Re: Spacing (was IMG in PRE?)

T. Joseph W. Lazio (
Tue, 14 May 1996 18:21:11 -0400

From: "T. Joseph W. Lazio" <>
Date: Tue, 14 May 1996 18:21:11 -0400
Message-Id: <>
In-Reply-To: <> (
Subject: Re: Spacing (was IMG in PRE?)

>>>>> "SH" == Stuart Harris <> writes:

SH> W.I.K. spake:
>> One thing we definitely need, at least for representing computer
>> source code, is the ability to prevent collapsing multiple
>> spaces. If I need to display a literal of "qd " (4 characters,
>> spaces significant), it must NOT get munged by the browser. What I
>> have to do currently is place a comment next to it, stating that
>> there are two spaces there. I tried using <pre> and <tt> and <code>
>> -- none were satisfactory (<tt> and <code> did not prevent
>> collapsing, and <pre> added line breaks and was therefore unusable
>> inline).

SH> Why don't we just persuade AoL to accept &nbsp; as the entity
SH> Walter (and the rest of us) need. They're the only browser out of
SH> step on this, unless I'm misinformed.

 Could somebody more SGML or ISO literate than I comment on this?  I
just scanned some relevant documents, many of which noted the
existence of &nbsp;, but didn't say much beyond it was a "non-breaking
space."  Only the HTML 3.0 document gave any description of it.

 My understanding is that &nbsp; is to be used to prevent bad line
breaks, for instance between a person's initials, like D.
E. Knuth.

 If that is the proper definition, should it be noted explicitly in
the HTML 3.2 specs?  I like the discussion of Word Wrapping in the
HTML 3.0 document, so that might be a good starting point.  (OTOH, if
HTML 3.2 aims to capture the current practice and the current practice
is at odds with the real definition of &nbsp;, then what?)

-- Joseph