Render FIG content if no SRC

Ka-Ping Yee (
Sun, 6 Aug 1995 01:01:23 -0400

Ping wrote:
> 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?

Michael Johnson wrote:
> When you say "rendered as a figure" though what exactly do you mean? I have
> been thinking about the idea of paying attention to the width attribute
> when I render the content of a FIG, falling back on normal processing if
> WIDTH is not specified. I would then flow text around the formatted
> content. Is this the sort of behavior that you mean?

That's about the size of it, yes.

Mike Batchelor wrote:
> That's what I would like to see. A <fig> with a SRC represents
> some item that is not part of the text flow, but should be set aside,
> perhaps enclosed within a box, and have the surrounding text flow around
> it. I don't see why this should change if the <fig> doesn't have a SRC.
> The <fig> then contains textual data that is separate from the surrounding
> text flow. And that textual data could certainly contain <img>.

Moreover, the extension to <fig> without SRC makes it possible to present
text "as a figure" -- meaning a single chunk of information which can be
related to or pointed at by the main text. For instance, problems,
solutions, and examples could be set aside in this fashion. This could
be quite useful in an HTML primer, to give a single instance.

Attention to the fact that SRC could refer to text/html yields a fairly
easy and consistent way to allow remote-document inclusion. I know that
there is a potential problem with cyclic inclusion here; a simple solution
is to not resolve further inclusions in included documents. I'd recommend
that where there is an inclusion, some facility should permit the user to
follow the link to make that inclusion the main document.

> I suppose the same effect could be achieved using a borderless table with
> headings, but sometimes, a table isn't appropriate, but a figure is.

Tables are used for the purpose of setting apart tabular data,
while figures are for setting apart other kinds of auxiliary information.
It would be best to keep the two distinct, i think.

Does anyone have anything negative to say about rendering HTML content
as a figure when SRC is not specified?

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