Re: HTML 3.2: PRE should not exclude IMG

Gerald Oskoboiny (
Fri, 31 May 1996 15:56:33 -0600 (MDT)

From: Gerald Oskoboiny <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: HTML 3.2: PRE should not exclude IMG
Date: Fri, 31 May 1996 15:56:33 -0600 (MDT)
In-Reply-To: <> from "Benjamin Franz" at May 31, 96 08:06:19 am

Abigail writes:

> Gerald Oskoboiny wrote:
> > 
> > I guess that would be "undefined", but, if you have:
> > 
> >   <pre>
> >   a b <img src = "foo.gif" alt = "xxx"> d
> >   1 2 <img src = "bar.gif" alt = "yyy"> 4
> >   </pre>
> > 
> > and "foo.gif" is exactly as wide as "bar.gif", the behavior is well-defined,
> > and extremely useful. (as in, for instance, <URL:>.)
> I remember replying to this argument... but perhaps it got lost somewhere.

I'm pretty sure it didn't show up on www-html... When nobody replied to my
message, I assumed I had "won" the discussion. :-)

> I don't think this behaviour is well defined because
> it's just an exception. In general, images are not the same size.
> And if you allow <img> just because it can happen they are the same
> size, what's the point of excluding <font>, <sub>, <sup>, <small>,
> <big>? Just like in your example,
> <pre>
> a b <big>c</big> d
> 1 2 <big>3</big> 4
> </pre>
> will work. Similar examples can be made with <small>, <sub>, etc.

The behavior is well-defined for images of the same size (which an author
can control.)

I don't have any opinion on the other stuff; I only have a need to use
IMG within PRE right now. And I know that IMG within PRE is very widely
used, and very widely supported, so I don't see how it can be excluded
from the DTD. (especially a "current practice" DTD.)

It's true that there are many cases when trying to line things up within
a PRE section is impossible, but in this case it's not, and I don't think
I should be prevented from creating a valid HTML document with IMG's in
PRE-formatted text just because the capability can be abused.

With the HTML 2.0 DTD, I can write <pre><tt><img src=foo></tt></pre> and
it validates, but this is not possible with the current 3.2 DTD because
IMG is specifically excluded from the content model of PRE. So there's
*no way* I can accomplish what I want using the current 3.2 DTD.

Benjamin Franz writes:

> Also the 'exception' you claim here is one that has precisely defined
> behaviour in all the browsers I know of and your objection that 'in
> general images are not the same size' is irrelevant because page designers
> who are exploiting this behavior don't have images that 'just happen' to
> be the exact same size: They done it on purpose.


> The whole issue is rapidly becoming irrelevant anyway since the use of
> images in PRE is a hack to work around the lack of deployed tables - a
> situation that has all but disappeared now as even AOL is rolling out a
> table capable browser - leaving Lynx as the only browser with any
> significant share that _cannot_ do tables. Tables are *much* superior
> in achieving page layout control in general.

I don't think I can accomplish what I want using tables. (But I'm open to
suggestions; see <URL:
tp://> for an example.)

Gerald Oskoboiny <>      Phone: +1-403-492-7698
Systems Analyst, Information Systems                   Fax: +1-403-492-7172
Office of the Registrar and Student Awards            University of Alberta
<URL:>       <URL:>