Dump MULTICOLS, enhance DIV

Two suggestions for Netscape:


Dump the MULTICOLS tag in favor of enclosing the COLS, GUTTER (COLSPACE), and COLWIDTH elements in the DIV tag.

I do not understand the need for a new tag. The functionality of MULTICOLS is a logical enhancement to the DIV tag.

Consider the DIV element a section marker, with a section having one column by default. Multiple columns would be specified with the COLS=n attribute, with optional specifications for intercolumn space and column width.

I don't see how this would compromise the DIV tag. Non-column-rendering browsers would simply ignore the unknown attributes. The HTML markup would be cleaner than if an additional one-vendor tag were required.


Replace GUTTER with COLSPACE. GUTTER historically refers to the bound white space between pages (there's a logical analogy here), not between columns on a page. Someone expanded the definition in an Aldus Pagemaker manual and it seems to have become "common knowledge" among some desktop publishers without a conventional graphics production background.

Is GUTTER used anywhere else in HTML? Is it commonly understood? Is it used in popular word processors? (The MS Word manual refers to gutter space correctly.) COLSPACE (or something equally descriptive in a general way) would be more appropriate here.


Hoping these tags were tossed out for feedback, 

David Perrell

Received on Wednesday, 3 July 1996 18:08:28 UTC