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Subject: Re: I-D ACTION:draft-ietf-html-tables-04.txt
From: Bert Bos <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 25 Jan 1996 11:54:29 +0100

text/plain (67 lines)

Michael Johnson writes:
 > What should or should not be in style sheets is a gray area, and some things
 > sit close to the neutral zone. In this case, it is extremely painless to add
 > the NOFLO(W|AT) attribute as a means of defeating text flow around a table. So
 > why not do it? The language is already impure in this respect (witness the
 > existence of the ALIGN attribute, which I also agree should be an attribute)
 > so invoking language purity as your metric is misplaced.

Benjamin C. W. Sittler writes:
 > This most certainly is a *styling* issue, and should therefore be handled 
 > in the accompanying stylesheet. You could use classes if you really 
 > wanted to, i.e. <TABLE CLASS="NOFLOAT">, and convince major vendors of 
 > non-stylesheet browsers to support it too. I wouldn't be surprised if 
 > some of the vendors of balloon-the-language browsers would go along with 
 > this as an alternative to endlessly expanding HTML.

My favourite interpretation is that ALIGN gives *two hints* to the
formatter (I like `hint' better than Dave's `fallback'), as follows:

                                               | LEFT | RIGHT | CENTER
  1. table may float & text may wrap around it | yes  | yes   | no
  2. default position w/ respect to margins    | left | right | center

A style sheet could override both (1) and (2), but usually it only
overrides (2), if only to make clear which margin to align with: the
current margin, the window, etc.

I could, e.g., specify that a table with align=left floats to the top
of the page, align=right floats to the bottom, align=center doesn't
float, but could nevertheless be left aligned (i.e., without text
wrapping around it).

In an imaginary style language, reminiscent of CSS:

  table [align=left]
    flow: Topfigs;	/* It goes into a reserved area at the top */
    text-align: center	/* ... and it is centered in that area */
  table [align=right]
    flow: Botfigs;	/* It goes into a reserved area at the bottom */
    text-align: center	/* ... and it is centered in that area */
    display: block;	/* Break paragraph before and after */
    margin: 12pt 0pt;   /* Extra whitespace above and below */
  }			/* Note: no alignment, use whatever is current */

Note that a NOFLOW attribute would reverse the meaning of hint #1,
complicating the style sheet. Therefore I think it is better not to
add it.

  Bert Bos                                ( W 3 C )
  [log in to unmask]                                  INRIA project RODEO/W3C   2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
  +33 93 65 77 71                 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France

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