Tables, paragraphs, and structure (was Re: colours for bullets...)

Fred L. Drake wrote:
> David Perrell wrote:
> > 
> > I believe that tables and lists can logically be children of a
> > paragraph.
> David,
>   Can you site a precedent?  I don't believe I've ever seen this.  If
> the intention is to make the table & paragraph appear side by side,
> the sibling relationship is appropriate.  The only reason to support
> the table-as-child-of-paragraph approach would be to embed the table
> into the text flow of the paragraph.  I can't think of a meaningful
> example of this.

IMG. A table is typically an ordered arrangement of data that clarifies
some relationship, and it often relates to a specific phrase in a
paragraph. There is no conceptual difference between tables and images
in this regard, and an image could easily be (and sometimes is) a
bitmap representation of a table. Would it be reasonable to render the
table inline as can be done with images? No. But it is reasonable to
tie the position of the table to a particular place in the paragraph.
Since there is no way of knowing before rendering time where that
position will be relative to the top of the paragraph, this can only be
done by embedding the table element within the paragraph.

Re OL and UL: A list rarely if ever stands alone as a concept. A list
is usually an appendage to a paragraph, not a separate entity. To give
a list equal space above and below is not a reasonable presentation.

Re the 'structure' of HTML in general: Is it a tree? Does each
subsequent lower heading level grow a new branch? Are paragraphs
children of the preceding heading? The existence of DIV implies there
is no such structure. To call six heading levels, paragraphs, arbitrary
divisions, and a bunch of other content models 'document structure'
seems a bit of an overstatement to me.

(BTW, I'm moving this thread onto the HTML list since the topic is no
longer stylish. Anyone replying, please remove "" as a

David Perrell

Received on Thursday, 17 April 1997 16:10:15 UTC