W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > January 2001

Possible "background" extension for XHTML Transitional....

From: <groth@ihug.com.au>
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 2001 10:15:29 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <200101201515.CAA07691@new-smtp1.ihug.com.au>
To: "www-html@w3.org" <www-html@w3.org>

Hi all....

This has probably been asked / noted before, so I'll keep it to the point.

I'd like to see the formal inclusion of "<TD background="image.gif">" in HTML 
4.01 / XHTML Transitional.

As you can expect, many sites still use a table-based layout.  Although the 
same overall effects can be accomplished with CSS, older browsers cannot cope 
with this (hence the original introduction of the Transitional DTD).

Thankfully, most browsers render the background element anyway, but ideally I'd 
like to see it formally included.

Personally, I believe the lack of a background within a TD cell to be the main 
feature missing for backwards compatibility between the older and current 
generation of browsers.

(An in-depth explanation of the use of backgrounds within a TD cell is 
explained at the end of this submission).

Many thanks,


Honours Student
Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering,
University of Adelaide


Why a background within a cell?

Imagine a table with a simple border.  Suppose you instead want a fancy 
graphical border.  There are three ways to accomplish this.

(1) Use CSS.  This won't look nice in older browsers (Netscape 4, for example).

Pros - It's CSS. :)

Cons - Looks terrible in older browsers.

(2) Use .gif images for the top / bottom, and a table layout to "emulate" the 
left and right borders.

Pros - Produces valid HTML / XHTML code.

Cons -

The left and right borders must be made of vertical lines only;
Using many such tables increases the final file size;
The table has a constant width but a dynamic height.

(3) Use background image within the TD cell.

Pros -

Dynamic height / width;
Works with most browsers.

Cons - Not valid code!
Received on Sunday, 21 January 2001 12:18:53 UTC

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