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Subject: Re: [dita] table models [was: Meeting Minutes 7/20/04 -- DITA Technical Committee]

Paul Grosso <pgrosso@arbortext.com> wrote on 07/21/2004 01:32:31 PM:

> HTML table rules are more limited than CALS.  The table tag has a frame
> and rules attribute, but you cannot turn rules on and off at the row
> or cell level.
> HTML tables are also restricted in column width specifications to just
> unitless integers (implying pixels) or percentages.
> The CALS model doesn't have markup to specify cell background shading color.
> I think that's most of the non-trivial capability differences.  Given that,
> I'd say the CALS model still has the capability advantage.

What I get from this, however, is that this presentational advantage is only possible for printed format; when you output your CALS content using those features to HTML, the carefully crafted point measures and rules get down-converted to whatever HTML can support anyway.  Perhaps the question is not about greatest potential for authoring, but rather about greatest popularity for rendering.  In that respect, going to the HTML model as source means that PDF loses out on the ability to support those rules and close column control. In a production environment trying to keep authors focused on content rather than appearance, perhaps thats not such a bad tradeoff?

> I agree.  (My most favorite model and the most capable of major models out
> there today is the XSL-FO one!)

Every real writer I know secretly desires to code raw fo:-namespaced table markup by hand. ;-)  It's the only way to fly, man.

Don Day <dond@us.ibm.com>
Chair, OASIS DITA Technical Committee
IBM Lead DITA Architect
11501 Burnet Rd., MS 9037D018, Austin TX 78758
Ph. 512-838-8550 (T/L 678-8550)

"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"
--T.S. Eliot

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