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Re: Stephen Ferg's Table Research

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 07:12:15 +0000 (UTC)
To: Robert Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Cc: Ben 'Cerbera' Millard <cerbera@projectcerbera.com>, HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>, Stephen Ferg <ferg_s@bls.gov>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.0708140706140.20226@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>

On Tue, 14 Aug 2007, Robert Burns wrote:
> > 
> > (There are many issues here beyond just whether any particular table can
> > be expressed in markup. [...]
>
> Just so its clear, its not just a matter of restricting tables to a 
> certain level of complexity. Even if we did that, the current algorithm 
> wouldn't work for many tables in the wild. In addition, much of what the 
> current algorithm accomplishes should not even require @scope (except in 
> rare circumstances). [...]

It wasn't my intent to enter a discussion yet -- so long as the points are 
all well described in the wiki, I'll take them all into account when I get 
to that particular problem's wiki page.


> On the other hand, the idea of trying to limit authors to tables of a 
> certain complexity sounds to me like a recipe for disaster.

Whatever we do, there'll be some limit. The question is just where the 
limit lies, and how much "bang for the buck" we can get. If we can 
introduce one very simple feature that does 90% of tables with no syntax, 
and getting the next 5% of tables will take 15 new features with 
complicated syntaxes, then there's a strong incentive to not handle those 
extra 5%. Similarly, if we can get 70% of the tables with no special 
syntax, and a simple additional piece of syntax gets us an additional 25%, 
then that's a strong incentive to go the extra step and have that small 
added complexity.

It's a big balancing act.

But whatever we do, we won't hit 100% of tables. It'll always be possible 
to come up with some sort of grid data structure that can't be expressed 
with HTML.

-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Tuesday, 14 August 2007 07:12:46 GMT

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