Re: More HTML3 DTD

Tom Magliery (
Thu, 1 Dec 1994 17:32:00 -0600

At 7:40 AM 12/1/94, Michael Johnson wrote:
>If Carl thinks it will be easy to implement VALIGN in table cells, then he is
>overlooking something. It would be easy *IF* you assumed that the maximum of
>any HEIGHT attributes in a row was in fact the maximum height for the row,
>which may not be a valid assumption. If on the other hand you assume that any
>cell could be taller than the maximum HEIGHT attribute specified in the row,
>then you would have to actually format the contents of each row (without
>producing any output) in order to determine the maximum height, THEN go back
>and actually produce output, this time with the appropriate maximum height
>plugged in. That's a pain in the ass, and almost doubles the time required to
>format a table.

If I'm reading you right, your complaint is that VALIGN requires two passes
through the table to do the pagination. I believe you're right. But I
would argue that you should probably do two passes through it anyway: How
do you decide the width of each column, if some of the cells contain text
that is too long to fit without wrapping? You need to scale down the
widths of the columns in some way, and then wrap the too-long text. In
order to keep the tables "looking nice", this scaling down is weighted
differently for each column, more or less according to the difference
between the smallest possible width of the column, and the "desired" width
of the column. Those that differ the most (i.e., those that have
exceptionally "wide" cells -- before wrapping that is) get scaled down the
most. In order to figure out the scaling factor for a column, you have to
go through the entire table, before you can do any output.

>The last time I looked at the table support in XMosaic, it was in pretty sad
>shape. It did not even conform fully to the HTML+ model, to say nothing of the
>HTML3 model. Perhaps it has been improved since then.

This is still true (in released versions, beta or otherwise), but it is
second on the priority list for work on the X platform at the moment (CCI
is first).


Tom Magliery ** NCSA ** 605 E Springfield ** Champaign IL 61820 ** USA