[CSS21] Should CSS table fixup apply to HTML tables?


It appears that there is some cross-browser inconsistency in the scenario of generating anonymous HTML table objects. I was wondering if anyone has dealt with this issue before.
The only related thread I could find was http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2006May/0106.html but this doesn't really answer my questions.

According to section 17.2 (http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/tables.html#table-display) the model applies to HTML elements as well as elements with the appropriate display:table* property. The default stylesheet in Appendix D also applies the correct display type to each element (http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/sample.html).
However the rules in section 17.2.1 (http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/tables.html#anonymous-boxes) do not match current browser behavior for HTML table elements (with no display:table* properties applied).

Please see the attached files.

Tablefixup_TR.htm has the following markup:


TD has a red background applied.

IE7 and Opera will put the <TR> elements at the top of the table, each as a separate row element.
Firefox 3 and Safari appear to take the content of the <TR> elements out of the table, and put it on top.
IE8 generates anonymous table objects according to CSS rules. The content will be displayed in the order specified in the markup.

Similarly, consider the attached file tablefixup_TFOOT.htm, which has the following markup:


IE7 put the <TFOOT> at the top of the table as a row group.
Firefox and Safari take the content out and put it on top of the table.
IE8 and Opera put it at the bottom of the table as one would expect with a table footer.

So my questions are:

1.       Do developers on this list rely on this behavior? IE8 has made significant changes and we are concerned about compatibility with legacy HTML tables.

2.       Have other UAs decided to keep this around as legacy behavior, or is this something that might be fixed?

3.       CSS3 will not be more "stringent" than CSS2.1 in requiring HTML fixup to change. Are there any other related plans that would modify such behavior?

Thanks in advance!

Saloni Mira Rai
IE Developer Experience PM

Received on Tuesday, 17 June 2008 05:27:01 UTC