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Inconsistency in HTML 4.01 regarding NBSP

From: Andrey V. Lukyanov <land@long.yar.ru>
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 2010 15:03:44 +0300 (MSK)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <alpine.LFD.2.00.1001151454480.6672@long.yar.ru>
== Inconsistency in HTML 4.01 specification regarding NBSP ==

Section 9.1 (White space) defines white space as four ASCII characters
and line breaks. No-break space (&#x00A0;) is not included in white
space definition. The section also states:

>> This specification does not indicate the behavior, rendering or
otherwise, of space characters other than those explicitly identified
here as white space characters. For this reason, authors should use
appropriate elements and styles to achieve visual formatting effects
that involve white space, rather than space characters. <<

It means that behavior and rendering of no-break space are undefined,
and that no-break spaces are not recommended for use in HTML documents.


At the same time, Section 9.3.2 (Controlling line breaks), subsection
"Prohibiting a line break" states:

>> Sometimes authors may want to prevent a line break from occurring
between two words. The &nbsp; entity (&#160; or &#xA0;) acts as a space
where user agents should not cause a line break. <<

This paragraph directly recommends the use of no-break spaces.


All this is rather confusing and misleading.

To avoid ambiguity, Section 9.1 (White space) should explicitly state 
that, although no-break space (&#x00A0;) is not white space, it is 
rendered exactly like an ASCII space except that no line break is 
permitted between words separated by a no-break space.

Received on Friday, 15 January 2010 14:10:10 UTC

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