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Subject: Re: [docbook-tc] adding CALS attrs to HTML tables


I'm a big believer in keeping the table models "pure" because it helps with 
application inter-operability.

That stated, I find that the HTML model is not as powerful as CALS. Many of 
the features from CALS that are useful (e.g. decimal alignment, multiple 
table groups) appear in the XHTML table model. For this reason, the NLM DTD 
(http://dtd.nlm.nih.gov/) has two table models, CALS (of course) and XHTML 
(rather than HTML). However this DTD has also been setup on a modular basis 
so that additional table models can be added by an end-user if necessary 
(e.g. at one point, we thought we'd need to add the old Elsevier DTD 3 
table model)

So I'd advocate switching from HTML to XHTML, but also leaving the open 
hooks as NLM did so that anyone who's not happy can freely add an "impure" 
or alternate table without having to change the models already available.



At 12:33 PM 4/8/2005, Paul Grosso wrote:
> > 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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Bruce D. Rosenblum
Inera Inc.
815 Washington St. #3
Newton, MA 02460
617-969-3053 (office)
617-969-4911 (fax)

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