OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

docbook-tc message

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]

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

Hi Paul,
As you say, examining the purity of CALS tables in DocBook is useful.  The
CALS table model supports two parameter entities %bodyatts; and %secur; for
attributes, which don't seem to be defined in the CALS standard. [1]  I take
this to mean that any number of additional attributes can be defined in
those PEs to add to CALS tables.  In DocBook, the bodyatts PE is populated
with floatstyle, label, and the new rowheader. The secur PE is populated
with all the DocBook common attributes, of which there are 17 in  V5.0.  So
CALS interoperability seems to permit the addition of any number of
attributes on the table element through these two extension parameters.

The HTML table model does not have such an extension mechanism.  In the
current proposal for HTML tables in V5.0 [2], the common attributes are not
permitted on the HTML table element or its HTML descendents.  I have to
wonder if that was intentional, or if this concept of table model purity
requires it.  I suspect DocBook users would revolt if they didn't have the
common attribs on HTML tables.  So perhaps we should also discuss whether
HTML table elements should permit the DocBook common attribs.  If those are
permitted, then adding a couple more attribs from the CALS table model seems

Regarding interoperability of table models, currently an XML application
supporting a CALS table has to support, or at least recognize, the
additional attributes defined in the bodyatts and secur parameter entities.
For example, an editing application needs to read the schema and add those
attributes to the choice list for CALS tables.  Those attributes don't
affect the element content models, so the application can properly arrange
the rows and columns on the screen.

If an application also supports HTML table markup in DocBook, they will also
have to read the schema, because the table cells contain content that is not
necessarily HTML.  If it handles the CALS tables with arbitrary attributes,
it would seem adding attributes to HTML tables would not create problems.
Again, the extra attributes would not modify the content models of the HTML
table elements.

If interoperability means moving an HTML table between a DocBook document
and an HTML file, then a few extra attributes in the HTML table would not be
a problem.  HTML browsers simply ignore extra attributes.  A bigger problem
would be any DocBook markup in the table cells, which could create
unreadable output.  In a sense, we have already created a hybrid table model
by permitting DocBook markup within an HTML table cell.  So I think it would
be useful for those who desire interoperability to define it in terms of
real requirements.

So let's first decide if HTML tables should have the common attribs.

[1] http://www.oasis-open.org/specs/a502.htm
[2] http://www.docbook.org/tdg5/en/html/html.table.html

Bob Stayton
Sagehill Enterprises
DocBook Consulting

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Paul Grosso" <pgrosso@arbortext.com>
To: "DocBook Technical Committee" <docbook-tc@lists.oasis-open.org>
Sent: Friday, April 08, 2005 9:33 AM
Subject: [docbook-tc] 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?


To unsubscribe from this mail list, you must leave the OASIS TC that
generates this mail.  You may a link to this group and all your TCs in OASIS

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]