Re: HTML Streaming

Mike Meyer (
Tue, 2 Sep 1997 12:35:58 PST

In-Reply-To: <>
From: (Mike Meyer)
Date: Tue, 2 Sep 1997 12:35:58 PST
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: HTML Streaming

> The browser would first display a pre rendered page for a paragraph with 200
> character and spaces

That doesn't tell the browser enough to know how much vertical space
to lay out. It may know the users font preferences, but it can't know
what font size the author has chosen. I.e.:

<P><FONT SIZE=7>Some large text that will wrap to short lines.</P>
<P><FONT SIZE=1>Some small text that will wrap to long lines.</P>

will have line wraps at different points, and hence take a different
amount of vertical space.8

Further, when it comes to laying out text, the relevant feature is
break points, not characters. So even if you know you've got a
monospaced font and 20 character lines, the two hundred characters
could be 100 single-character words (in which case 5% of the spaces
turn into line breaks and don't get counted against the width) or one
99 character word followed by a space and a 100-characer word (where
"word" is an unbreakable string of characters).  When you want to get
*REALLY* technical, there are algorithms available to do automatic
hyphen insertion, so the number of break points in a stream of text
can vary from browser to browser.

> and then a table that is 75 by 25.

75 x 25 WHATS? Total number of columsn and rows? In vertical browsers,
rows are immaterial. You can lay one out as soon as you have the
widths. Columns are critical, but you have to know how wide each one
is, not how many their are. Horizontal browsers (if such exist) are
vice versa.

> The problem could be solved with the addition of extent tag to the paragraph
> tag.

The paragraph tag has no problem. The CONTEXT it appears in may create
a problem if the browser doesn't know how wide the space the paragraph
has to fit in is, but that's a problem with the context, not the
paragraph tag.

> This is what I am trying to avoid. Many other tags and new tags do not
> have pre rendering attributes. Unless the entire page is described, the page
> cannot be pre rendered. For example, the table tag already has a pre
> rendering attribute, colgroup. But it cannot be displayed until the
> paragraph is completely downloaded because the paragraph does not have a pre
> rendering attribute.

The last bit is simply wrong. Any browser that knows the width the
paragraph has to fit into can display the text in a paragraph as it
arrives. The browser I use most does that. If yours doesn't, get a
better browser.