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Re: White space and inline elements

From: Masayasu Ishikawa <mimasa@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 01:19:27 +0900
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <20010726011927Y.mimasa@w3.mag.keio.ac.jp>
"William F. Hammond" <hammond@csc.albany.edu> wrote:

> > 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? ]

Not really a language issue but a matter of script or characters, but
basically yes, things like right-to-left text is embedded inside
left-to-right text.

> 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
> elements.

That's why the HTML 4 specification, "9.1 White space" says as follows:

    In order to avoid problems with SGML line break rules and
    inconsistencies among extant implementations, authors should not rely
    on user agents to render white space immediately after a start tag or
    immediately before an end tag. Thus, authors, and in particular
    authoring tools, should write:

        <P>We offer free <A>technical support</A> for subscribers.</P>

    and not:

        <P>We offer free<A> technical support </A>for subscribers.</P>

  cf. http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/text.html#h-9.1

Masayasu Ishikawa / mimasa@w3.org
W3C - World Wide Web Consortium
Received on Wednesday, 25 July 2001 12:19:23 UTC

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