Re: No IMG in FIG

Ka-Ping Yee (
Thu, 3 Aug 1995 17:08:02 -0400

Ping wrote:
> Please point out how you mean that the content model of <P> is "too
> restrictive" to be used for <FIG>. I am asking primarily that we
> remove the restriction that prevents <IMG> (and <FIG>) tags from being
> used within a <FIG>. Every added restriction makes HTML less simple.

On Thu, 3 Aug 1995, Michael Johnson replied:
> I agree that <IMG> should be allowed inside <FIG> but that is not what I was
> objecting to. Consider the fact that <P> cannot contain lists, <PRE>, <FN>,
> <NOTE> or <P>. <FIG> needs to be able to contain (almost?) anything that can
> be contained in <BODY> or it is less useful than it could be.
> <P> on the other hand should not be containing things which are not
> semantically part of a paragraph.

You are right. This was my mistake in reading the DTD. I agree that <FIG>
should be allowed to contain %body.content and hereby revoke my earlier
suggestion that it merely contain %text.

Ping wrote:
> I can certainly accept this, but a general opinion on the quality of my
> suggestions doesn't help us to work towards the goal of a better markup
> language. I'd appreciate much more an explicit description of how my
> understanding is flawed, specifically what parts of which proposals you
> feel to be poorly thought-out, and what ill consequences may arise.

Michael Johnson replied:
> Well, for an example, you proposed making the <FIG> content model match that
> of <P> which if you had done a little research and thinking on, you would
> have realized was not such a hot idea, as I explained above.

> As another example, you proposed a while back that <FIG> should be allowed
> inside of <P> which turned out to have ramifications that you didn't
> consider, mainly again a matter of conflicting content models.

I apologize for wasting your time. I have been continually learning from
these mistakes, and hope i can say this will improve the comments i make.

> It sounds like you are forming an idea in your head that all HTML containers
> should have the same content model (I'm inferring your thought processes from
> what you have written) based on the idea that this would be simpler and that
> would make it better.

This is not *necessarily* the idea i am forming. What i wrote was based on
the sentiment that where it is possible to simplify, simplification and
unification are better. This is not to say that ALL containers should have
the same content model, but that extra distinctions (like "-(IMG|FIG)")
should be avoided where possible. This is consistent with the other thread
i initiated, calling for fewer new tags in HTML 3.0 -- it seems there are
perhaps already too many, and introducing too many more would only sharpen
learning curves and complicate implementations.

I want to push HTML in the direction of simplicity and orthogonality.
("As simple as necessary, but no simpler.")

> I don't know what kind of background you have in text markup but my impression
> is that you don't truly understand the philosophy behind generalized markup
> languages. It appears to me that you are used to tools that compose documents
> according to their appearance rather than their content. It appears to me that
> you are unconciously still applying a presentation-oriented mental model to
> your ideas for HTML.

This is in fact what i fear most. I should *hope* that the mistakes i make
are due only to incorrect interpretations of the DTD, etc. -- my intent is
to follow a content-oriented model quite strongly and i hope to always stay
on that track. I acknowledge the two mistakes above. Do you see places
where my statements reflect presentation-oriented thinking? I'd appreciate
such warning to set me straight.

The rest of my message concerning <FIG> content proposes that the content
of FIG be treated as HTML to be rendered as a figure when SRC is not
specified. This is aimed at increasing orthogonality.

How do you feel about this?

> One of the big problems facing the HTML community right now is the damage that
> has been done by well-meaning people who tried to treat HTML as a presentation
> language (or turn it into one) rather than treat it as what it is, a language
> for describing the structure and content of a document.

I do mean well, but i want to stay out of this category. Much as --
sometimes -- i try to keep others out of this category.

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