[Bug 5993] New: [SER] HTML indent and the CSS white-space property


           Summary: [SER] HTML indent and the CSS white-space property
           Product: XPath / XQuery / XSLT
           Version: Recommendation
          Platform: PC
        OS/Version: Windows NT
            Status: NEW
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P2
         Component: Serialization
        AssignedTo: zongaro@ca.ibm.com
        ReportedBy: mike@saxonica.com
         QAContact: public-qt-comments@w3.org

For the indent attribute of the XHTML and HTML output methods we say:

the (X)HTML output method MAY add or remove whitespace as it serializes the
result tree, so long as it does not change the way that a conforming HTML user
agent would render the output.

There is also a Note saying "This rule can be satisfied by observing the
following constraints: ..."

The way that a conforming HTML user agent renders the output may depend on the
CSS white-space property for the style in question. (This has values "normal",
"pre", and "nowrap"). In the presence of white-space:pre or white-space:nowrap,
a serializer that follows all the rules given in the Note will nevertheless
cause a change in the visible appearance of the HTML in the browser.

It does not seem to me appropriate to expect the serializer to know anything
about the CSS styles in use by the HTML user agent. This suggests that we
should make the set of constraints in the Note normative, rather than the
intent of not changing the visible appearance.

We might also want (in a future version) to consider adding a serialization
attribute along the lines of saxon:suppress-indentation - see


(this was actually introduced for a different reason, to handle islands of
narriative content within a data-oriented document, as seen for example in our
errata documents)

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Received on Tuesday, 26 August 2008 15:47:54 UTC