W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > March 2009

Re: HTML 4.01 Strict table attributes and downplayed errors

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 16:16:01 +0300
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <F480CC56-A11B-4D55-8C8A-46D1EA54B1E6@iki.fi>
To: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>
On Mar 31, 2009, at 15:40, Lachlan Hunt wrote:

> Henri Sivonen wrote:
>> Why aren't HTML 4.01 Strict attributes on table, td and th (except  
>> axis)
>> downplayed?
> The remaining attributes are:
> * align
> * valign
> * char
> * charoff
> Are you suggesting that the char and charoff attributes should also  
> be downplayed errors too, or should they also be excluded along with  
> axis because they're widely unsupported?

Good point. Perhaps char and charoff should count as failed features  
given that they haven't gained implementation traction in a decade. So  
no, I don't want to suggest that char and charoff be downplayed.

>> Is there a pragmatic reason why align on td and th isn't fully  
>> conforming?
> Because it is presentational and CSS handles alignment just fine.

CSS properties handle alignment fine. Selectors don't handle it fine  
usually without an author-set attribute to select on. It seems very  
silly to use class=right (or class=number to pretend semantics) when  
align=right works interoperably.

> Is there a reason align should be considered conforming?

Table cell alignment conventions are too complex to capture  
algorithmically. Therefore, it is useful to let the author set the  
alignment of a cell on a case-by-case basis. When existing UAs already  
support a simple attribute for the purpose, it seems silly to make it  
non-conforming and to ask authors to use something more complex to  
give the appearance of Separation of Concerns when in practice the  
authors still wants to control alignment on a per-cell basis.

> Are you suggesting that valign should be fully conforming too, or  
> just a downplayed error?

I think making it fully conforming would ease the adoption of HTML5,  
but I'm not taking a position on valign right now. I care more about  

Henri Sivonen
Received on Tuesday, 31 March 2009 13:16:43 UTC

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