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Re: Whitespace details

From: Murray Altheim <murray@spyglass.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 1996 17:51:33 -0400
Message-Id: <v02140b08aed7750c5690@[208.203.149.72]>
To: dgd@cs.bu.edu (David G. Durand)
Cc: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
dgd@cs.bu.edu (David G. Durand) writes:
>When I endorsed the 3-states proposal I unwittingly fell into agreement
>with the current proposal on a point where I disagree strongly:
>   Initial whitespace, and final whitespace should collapse to a single
>space, not disappear altogether. This is the way HTML browsers currently
>work (try it in <td> in Netscape, for instance).

Leading whitespace (any space between a start tag and element content) in
lists and tables in MSIE, Netscape, etc. is always removed, at least as far
as any installation I've ever seen. Trailing whitespace is collapsed to a
single space in accord with RFC 1866, which makes no statement whatsoever
about leading whitespace.

>   I know this makes it impossible to ignore any RE after a tag start, but
>there was never an argument offered to support that behavior that did not
>beg the conclusion.... and otherwise, the whitespace folding now has two
>special cases, at the beginning and end of the string...

Only the end. Try running this fragment through your HTML browser:

<TABLE BORDER=1><TR><TD>Cell one.</TD><TD>Cell two.</TABLE>
<TABLE BORDER=1><TR><TD> Cell one. </TD><TD> Cell two.</TABLE>
<TABLE BORDER=1><TR><TD>     Cell one.    </TD><TD>    Cell two.</TABLE>
<TABLE BORDER=1><TR><TD>
     Cell one.    </TD><TD>
     Cell two.</TABLE>

You'll note that apart from the first table (which includes no leading or
trailing whitespace), the last three tables are identically formatted, with
no leading whitespace in any, and all trailing whitespace collapsed to a
single space.

Murray

```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
    Murray Altheim, Program Manager
    Spyglass, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts
    email: <mailto:murray@spyglass.com>
    http:  <http://www.cm.spyglass.com/murray/murray.html>
           "Give a monkey the tools and he'll eventually build a typewriter."
Received on Friday, 13 December 1996 17:48:52 EST

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