Re: Collapsing breaks & non-beaking spaces.

Liam Quinn (
Mon, 14 Jul 1997 18:07:41 -0400

Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 18:07:41 -0400
From: Liam Quinn <>
Subject: Re: Collapsing breaks & non-beaking spaces.
In-Reply-To: <>


At 08:41 AM 14/07/97 -0700, David Perrell wrote:
>Liam Quinn wrote:
>> I'm sure that was fun...  Now how is declaring the non-breaking space
>> collapsible different than deprecating elements like FONT?
>Current usage of consecutive &nbsp is common. Declaring it as wrong
>immediately renders thousands of pages illegal.

No one is suggesting declaring multiple non-breaking spaces as illegal--
just collapsing.  There's a big difference.  The HTML 4.0 draft recommends 
ignoring empty paragraphs, yet there are thousands of pages that use empty 
paragraphs for spacing (or because of a misunderstanding of which elements 
close paragraphs, e.g., <P><CENTER>Foo</CENTER></P>).

>Since most browsers now
>treat &nbsp as if it were a character, with no special processing, it
>would be better to leave the situation as it is, with no formal
>declaration of 'correct' use, than it would be to declare common usage
>unequivocally wrong.

So what about the empty paragraph thing?

The expired HTML 3.0 draft stated that the non-breaking space "should be 
treated in the same way as the space character (ASCII character code 32 
decimal), except that the user agent should never break lines at this 
point." [1]  I assume there was a reason for making this rather definite 
statement about the behaviour of the non-breaking space.  Perhaps when 
Dave Raggett returns he can offer some insight into this.


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Liam Quinn
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