Re: THEAD & TFOOT for columns

Liam Quinn (
Sat, 16 Aug 1997 18:13:44 -0400

Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 1997 18:13:44 -0400
From: Liam Quinn <>
In-Reply-To: <v03102812b01bc7638a79@[]>
Subject: Re: THEAD & TFOOT for columns


At 02:19 PM 16/08/97 -0700, Walter Ian Kaye wrote:
>Well, can you solve the problem of vertical wrapping? Last year there was
>a thread here about multiple columns (remember it?), and I don't think
>anyone figured out how the snaking should work; there is also the matter
>of column width versus window width, as lines of text should not be too
>long or too short in order to ensure readability. Those problems need to
>be solved in general before HTML can incorporate those solutions.

I don't understand why HTML needs to incorporate any "solutions".  This 
entire discussion is purely about presentation.  While COLHEAD and COLFOOT 
would be sensible structural additions to HTML, I don't see what HTML 
lacks that would allow a horizontal scrolling display.

I agree that HR is biased towards vertical scrolling, but HR itself is 
presentation-based.  Perhaps we should look at abstracting the horizontal 
rule to a structural element like SEPARATOR or DIVIDER, which would then 
allow an appropriate rendering--horizontal rule, vertical rule, a pause, a 
page break, etc.--based on the properties of the output device and the 
preferences of the user.

However, I wonder if the HR (or SEPARATOR) is really necessary.  The HR is 
(abstracted structurally) a separator, but we already have implicit 
separation between certain block-level elements.  To specify the 
presentation of this separation, we could use style sheet pseudo-elements 
("before", "after").

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Liam Quinn
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