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Re: [CSS2.1] col attributes: XHTML and CSS inconsistency?

From: Henri de Solages <mongolie2006-w3c@yahoo.fr>
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2008 15:04:52 +0000 (GMT)
To: CSS mailiing list W3C <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <304580.834.qm@web28613.mail.ukl.yahoo.com>

Thank you for that.
   Now, the very idea of a table (long before computer exist) is that cells are the intersection between rows and columns. In fact, the notion of cells is secondary compared to rows and columns in a table. If, at the intersection of the column "mathematics" and the row "John Smith", I write a mark, it means that this mark is related both to maths and to John: probably the mark John got in maths. In informatics, this is called double inheritance, and it is implemented (for instance in C++). Of course, you need rules in case of inheritance conflicts, and this is no more new than doule-inheritance. It had been the case in genetics for millions of years, with at least 2 solutions: dominance (if you got the gene "brown eye" from your father and "blue eye" from your mother, the "blue eye" character is ignored, but can be passed to the further generation), and co-dominance (if your father is black and your mother white, you may look like Obama).
   To my mind, computers have to manage to follows humans' mind more than the opposite, so that the informatics idea of "table" should be closer to the common idea of table than it is now in CSS's specifications. A table is not a list of rows whose elements would be cells, a table is rather the pair of a list of rows and a list of columns intersecting in cells. The last step is that cells may merge, inheriting the attributes of merged cells (if I merge the cells "John chemistry" and "John physics", it may indicates that the mark written there is a physico-chemistry exam's mark).
  Therefore I do think the model of table is wrong. Since it's difficult to change the model now, I would suggest another objet, called, say, "doubleentry", that would follow this new model. And the present "table" might be declared deprecated in CSS 4 or 5. Rows and columns would be compulsory, but not cells (non declared cells would just be empty). Cells with column rank outside the range defined for columns would be ignored.

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis wrote:

> See http://ln.hixie.ch/?start=1070385285&count=1 for a description of 
> the problem that accounts for this difference.

Received on Friday, 26 December 2008 15:05:33 UTC

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