Re: Spacing (was IMG in PRE?)

Walter Ian Kaye (
Tue, 14 May 1996 18:05:10 -0700

Message-Id: <v02140b25adbedb1ce82c@[]>
Date: Tue, 14 May 1996 18:05:10 -0700
From: (Walter Ian Kaye)
Subject: Re: Spacing (was IMG in PRE?)

At 2:15a 05/15/96, Abigail wrote:
>You, Walter Ian Kaye wrote:
>++ 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).
>In other messages, it was already stated that in a proportional font,
>interword spaces can vary. Now, if one would allow "qd  " to appear
>inside otherwise proportional text, how should one distinguish two
>"normal" spaces from a normal interword space which might have the same
>As for you example, a person might be able to distinguish between
>one and two spaces (if it's known they use a fixed width), but
>the difference between two and three or three and four will be
>difficult, and one might need the comment after all.

My most recent message probably "crossed in the mail" with yours, but
basically it comes down to being able to copy out the source code and
paste it into a compiler, and have it work! So the correct number of
spaces have to be there, whether visually discernible or not.

>Alternatively, one can put the whole source code inside <pre>, which
>makes it much easier to (vertically) align parts as well.

But a <pre> block kills "pretty-printing". Also, programming lines can
sometimes be long, and would be more likely to run off the edge of the
page if rendered in a monospace font. The ability to use a proportional
font while not collapsing spaces would be very useful.


    Walter Ian Kaye <>     Programmer - Excel, AppleScript,
          Mountain View, CA                         ProTERM, FoxPro, HTML     Musician - Guitarist, Songwriter