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Subject: adding CALS attrs to HTML tables

> From: Bob Stayton [mailto:bobs@sagehill.net] 
> Sent: Thursday, 17 March, 2005 13:29
> To: DocBook Technical Committee
> Cc: docbook@lists.oasis-open.org
> Subject: [docbook] DocBook Technical Committee Meeting 
> Minutes: 16 March 2005

> 12.  Table model purity (Bob).
> Bob proposed adding four CALS table attributes to the
> HTML table model in DocBook 5.   The attributes are:
> orient
> pgwide
> tabstyle
> floatstyle
> These attributes would allow HTML tables to be formatted for
> print output the same as CALS tables.  The original HTML
> table model does not have these attributes because it was
> not page oriented.  The DocBook 4 DTD cannot completely
> separate the table models because they share the same top
> level table element.  In DocBook5, the table models are
> separate and currently don't share these attributes.
> Norm wants to keep the table models separate to ensure
> interoperability with other applications.  He wants to
> avoid creating non-standard hybrid tables.  Bob pointed
> out that HTML table markup in DocBook is likely to contain
> DOcBook elements, so it cannot be cut and pasted into HTML.
> A straw poll of committee members indicated an even split,
> with many undecided members.  


In general, I "want" to be against adding "foreign"
attributes to the HTML table model tags, but I'm
having a hard time substantiating my gut reaction.
I'm still on the fence here, so I'm trying to think
about this some more. 

I rarely find myself using these attributes to affect
the styling of my tables.  So I need to understand 
better how you are using these CALS "table style hints" 
attributes to determine what the benefits might be 
to adding them to HTML tables.

floatstyle is not a CALS attribute.  

Do we really allow this on CALS table elements?
If so, then I don't see how we can argue not to
add it to HTML table elements.

The CALS tabstyle attribute is "an identifier for 
a table style defined for the application, possibly 
in the style specification."  One could argue to 
use either the style attribute or class attribute 
on the HTML table element to accomplish the same 
function, I suppose.  Not sure this is that much
preferable to adding this attribute to the HTML
table model.

Then the CALS pgwide attribute can be used to signal
spanning of multicolumn pages, and the CALS orient 
attribute can be used to to request that the table 
be put by itself on one or more landscape oriented 
pages.  Short of just punting to some use of the
class attribute on the HTML table tag, I don't know
how to accomplish this other than adding these
attributes to the HTML table model.

I suppose one could just say that you can't landscape
or span HTML tables; that that's the price you pay
for using the HTML table model because we don't want
to allow the creation of non-standard hybrid tables.

But I'm having a hard time getting worked up over 
this.  It seems we can add the attributes, and then
post a warning:  the DocBook DTD allows you to create
tables that go beyond standard CALS and HTML tables;
you gun, your bullet, your foot.

What do others think?


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