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Re: In support of the "line space" (nee <hr>)

From: Lorenzo De Tomasi <lorenzo.detomasi@libero.it>
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2002 10:51:06 +0200
To: <www-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B989211A.1667%lorenzo.detomasi@libero.it>

on 21-08-2002 8:45, Micah Dubinko at MDubinko@cardiff.com wrote:

> The initial Working Draft of XHTML includes a <hr> element in the
> "presentation" module. I will provide evidence that this is an incorrect
> classification in some cases.
> Here is a quote from Orson Scott Card's _Ender's Game__: (p 260)
> Graff seemed unconcerned. But then, Graff always seemed unconcerned. The
> next day everything changed. Graff went away, and in his place they gave
> Ender a companion.
> ---
> He was in the room when Ender awoke in the morning. He was an old man. ...
> On this particular printed page, the separator "---" is rendered as about a
> 1 cm line with lots of whitespace above and below. It is also commonly
> rendered as three asterisks.
> Separators such as this indicate a "break in the action", and often a
> character viewpoint change as well. They are part of the story, and not just
> decoration, like say border-bottom. In __Characters and Viewpoint__, also by
> Orson Scott Card, he says (p 157)
> The next-clearest [after changing viewpoint characters on a chapter
> boundary] transitional device is the "line space"--a double-double space if
> you work on a typewriter, two hard carriage returns if you work on a word
> processor. ... Usually a line space is marked in manuscript with three
> asterisks, like this:
> *          *           *
> The asterisks will usually appear in the finished book or magazine only if
> the line space falls at a page break. The rest of the time they'll be
> deleted, leaving only a blank line.
> This shows that the line space carries special semantics that for instance
> an ebook reader or speech device (and hopefully mainstream browsers) could
> render specially. The reason for the quotations is to show that this is a
> widespread practice, and should be supported in XHTML. An empty <p/> or
> <line/> wouldn't work.
> Admittedly, most instances of <hr> on the Web today probably are
> presentational, and should be discouraged. So, I would like to request:
> 1. Change the name of <hr> to <linespace> or something similar.
> 2. Include the renamed element in the Text module instead of the
> Presentation module
> 3. Include an explanation and example of proper usage.
> Thanks!
> .micah

I have some suggestions for the <hr> element, that can be renamed as
graphicline, gline, linespace, linebreak, etc.
I think that some new attributes must be added:

1. height="1px", 2px, 1pt, etc.
   or better stroke="", as used in DTP programs like Adobe Illustrator and
   how much the line is thin or fat

2. color="black", etc.
   the color of the line
   I think that the best is that, if the color is not specified or specified
as default, the browser automatically chooses the default color depending to
the background color: white for dark bkgs, black for light bkgs, etc.

3. width="full", percent: 100%, 50%, pixels: 300px, points: 300pt, etc.

4. align="left", right, center

5. margin="default", double, 12px, 12pt, etc.
   or better leading="", as used in DTP programs like Adobe Illustrator and
   the relative distance from the last line of text
   I think that the best is that, if the margin is not specified or
specified as default, the browser automatically chooses the default margin
as the leading of the last line of text

6. style="shade", noshade
   shaded 3D or flat 2D line

The default should be
hr style="noshade" width="full" stroke="1px" color="default" align="left"

What do you think?
Lorenzo De Tomasi, student of Information Architecture, Interface Design and
Visual Design
via Bellaria 6, 21018 Sesto Calende (Varese), Italia
phone: +39 (0)331 924649
mobile: +39 333 8979304
e-mail: lorenzo.detomasi@libero.it; lorenzo.detomasi@email.it
website: http://biografica.tzone.it
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Received on Wednesday, 21 August 2002 04:51:41 UTC

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