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document structure & presentation format [Re: Float overflowing behavior]

From: Vadim Plessky <lucy-ples@mtu-net.ru>
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 13:33:17 +0400
To: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Cc: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-Id: <200208271333.17594.lucy-ples@mtu-net.ru>

On Monday 26 August 2002 10:08 pm, Boris Zbarsky wrote:
|  > |  > Most documents do not have any structure, anyway.
|  > |
|  > |  Then we should stop pretending that they do.
|  >
|  > Good idea, BTW!
|
|  And we should author the documents in a pure presentation format like
|  PDF then.  Why bother with markup if you don't care about the structure?

Is MS Word document in *structural* or *presentation* format?
I think both is vaild, as:
* it has some internal structure
* MS Word users usually expect doument to be visible (rendered well), and of 
course readable!
 
I intentionaly take such quaestionable format, as MS Word's .doc, as HTML and 
(in less extent) CSS are questionable formats, too.
Of course they are documented better, but questions remain...

I think if we take again Word Processor(WP)  paradigma, and add DTP (Desktop 
Publishing System), than we will recognize that DTP has better handling of 
document's structure than traditional WP.
In other words, Quark Xpress or Adobe InDesign are better in creating document 
structure (and separating structure from presentation) than MS Word 2000 or 
Word Perfect. (I am taking well-known names only, just for illustration)

And, BTW, Word 2000 is stil able to export HTML :-)
I am taking a smile here as quality of that HTML is really terrible.

If you ever took any stufy *how* typical Word users behaves (I mean here: 
types text), you wil notice that:
* suppose you have paragraph of text
* you entered another paragraph
* now you want to add extra space between those paragraphs
And what's typical solution (taken in 99% of cases)?
User places cusrosr between those 2 paragraphs, and presses <enter>, which in 
fact creates 3rd paragraph.

Nothing new (I hope).

At the same time, DTP user would take style list, and either:
a) add "spacer" style to list of style, and format that paragraph "in between" 
as spacer
or
b) add extra margin before/after paragraph (for the default style)

BTW: I have tried to explain how to do this (and why you should do this) to 
several WP users.
they:
a) were surprised
b) replies that it's very annoying,a nd prefered to press <enter> instead

Do you see my point now?
You can design very good system (and CSS is not very good system in its 
current state), and people will still prefer to use it in *their own way*

***
as about PDF.

PDF is *final distribution* format.
SVG in many aspects is very similar to PDF, it's also *final distribution* 
format.
You can say sentence "Hello World" and put (position) each character 
individually, with individual spacing (both in PDF and SVG). There will be no 
structure of <paragraph> or <sentence> with some CSS format applied, after 
all.

On the other hand, HTML/CSS allows (partial) re-formatting/re-layout, and it 
can't be considered as *final distribution* format.
It still can be used for publishing, though.

|
|  > table for *tabulat data* is ok, IMO.
|  > Let's say: tables *without attributes* (styled via CSS) are ok.
|  > Tables produced by FrontPage or other authoring tools - no.
|
|  Are you talking about HTML tables or CSS tables here?  You should really
|  make that clear.....

HTML (XHTML) tables styled with CSS are o.k., IMO.
They jsut should not have attributes, like rowspan/colspan, width, etc. 
(encoded in HTML, as attributes)

|
|  Boris

-- 

Vadim Plessky
http://kde2.newmail.ru  (English)
33 Window Decorations and 6 Widget Styles for KDE
http://kde2.newmail.ru/kde_themes.html
KDE mini-Themes
http://kde2.newmail.ru/themes/
Received on Tuesday, 27 August 2002 05:35:37 GMT

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