W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > October 1997

RE: CSS1 and tables

From: Chris Wilson (PSD) <cwilso@MICROSOFT.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 1997 14:21:20 -0700
Message-ID: <C35556591D34D111BB5600805F1961B908DCA4@RED-MSG-47.dns.microsoft.com>
To: "'Liam Quinn'" <liam@htmlhelp.com>, www-style@w3.org
> Liam Quinn [SMTP:liam@htmlhelp.com] wrote:
>First off, thanks for your feedback, Chris.  It really means a lot to
>hear from the developers on issues like these.

Not at all.

>Rather, the bug seems to be caused by IE3 and IE4 allowing a table to
>be contained within a paragraph.  IINM, this is a long-standing issue
>with IE, since it would always (and still does) render
>       <P ALIGN=center><TABLE>...</TABLE>
>with the table incorrectly centred.

If we could strictly follow the DTD, this would not happen.  For the
same backwards-compatibility reasons I've been talking about with table
cell rendering properties, though, we can't.

>I have to admit that your statement does not make a lot of sense to me,

>though it gives a hint of credibility to Netscape's statement that 
>"Following their original web design, tables do not inherit styles from

>the surrounding text or style sheet."  Perhaps you can explain to us
what 
>Netscape means by "their original web design", since you allude to 
>breaking compatibility with pages if inheritance into tables is
allowed.  
>Can you explain how this would break pages?

Hmm.  I don't want to be seen as lending direct credibility to that
statement - my opinion is that Netscape perpetrated that "original web
design", and the sole reason we have had to duplicate its unfortunate
side effects is that in order to increase our user base, we must be
compatible with the majority of content that's out there.  A stunning
percentage of this content was authored in a text editor and "validated"
by viewing in a browser that believed in this "original web design", and
therefore may rely on this defaulting of rendering properties inside
table cells.

I do not believe this is the correct model for tables - unfortunately, I
wasn't there when Netscape designed this "original web design" and
promoted the use of tables.  More generally, the design of HTML tables
implementations did not grow out of a consortium of interested parties,
and so there are some serious quirks.  (Incidentally, to give proper
credit - NCSA shipped the first implementation of tables in HTML in
Windows Mosaic.)

By "break pages," I mean that the visual representation of the page
might be very noticeably different.  From a purist standpoint, I don't
care about that, since it's arguably the "wrong" thing to do; from a
realist standpoint, though, our browser users demand this compatibility.

	-Chris
Chris Wilson
cwilso@microsoft.com
***
Received on Tuesday, 7 October 1997 17:21:38 GMT

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