HTML 4.0 TABLE DTD request for change

MegaZone (megazone@livingston.com)
Thu, 25 Sep 1997 16:28:04 -0700 (PDT)


Message-Id: <199709252328.QAA26557@server.livingston.com>
To: www-html@w3.org
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 1997 16:28:04 -0700 (PDT)
From: MegaZone <megazone@livingston.com>
Subject: HTML 4.0 TABLE DTD request for change

I'd like to request a change to TABLES for backwards compatibility.

The current spec forces authors to put TFOOT ahead of TBODY.  The
problem with this is older user agents.

<TABLE>
<THEAD>
<TR><TH>This is the top of the table.
<TFOOT>
<TR><TH>This is the bottom of the table.
<TBODY>
<TR><TD>This is the contents.
</TABLE>

In a new UA that would be:

This is the top of the table.
This is the contents.
This is the bottom of the table.

But in an old UA, which will ignore the THEAD/TFOOT/TBODY, it is:

This is the top of the table.
This is the bottom of the table.
This is the contents.

Which is wrong.

On page 103, section 12.1.3, it says:

TFOOT must appear before TBODY within a TABLE definition so that user
agents can render the foot before receiving all of the (potentially
numerous) rows of data. The following summarizes which tags are
required and which may be omitted:

I don't get that.  Doesn't the UA need to load the table first to
count how many TR tags there are to know how many rows there are?  How
will it be able to render the footer before it knows how much body
content there is?  Can't we leave this up to the author to decide -
which is more important, rendering speed of backwards compatibility.
For me it is the latter, yet I'd love to use this for any UAs that do
intelligent printing, etc.  What is the problem with allowing this?

<TABLE>
<THEAD>
<TR><TH>This is the top of the table.
<TBODY>
<TR><TD>This is the contents.
<TFOOT>
<TR><TH>This is the bottom of the table.
</TABLE>

That should render correctly in old and new UAs.

-MZ
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