Re: Spanning rows in HTML3 tables

James Clark (
Sat, 3 Dec 1994 00:41:24 +0000

> Date: Fri, 2 Dec 1994 21:03:52 +0100
> From: Joe English <>
> Many other table schemes -- TeX, tbl, and (most importantly)
> DSSSL expect to see empty cells where spanned rows would
> appear;

My understanding of DSSSL is that when there are spanning rows it
expects a column-number: characteristic to specify the starting column
number of a table cell.

> I ask because if the DSSSL table model ends up in
> DSSSL-Lite, the burden of computing spanning rows
> will be on *stylesheet authors*. I'm sure it's possible
> to write Scheme code to do this for the current
> semantics, but I'm also sure it's not easy...

The way I envisage this working in DSSSL-Lite is that there would be a
number of supported table models, and for each table model there would
be an external procedure that would construct the appropriate flow
object tree structure from the SGML element structure. Your style
sheet would just say something like

(element table (process-html3-table))

In full DSSSL, of course, you have the query language and expression
language so you could do this yourself, but it would certainly be
convenient if you didn't have to for standard table models.