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[Bug 27099] New: The "everyone wants" colspan="0" option for TD elements was dropped, yet the "no one uses" rowspan="0" remains?

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2014 16:00:34 +0000
To: public-html-admin@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-27099-2495@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>

            Bug ID: 27099
           Summary: The "everyone wants" colspan="0" option for TD
                    elements was dropped, yet the "no one uses"
                    rowspan="0" remains?
           Product: HTML WG
           Version: unspecified
          Hardware: PC
                OS: Windows NT
            Status: NEW
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P2
         Component: HTML5 spec
          Assignee: dave.null@w3.org
          Reporter: stephen.cunliffe@gmail.com
        QA Contact: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
                CC: mike@w3.org, public-html-admin@w3.org,

"The td and th elements may have a colspan content attribute specified, whose
value must be a valid non-negative integer greater than zero."

Back in HTML 4.x http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/tables.html#adef-colspan
the colspan"0" attribute on a TD element was spec'd to tell the user agent to
span the column across all columns in the colgroup.  This appears to have been

This is rather frustrating as it seems to conflict will developers' interests.

Only Mozilla/Firefox (AFAIK) correctly implemented this attribute value
behavior yet it is highly desired:
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/398734/colspan-all-columns (134 upvotes, and
21 stars!)

The resolution for developers is to specify a wildly inaccurate bogus high
number that exceeds the tables rendered column count.

Although effective in some scenarios it wreaks of sloppy coding and won't work
when the table-layout is set to fixed.

There's a bit more discussion about the colspan="0" and rowspan="0" attributes
in this bug: https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=13770

It seems that rowspan="0" remained because both Opera and Firefox implemented
it but because Opera didn't implement colspan="0" this item was "cut".

Whilst I understand the (if 2 browsers implement) rule for keeping items in the
spec this seems really messed up. I hate to be a spoil sport on this but if we
can't bring back colspan="0" and have browsers properly implement it, I'd
rather drop both attributes' (zero-value-scenario) as it will only cause
confusion to developers that both attributes exist, but only 1 has the magic
zero value that spans... and it is specifically ***NOT*** on the attribute
developers rarely want it on.

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Received on Saturday, 18 October 2014 16:00:35 UTC

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