W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > April 2000

Re: Ignoring empty paragraphs

From: Matthew Brealey <webmaster@richinstyle.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 06:49:20 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <38F2231C.3511@richinstyle.com>
To: www-html@w3.org
RCI wrote:
> Although there might be other uses for empty <P>s,
> the best way to generate vertical white-space, 

Vertical whitespace is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, which is why
CSS provides the margin-top and margin-bottom properties. Vertical
whitespace is essential - imagine how ugly documents would look if
everything had a line height equal to the font size and if there was no
space between paragraphs or headings. 

I think what you mean is extra whitespace beyond the defaults that
current implementations have in their UA style sheets. Again this is
quite reasonable; for example, for ultra-spacey paragraphs, try P
{margin: 2em 0}, or to add extra space to an element .class {margin:
whatever 0}

> if it
> _must_ be done, is to use multiple <BR>s.

No, no, no. You seem to be thinking that whitespace is undesirable, but
in fact you are confusing the tagsoupish markup beloved of such programs
as Front Page (I recently had to clean up a site someone had done in
Front Page, and it was such a mess of redundant tables, superfluous FONT
elements and other such garbage that I found it was quicker just to cut
and paste the text from the rendering in a browser and rebuild the
markup from scratch), whereby everything is reduced to a mass of <DIV>s,
which of course is as worthless and inaccessible (e.g., user style
sheet's effectiveness is limited (this is probably seen as an advantage
to the people who produce this of course))) as writing WWW documents in
XML, since you lose the advantage of having a priori information of what
the content of, for example, a H1 element is:

<font size="+2">heading</font>
Worthless garbage

The role of <br> is not to create whitespace; in fact, no HTML element
should be used to create any kind of formatting effects - HTML is used
to markup text; i.e., to mark what the doucment contains - paragraphs,
headings, etc.; and _not_ to specify how it should be rendered.

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Received on Monday, 10 April 2000 06:49:40 UTC

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