Line breaking (<NOBR>, <WBR>)

Keith Calvert Ivey (
Fri, 19 Jul 1996 21:05:42 -0500

Message-Id: <>
From: "Keith Calvert Ivey" <>
Date: Fri, 19 Jul 1996 21:05:42 -0500
Subject: Line breaking (<NOBR>, <WBR>)

> Daniel W. Connolly writes:
>  -- Do we really need _automated_ line breaks for formulas?
>     Browsers already can't break many things automatically,
>     and a user could help with linebreaking by adding either
>     markup for possible linebreaks, or by adding markup for
>     groups that should not be broken.

As long as the subject has come up, is anything being added for
controlling line breaks in even nonmathematical text?

I like <WBR> and <NOBR>, even though they were introduced by
Netscape, because they're gracefully ignored by nonsupporting
browsers (unlike &nbsp;) and they allow me to do exactly the
two things you mention: marking possible line breaks and
marking sections that shouldn't be broken.  Is there some 
SGML-based reason for opposing <WBR> and <NOBR>?

For controlling line breaks, a nonbreaking space isn't enough. 
Without <WBR> and <NOBR>, a nonbreaking hyphen and a zero-width
space are necessary.  Have those been proposed, or do we have
to wait for Unicode? 

By the way, most of the descriptions of <WBR> I've seen on the 
Web imply (or state outright) that it can only be used inside 
<NOBR>.  In my experience, its main use is outside <NOBR>--for 
example, after slashes in URLs.  Using it inside <NOBR> seems 
pointless--why not just end the <NOBR>?

Keith C. Ivey <>
Washington, DC
Untangling the Web <>