Proposed Text Flow Attributes for HTML 3.0

Kevin Atkinson (kevina@clark.net)
Fri, 18 Aug 1995 14:58:04 -0400 (EDT)


Date: Fri, 18 Aug 1995 14:58:04 -0400 (EDT)
From: Kevin Atkinson <kevina@clark.net>
To: www-html@w3.org
Subject: Proposed Text Flow Attributes for HTML 3.0
Message-Id: <Pine.SOL.3.91.950818145652.21627D-100000@clark.net>


[also posted on c..html]

One of the current with problems HTML is that there is no *easy* way
to control the text flow of your document like creating hanging
indents or normal paragraph indentions.  The proposed <tab> element
can be used for some control however having to contently put in tabs
can get tedious and it doesn't allow the author to do things like
hanging indents and having an entire paragraph be indented a specified
amount.  For example it is currently impossible (with out using tables
and other sorts of counterproductive tricks) to display something like
this (exactly as it is shown):

                                    7977 Market St.
                                    Hanhover, MA 89678
                                    March 5, 1995

Dear So and So.

     I like you so much etc etc etc. .....................................
..........................................................................
     .....................................................................
..........................................................................
........................ I especially like it when you said this:

     ...............................................................
     ...............................................................
     ...............................................................

                               References:

.........................................................................
     .....................................................
.........................................................................
     .....................................................

So I therefore recommend the following Attributes be added to the <P>, <DIV>, 
and any other appropriate tags.

FIRST
    This attribute causes a normal indent as shown above in the body of
    the letter.  If specified without any length it defaults to .5".
HANG
    This attribute caused an "Hanging Indent" as shown above (below the 
    "references")  If it is specified without any length it defaults to .5".
BETWEEN
    The number of lines between paragraphs.
LEFT
    The left margin in logical inches.
RIGHT
    The right margin in logical inches.

"center" may be specified instead of logical inches to mean the horizontal
     center of the screen or paper.  (Which changes depending on the screen 
     and/or window size)
1 logical inch = 100 pixels or 10 chars for lynx type browsers (or as
     otherwise specified by the users agent)

The letter above would look something like this is HTML.

<p left=center>
7977 Market St.
Hanhover, MA 89678
March 5, 1995,</p>
<p>Dear So and So.
<div first between=0>
<p>I like you so much etc etc etc. .....................................
..........................................................................
<p>.....................................................................
..........................................................................
........................ I especially like it when you said this:
</div>
<p left=.5 right=.5>
...............................................................
...............................................................
...............................................................
</p>
<p align=center>References:</p>
<div hang between=0>
<p>.........................................................................
.....................................................
<p>.........................................................................
.....................................................

I know you can use <BQ> for the quote however <BQ> doesn't give the writer the
control they may want.

* Kevin Atkinson, Clarknet I'net Serv., Maintainer of the Usenet Info Center *
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