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

Re: White space and inline elements

From: William F. Hammond <hammond@csc.albany.edu>
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 12:00:08 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <200107251600.f6PG08W24082@pluto.math.albany.edu>
To: www-html@w3.org
Masayasu Ishikawa <mimasa@w3.org> writes:

> Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net> wrote:
> > I suggest to add a new item to section 3.2 of XHTML 1.0 that reads e.g.

[ . . . ]

> Like Terje, I disagree.

[ . . . ]

> If the directionality of an inline element's content is different, you
> might get a completely different rendering on visual user agents by
> moving white space.

[ Directionality?  You are referring to a language characteristic, such
as German vs. Arabic, right? ]

Yes, but the whole thread arose over a complaint that a processor for
converting html to xhtml that formerly had W3C provenance(*) had
changed markup like



(thereby incorrectly creating a word boundary after the inline element

I think it relevant to acknowledge here that such handling is indeed
erroneous and to say that the correct way for such a processor to gain
some control of line lengths (if indeed that was the intention) would
have been to write


As I look around at various visual user agents, it seems that the
handling of (leading|trailing) white space in inline elements is
inconsistent among them.  (There are also inconsistencies on the
issue between "u"(**) and "em" when, in the latter case, application
of the style in some agents to a blank space is invisible.)

My suggestion is that content providers should be told that writing
leading or trailing white space is deprecated inside these inline

                                    -- Bill

(*)  When I checked Dave Raggett's last tidy (4aug00) on this question,
I found no problem.

(**) The element "u" is excluded from "strict" html.
Received on Wednesday, 25 July 2001 12:00:20 UTC

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