Re: <FIG> implies <P>?

Ka-Ping Yee (
Wed, 19 Jul 1995 02:49:10 -0400

Ka-Ping Yee wrote:
>Understood. But this doesn't mean that functionality should be
>*removed* from FIG. It just seems very strange to me that this extra
>limitation exist, purely as a limitation that to me yields no observable

Other people have pointed out the problems with the content of <FIG>
when it is allowed to be arbitrarily embedded in other places. I
hadn't realized this when i wrote the original message, and now understand
that it can't work that way.

Daniel W. Connolly wrote:
> Hmm... my view is that there is functionality (alternate-media
> presentation) missing from <IMG>, not missing from <FIG> (the
> ability to display a fig in a para).

That IMG is missing functionality (and also is misnamed...) is pretty
clear to me... it's a shame.

Ka-Ping Yee wrote:
>But this does not mean we should remove the ability of an author to
>*suggest* where a <fig> can appear.
>My point is that it often makes more sense for a figure to relate to
>the text (not the same as being incorporated into the text like an IMG)
>than to stand on its own.

> During the white-board discussion that Dave and I had, we discussed
> this sort of thing, including the way FrameMaker allows you to
> align figures all sorts of fancy ways with respect to the paragraph
> in which they're anchored.
> We considered the possibility of expressing the above situation as:
> <p>The bond angle between the two oxygen-hydrogen
> bonds in water is slightly larger than that
> between two carbon-hydrogen bonds in methane
> (see <a href="fig1">figure 1</a>)<spot id=fig1anchor>. This
> is due to the two extra pairs of free electrons around the
> oxygen atom, which take up more space than the bound
> pairs.</p>
> <fig src="molecules.jpg" id="fig1" align="right" at="fig1anchor">
> figure 1 shows models of CO2 and H2O molecules
> </fig>
> This way, the content models aren't changed: <FIG> is still a
> peer of <P>. But the <spot> element allows the author to suggest
> where the figure should be anchored in the paragraph.
> Do you think that would work?

That's a great solution! It still communicates the connection between
the figure and the text, while avoiding problems with <FIG> content.
Moreover, it's actually *better* than what i had in mind: it's better
to describe this connection with a real REFerence, rather than hint at
it by hoping the figure is displayed in the paragraph.

It has the unusual side-effect that it gives people the ability to make
the substitute text for a FIG appear anywhere they like (perhaps
nowhere near the figure at all). There is potential for abuse here i
suppose, but i think that this ability is probably necessary. It likely
wouldn't be too hard to imagine a case where it was.

I'm impressed. ^_^

Ping (Ka-Ping Yee): 2B Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo, Canada | 62A Churchill St, Waterloo N2L 2X2, 519 886-3947
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