Re: Browser differences within <PRE> tags...

Tim Berners-Lee (
Mon, 4 Jul 94 15:28:23 +0100

|From: (John Lewis)
|I am in the process of converting some documents, and have come across yet
|another inconsistency between platform web browsers. My question is, which
|way of interpretation is correct?
|<B> Fiscal Year
|Line 72-77 78 79-92
|1100 Total A D A
|1110 Federal Government A D A


|The windows Mosiac and Cello browsers maintain the spacing within the <PRE>
|tags and merely bold the required text.


| The AirMosaic demo sort of
|maintains the spacing, but the process of bolding creates bigger
|characters, and distorts the symmetry somewhat.

|Lynx also maintains the spacing within the <PRE> tags, and merely
|underlines the bolded text.


|However, on the Mac, both Mosaic 2.0a2 and MacWeb0.98a do not maintain the
|spacing within the <B> tags which are nested within the <PRE> tags at all,
|and apparently revert to regular HTML spacing rules.


It was the intention that in PRE the spacing must be maintained,
and that browsers which could not do so while boldening
the font may not bolden the font.

I suspect that many browsers
just implement <b> by picking up one single bold font.
Check their behavior with <h1>A <b>bold</b>heading</h1> it
often just gives a normal size font for the bold. This
is just a bug.

|The question is: which is the "correct" way of interpreting this? Being
|able to mark up text within <PRE> or <PLAINTEXT> tags would help alleviate
|some of HTML's formatting limitations.

The HTML level 0 spec has for ages stated
in :

"Note: Highlighting

Within a preformatted element, the constraint that the rendering must be on a
fixed horizontal character pitch may limit or prevent the ability of the
renderer to render highlighting elements specially."

especially to answer this question.

Tim BL