Re: Clients and tabs

Michal Young (
Fri, 26 May 1995 10:32:40 +0500

>Tabs are used in word processing to align columns.

Among other things. They are also used for indentation of program text.

>HTML 3 has a facility for columns: i.e., Tables. Much better than tabs!

And completely useless for program text. Non-breaking spaces can be used
for indentation from left margin, but isn't much use for placing comments
that occur to the right of program text.

Last I checked, the draft HTML 3 spec did have a tabbing facility --- not
using tab characters, but by either specifying the tab position or by
setting tab stops and referring to them. It looked similar to what typical
WP programs provide, and quite usable for program listings among other
uses. It looks to be well-enough designed to be usable with a mix of fonts
and sizes (a big problem when one tries to hack tabs using non-breaking

There are probably many other situations in which tables are *not* a
suitable replacement for tabs. That is why WP programs with excellent
table facilities (FrameMaker, for example) also provide good facilities for

Michal Young
Purdue University
Software Engineering Research Center
Department of Computer Sciences
1398 Computer Science Building
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1398
voice: 317-494-6023
fax: 317-494-0739