Re: <FIG> implies <P>?

Ka-Ping Yee (kryee@novice.uwaterloo.ca)
Wed, 19 Jul 1995 02:49:10 -0400


Date: Wed, 19 Jul 1995 02:49:10 -0400
From: Ka-Ping Yee <kryee@novice.uwaterloo.ca>
Subject: Re: <FIG> implies <P>? 
To: "Daniel W. Connolly" <connolly@beach.w3.org>
Cc: Mike Meyer <mwm@contessa.phone.net>, www-html@www10.w3.org
In-Reply-To: <199507131625.MAA07293@beach.w3.org>
Message-Id: <Pine.3.87.9507190210.B31086-0100000@novice.uwaterloo.ca>

Ka-Ping Yee wrote:
>Understood.  But this doesn't mean that functionality should be
>*removed* from FIG.  It just seems very strange to me that this extra
>limitation exist, purely as a limitation that to me yields no observable 
>advantage.

Other people have pointed out the problems with the content of <FIG>
when it is allowed to be arbitrarily embedded in other places.  I
hadn't realized this when i wrote the original message, and now understand
that it can't work that way.

Daniel W. Connolly wrote:
> Hmm... my view is that there is functionality (alternate-media
> presentation) missing from <IMG>, not missing from <FIG> (the
> ability to display a fig in a para).

That IMG is missing functionality (and also is misnamed...) is pretty
clear to me... it's a shame.

Ka-Ping Yee wrote:
>But this does not mean we should remove the ability of an author to
>*suggest* where a <fig> can appear.
[...] 
>My point is that it often makes more sense for a figure to relate to
>the text (not the same as being incorporated into the text like an IMG) 
>than to stand on its own.

> During the white-board discussion that Dave and I had, we discussed
> this sort of thing, including the way FrameMaker allows you to
> align figures all sorts of fancy ways with respect to the paragraph
> in which they're anchored.
> 
> We considered the possibility of expressing the above situation as:
> 
> 	<p>The bond angle between the two oxygen-hydrogen
> 	bonds in water is slightly larger than that
> 	between two carbon-hydrogen bonds in methane
> 	(see <a href="fig1">figure 1</a>)<spot id=fig1anchor>.  This
> 	is due to the two extra pairs of free electrons around the
> 	oxygen atom, which take up more space than the bound
> 	pairs.</p> 
> 
> 	<fig src="molecules.jpg" id="fig1" align="right" at="fig1anchor">
> 	figure 1 shows models of CO2 and H2O molecules
> 	</fig>
> 
> This way, the content models aren't changed: <FIG> is still a
> peer of <P>. But the <spot> element allows the author to suggest
> where the figure should be anchored in the paragraph.
> 
> Do you think that would work?

That's a great solution!  It still communicates the connection between
the figure and the text, while avoiding problems with <FIG> content.
Moreover, it's actually *better* than what i had in mind: it's better
to describe this connection with a real REFerence, rather than hint at
it by hoping the figure is displayed in the paragraph. 

It has the unusual side-effect that it gives people the ability to make
the substitute text for a FIG appear anywhere they like (perhaps 
nowhere near the figure at all).  There is potential for abuse here i
suppose, but i think that this ability is probably necessary.  It likely
wouldn't be too hard to imagine a case where it was.

I'm impressed. ^_^


Ping (Ka-Ping Yee):  2B Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo, Canada
kryee@csclub.uwaterloo.ca | 62A Churchill St, Waterloo N2L 2X2, 519 886-3947
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