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Re: Tag / element question

From: Daniel Glazman <daniel.glazman@disruptive-innovations.com>
Date: Sat, 18 Sep 2004 20:32:07 +0200
Message-ID: <414C7F27.6060607@disruptive-innovations.com>
To: fantasai <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>
Cc: www-html@w3.org

fantasai wrote:

>> My question is "Why is there a th (table header) tag / element but not 
>> a tf (table footer)?"
> 
> See <thead>, <tbody>, and <tfoot>.
> 
> http://www.w3.org/TR/html40/struct/tables.html#h-11.2.3

This does not answer the question, and I think the question is perfectly
legitimate. So what is the rationale behind the existence of th inside
tbody's content model since we have thead ? I can see two reasons why we need
it, at least for the moment:

a) we may need th-like behavior outside of the first rows of a table, for
    instance in the first column. Yeah, ok, but we should be able to express
    that with a second thead, to be displayed vertically before the tbody.
    Unfortunately, it's not possible today.

b) tables we see in real life are complex, very complex. More complex than
    what allowed the original CALS tables model the HTML tables derive
    from. I just have to take an IRS form to prove that assertion. So yes, we
    need to place table headers in arbitrary locations, not only in a thead or
    a tfoot.

By pure similarity, I can't see any valid reason why we don't have an element
representing a tf in a tbody, i.e. a table footer's cell outside but outside of
a tfoot. So I think David's original question is a real one, that deserves a
more advanced, and probably a more constructed answer, than those we already
gave, and his argument "if we have th, why not tf?" is excellent.

</Daniel>
Received on Saturday, 18 September 2004 18:32:12 GMT

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