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RE: Gutter language

From: David Perrell <davidp@earthlink.net>
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 1996 20:21:17 -0700
Message-Id: <01BB69E6.615B7980@max1-ag-ca-31.earthlink.net>
To: "'www-html@w3.org'" <www-html@w3.org>
Cc: "'www-style@w3.org'" <www-style@w3.org>
Just one more attempt at a logical argument and I'll call it quits.

I can understand why some here might feel the distinction between gutter and column spacing is moot. There aren't bound two-page spreads on the WWW. Many of us, however, are also involved in print. For us, space between columns and gutter space are quite different, and will remain so whatever Hakon Lie or Netscape decide to call the former.

The term "gutter" applies to a specific area of a two-page spread. Each page of this spread may also have multiple columns. The gutter and the space between columns will almost always be a different measurement. How do we communicate these measurements verbally if space between columns is also a gutter? Do we add a qualifier to the new gutter or the old?

It appears that in the early days of desktop publishing there was confusion regarding the meaning of gutter. In the glossary of Ventura Publisher Tips and Tricks (Ted Nace with Daniel Will-Harris, copyright 1989 by Peachpit Press, Inc.), gutter is defined: " In traditional typography, the space on the page between the inside edge of the type and the spine of a bound book. As used in Ventura's Margin and Columns dialog box, gutter refers to the alley between two columns of text."

Two related but different meanings for gutter cause confusion. It's not too late to promote clarity by choosing another name for column spacing. I proposed one candidate: "colin" (column interval), but I really prefer the above term: "alley." Consider a two-page spread with multiple columns: a gutter flanked with alleys. Who can resist that? Hakon?

Of course, WWW authors will be denied gutters. But from experience I contend that alleys are preferable

David Perrell
Received on Thursday, 4 July 1996 23:59:46 GMT

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