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RE: How is it possible to devise such a feeble system?

From: Jeffrey Yasskin <jyasskin@hotmail.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2001 11:26:04 -0600
To: "'Sampo Syreeni'" <decoy@iki.fi>
Cc: <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000201c15fd5$9f6650c0$682d7481@bluejay>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ssyreeni@cc.helsinki.fi 
> Sent: Sunday, October 28, 2001 5:11 AM
> Subject: RE: How is it possible to devise such a feeble system?
> 
> 
> On Fri, 26 Oct 2001, Jeffrey Yasskin wrote:
> 
> >Now, if CSS provided a way to express axes for headers, this table 
> >would be exactly equivalent to an HTML table to all CSS-capable 
> >browsers. The browser doesn't have to understand the new XML 
> dialect, 
> >it just has to understand CSS.
> 
> So what is the role of XHTML? We have no need to standardize 
> such a thing if every last semantic thing there is can be 
> enumerated as a valid value for the display property.

XHTML allows a browser to contain a default stylesheet so the author
doesn't need to include it. IIRC, each version of CSS so far has
included an updated default stylesheet for HTML. XHTML also works well
as an interim measure until CSS catches up to the necessary presentation
rules.

> This is 
> an objection I already raised: if table /semantics/ can be 
> marked in CSS, why not abbreviations, addresses, citations 
> and so on, ad nauseam?

The _presentation_ of those elements should be included. Oops. I seem to
have reversed myself. . .

Goal: CSS needs to be able to reproduce in an arbitrary XML grammar the
_presentation_ of anything currently available in XHTML.
That means that we need a way for my example to sound like a table in an
aural browser. In order to do that, we need a way to group the elements
in rows and columns, and a way to associate header information with
certain cells. Obviously the table properties are supposed to be used
for that. So, in order to tell an aural browser how to present a table,
they have to include some semantics. (If I'm wrong on that, tell me how
to write a stylesheet to display my example aurally without encoding
semantics)
You're suggesting that in an aural browser {display:table} would encode
semantics, but in a visual browser it wouldn't. Certainly that's a
possible direction for the spec to go, but I don't think it's a good
idea.

Here's my example again:
<rates>
  <title>Rates</title>
  <amount>$0-$1000</amount>
  <amount>$1000-2000</amount>
  <amount>$2000+</amount>
  <period>
    <length>6mo</length>
    <rate>2%</rate>
    <rate>3%</rate>
    <rate>4%</rate>
  </period>
  <period>
    <length>2yr</length>
    <rate>4%</rate>
    <rate>5%</rate>
    <rate>6%</rate>
  </period>
</rates>

<style>
rates {display:table}
title, amount, length {display: table-cell;}
title, length {speak-header: once;}
amount (speak-header: always;}
period {display: table-row;}
rate {display: table-cell;}
</style>

To Table module editors: In the current table model, there's no way to
display this aurally either. We need that way to associate header
information with certain cells before it works.

Jeffrey Yasskin
Received on Sunday, 28 October 2001 12:24:55 GMT

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