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definition of area

From: Fotis Jannidis <fotis.jannidis@lrz.uni-muenchen.de>
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2000 11:30:01 +0200
To: xsl-editors@w3.org
Message-ID: <398E9DB9.29743.9A504E@localhost>
In the last xsl wd you write:

"4.2.1 Area Types
(1)There are two types of areas: block-areas and
inline-areas. (2)These differ according to how
they are typically stacked by the formatter. (3)An area can have
block-area children or inline-area children as determined
by the generating formatting object, but a given area's children must all be of
one type. (4)Although block-areas and inline-areas are
typically stacked, some areas can be explicitly positioned."
(sentence numbering is mine)

This is a rather unfortunate non-definition mixing two thoughts: sentences 1 and 2 
introduce important subcategories of the category 'area' and also hint at what makes the 
difference (the way they are stacked). Sentence 3 introduces a new thought: there are 
constraints which kind of area an area can have. Sentence 4 comes back to the first 
thought (definition of subcategories) and states that there are exceptions. 
There are two problems: first you start with a definition which is none, because the 
reader needs an explanation in what way the stacking of block- and inline-areas differ. 
Second the explanation of the constraints comes in the middle of the 'definition'. 

You could change it like this: 

"(1)There are two types of areas: block-areas and inline-areas. (2)These differ 
according to how they are typically stacked by the formatter. (3) [Comes a sentence 
explaining the different stacking mechanism and pointing to the more technical definition 
later on] (4)Although block-areas and inline-areas are typically stacked, some areas 
can be explicitly positioned."
[Here comes the rest of the section until the beginning of 4.2.2]
An area can have block-area children or inline-area children as determined
by the generating formatting object, but a given area's children must all be of
one type. "

Actually I am not sure whether this is a good definition: we have two kind of areas 
defined by the way they are stacked, but there are also areas which are not stacked, 
but positioned. It would be a cleaner definition to say: we have three kind of areas 
defined by the way they are positioned, block-areas are stacked in the way x, inline-
areas are stacked in the way y and float areas are explicitly positioned. But I must admit 
that I haven't really thought through all conclusions from this new definition. 

Fotis Jannidis

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Received on Monday, 7 August 2000 05:28:08 GMT

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