W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > September 1998

RE: CSS equivalent to the NOBR tag?

From: Braden N. McDaniel <braden@shadow.net>
Date: Sun, 27 Sep 1998 19:32:02 -0400
To: "Andrew n marshall" <amarshal@usc.edu>
Cc: "W3C HTML Mailing List" <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001bdea6f$07807350$01000080@bonezero>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andrew n marshall [mailto:amarshal@usc.edu]
> Sent: Sunday, September 27, 1998 6:25 PM
> To: braden@endoframe.com
> Subject: RE: CSS equivalent to the NOBR tag?
> You're right, that does solve the problem for today, but it is far from an
> ideal solution.
> Primarily, it is an HTML specific solution.  To my knowledge, XML doesn't
> define such a solution and the question must be answered again.

I'm not sure if this is true or not. I believe the entities defined for HTML
are first defined for SGML. If that's the case, then they may also be
available to XML. I don't know enough about XML at this point to say with

> Secondly, word-wrapping (or lack of) is a layout issue and therefore the
> solution should be embedded in the stylesheet.  I shouldn't have
> to resort to
> data mangling.  Not only does make the maintance of the data and
> layout more
> difficult (I must change every place, rather than just one
> place), but I must
> also assume that search engines, or other automated processors of
> the data,
> are rubust enough to handle these finer details.

I don't think I agree with this. Generally, when you don't want something to
wrap, it is because the data has some intrinsic property that demands
continuity. If the characters in use do not reflect this conceptual demand
for continuity, then I think there is an error in the content analogous to a

Remember that style sheets are *just suggestions*. The content should not be
disrupted, with or without the style sheet applied. If text breaks disrupt
the content, then that is a red flag that style sheets are *not* the place
to control this sort of thing.

Your point about search engines, etc. has some validity, but if software is
deficient it should be amended. I don't think the solution is to hose our
content to accommodate buggy software.

> There seems to be a very simple solution: broaden the definition of the
> white-space property so it applies to inline elements (all
> elements, perhaps?)
> as well.

A "solution" implies there is a problem, and I just don't see one yet.

> The other HTML element whose layout cannot be defined without
> this is <CODE>.

I don't understand--CODE is not defined in any HTML specification as
preserving whitespace.


Received on Sunday, 27 September 1998 19:30:12 UTC

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