Re: Inheritance of column attributes

Scott E. Preece (
Tue, 23 Jan 1996 08:16:11 -0600

From: Hakon Lie <>

| - other properties (fonts etc.) follow normal inheritance rules, and
| the only way to influence the presentation of an element is to address
| the element itself or an ancestor. COL and COLGROUP are useless in
| this regard, and a CLASS attribute should be used to apply a special
| style to a column.
| This is not what you asked for, but introducing multiple inheritance
| would complicate matters. The tree structure of SGML/HTML does not
| lend itself easily to tables.


I understand the issues (I tried to make clear in my note that I understood what is currently in the draft and that I understood that SGML's tree is a poor fit for tables).

My point was that what is in the draft is not acceptable. I understand that multiple inheritance is a complication, but I think that for tables you have to do something to work around the limitations of SGML tree structure. It is simply not acceptable to have no way to affect the styling of an entire column as a unit - changing its font-weight or background, for instance. Consider this a formal objection, if the somewhat spooky IETF process has such a notion.

Frankly, I don't think the added complexity is that significant anyway, given that you're already figuring out which col and colgroup a cell belongs to to handle rules and widths.


scott preece
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