Re: how to deal with TABLE heartburn

On Wed, 22 Oct 1997, Jason White wrote:

> I must admit that I do not understand why the proposed attributes
> are named AXIS and AXES. It is a geometrical metaphor which is not
> obvious to the uninitiated. I am inclined to agree with Al that
> the names could be changed, but would like to know what the
> original motivations for the names AXIS and AXES were. 

Its quite simple. The data cells are considered to hold values
at locations in a n-dimensional space determined by the values
of the headers that apply to each such cell.

The headers often form groups and correspond to marks along
a conceptual axis in this n-dimensional space. The axes attribute
for a cell then gives you the location for this cell in terms of
its location on each of the axes. The axis attribute on headers
is used to name which axis a given header belongs to.

A final consideration was that "axis" and "axes" are short,
something that is important for those of us that still use text
editors for HTML, a reasonable choice considering that current
wysiwyg HTML editors produce questionable markup as their output.

p.s. I fix up any typo's and tidy up the handwritten HTML
afterwards using a utility I hope to make available free from
early next year. 


-- Dave Raggett <>
phone: +44 122 578 2984 (or 2521) +44 385 320 444 (gsm mobile)
World Wide Web Consortium (on assignment from HP Labs)

Received on Wednesday, 22 October 1997 13:38:55 UTC