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Re: Fw: Disturbing trend in tables

From: Tina Marie Holmboe <tina@elfi.elfi.org>
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2001 22:08:55 +0100
Message-ID: <20010113220855.D15542@elfi.elfi.org>
To: Ben Canning <bencan@microsoft.com>, "'jim@jimthatcher.com'" <jim@jimthatcher.com>, "'David Woolley'" <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>, "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
On Fri, Jan 12, 2001 at 09:58:36AM -0800, Ben Canning wrote:

> Not sure I understand the complaint about &nbsp;'s. If a paragraph has no
> content, the browser doesn't draw it. So if the user hits enter 3 times, we
> need to at least put in &nbsp; or the paragraph will just disappear at
> browse time. You could make the argument that an author shouldn't use empty

  ... and it'll disappear at browse time anyway. What is a P with only a 
  non-breaking space inside it - a paragraph in which two (non existing)
  words are not to be visually presented with a newline between them. An UA
  is more than allowed to simply not render anything at all there.

  If a user hits enter three times, the user has three times entered the
  CR character, which is defined as 'whitespace', and to quote the HTML 4.01

   "User agents should interpret attribute values as follows: ...
      Replace each carriage return or tab with a single space."

  And, of course:

   "User agents should ignore empty P elements."

  A P with only an &nbsp; ... well, &nbsp; isn't strictly whitespace, but
  that debate has been ongoing for a while. Personally I'd say a P with an
  &nbsp; is as empty as a politicians head.

> <p>'s as spacer's, but that's not something that FP can enforce. Do empty
> paragraphs cause problems for screen readers?

  I don't know ... but *if* a screen reader attempts to be 'smart' and make
  a small pause before each paragraph, it certainly is gonna sound funny. I
  don't really wanna think about how it might end up on a Braille reader, but
  it *is* a structural problem.

  And, to be honest, it does give a nice example of why a HTML editor cannot
  be WYSIWYG - and why the concept needs to be thought over once more. Perhaps
  an editor based on objects would be more suited; but then the user would have
  to explicitly say "end paragraph now" ... hm.

 - Tina
Received on Saturday, 13 January 2001 16:09:04 UTC

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