raggett <>
From: Dave_Raggett <>
Message-id: <>
Subject: Re: Please Tables in HTML+
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 93 10:35:43 GMT
Mailer: Elm [revision:]
Come on guys, parsing tables is really quite easy and is wanted by
lots of people.

Bill P. writes:

> I think tables would be difficult to parse correctly. Especially
> when you have links in the <TD> elements.  When do you fill the
> paragraphs within them?

The pre-pass through the table needs to establish minimum and maximum
width requirements. This is simply a matter of the length of the longest
word, and the total length of the all the words plus spaces. You don't
need to be accurate on the latter, just to deal well with short lines.
The pre-pass can ignore <A> and </A> altogether!

Once you have chosen the column widths, displaying the cell contents is
just like normal, only the left and right margins are set for the current
cell. You display each cell, one at a time, going as far as is needed
(stopping at the bottom of the window or end of the cell which ever is
sooner). VT100 browsers will find it easier if they keep a screen image.

As soon as I get some time free from dealing with email on the HTML+ I-D
and coming with with revisions to the spec, I will get down to revamping my
X Windows browser to cope with tables etc. HTML+ is really quite simple, and
needn't require huge code sizes. The spec seems huge, but this is due to the
need to give plenty of examples. The TEI spec by contrast comes to around one
foot thick of paper!

Math markup is needed, and can be processed without undue complexity.
I included a preliminary proposal as a means to encourage discussion by
mathematicians and other people as to just what is needed and how to
find an elegant balance suitable for the web.

Bill P. also writes:

>   On to another subject from the HTML+ specification - what happened
> to the <EM B> tag?  I thought this was better than the <RENDER> hints
> that we can put in the documents.  But, if the author is going to have
> to put the RENDER attribute in anyway, why wouldn't he just use the
> attribute he is saying is equivalent to begin with?  Did something
> just get cut & pasted away by accident, or was it excised on purpose?

Yes, the generic <EM atts> mechanism was removed on purpose:

    o   I received a lot of flak on this mechanism

    o   HTML+ was repositioned as a superset of HTML to encourage
        evolutionary extensions of browsers

    o   The RENDER mechanism allows you to specify the intended
        rendering once whereas the older EM mechanism needed the
        same hints to be repeated time and time again

    o   The new approach provides a possible path for future
        extensions with richer rendering hints if desired

Dave Raggett (sporting a brand new flak jacket :)