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proposal for HTML4.01 amendment: <BR PAGEBREAK="before">

From: Philip Brown <phil@bolthole.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 12:50:10 -0800
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <20020111125010.A7596@bolthole.com>
I would like to propose that the syntax for the BR tag be ammended to add
an optional 'PAGEBREAK' attribute, with only acceptible value to be
(to be somewhat close to existing CSS usage)
EG: <BR PAGEBREAK="before">

This new attribute would signify to "printing agents", that a page break is

Yes, I realize this is a long-standing issue. I have searched through the
archives and read the relevant messages on this topic, including ones
dating back from HTML3.0

Please read this message in its entirety.

I realize that CSS provides a method of having a page break.
However, most readers will know already that while there are many browsers
that handle a good chunk of HTML4.0, there are not too many that have a
full implementation of CSS. Some choose not to implement it at all.
For example, lynx. 

One could argue that it does not make sense for lynx and similar browsers
to implement CSS. However, they could still benefit from some kind of
pagebreak functionality. While many "user agents" choose not to implement
CSS, MOST of them have a "print" function.

In my search of the www-html archives, one of the earlier proposals
was to have a wider scoped "<PRINT>" tag, with things like margins.
This is not my goal.
I believe margins, etc. are simply "styles", therefore truly belong only
in something like CSS.
However, the issue of where have a pagebreak is more integral to a
document than "what color do I make footnotes?" or 
"Should my headers be Times-Roman, or Courier?"

To prove my point, I will use the following mental illustration:

Lets say a web page is divided into two logical sections, each
with its own H1 header. (or whatever kind of header you like)

The author could adjust colors, settings, fonts, you-name-it with CSS.
The viewer/user could adjust font sizes, print margins, etc. on that end.
But you will STILL WANT a pagebreak before the second H1 header, otherwise,
the printout will not be clearly executed.

To achive this functionality, I am proposing a specificly non-CSS
method, so that browsers that have no use for CSS, can still get
pagebreak information with a minimum of recoding.

Some people dont like adding "new tags", therefore, I am proposing a new
attribute to the existing tag BR, although I personally wouldnt mind
<PAGEBREAK> instead. 

I chose the BR tag, because its name is almost page"break" already :-)
and because it already has an overloaded attribute: "clear".
"clear" is specified as for "visual user agents". 
So a "pagebreak" attribute could be described as for "printing agents".

In retrospect, it would have been nice if "BR CLEAR=PAGE" was in the spec
to begin with. But as it is not, hopefully, this will make up for it.
Received on Friday, 11 January 2002 15:50:11 UTC

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