[ILUG] tabstop sort of thing in html
ilug at moil.demon.co.uk
Sat Oct 2 00:03:55 IST 1999
On Thu, 30 Sep 1999, Caolan McNamara wrote:
> Basically when converting automatically a wordprocessor format to
> html we cannot practically convert usages of tabstops to
> tables or paragraph indent values. It is just not viable, so it
> would be wonderful if html had a concept of placing components
> at fixed horizonal positions.
Seems to me that WP text using tabs is not placing text absolutely since
it is dependent on font spacing. I cannot see how you can replicate this
without knowing the original character spacing. A table seemed a
reasonable choice to allow columns but you've rejected this. My next
choice would be <TT></TT> with a fixed font and tabs padded to
No method will be perfect though because generic tab stops are
inherently ugly since they are font and pitch dependant. As a rule,
niether multiple spaces nor generic tabs should be used with
variable pitch fonts!
This isn't a short-coming in HTML, its a deficiency in WP programs
that allow it to happen; all the proper text layout systems like
TeX, HTML, DTP and probably SGML only allow tabs in <TT>-like
constructs for this reason. Then again, how many WP programs do you
know that pretend to be document layout systems? Another source of
this problem is man pages which include multiple spaces as well; try
ghostscript.1 in TkMan for an example.
yes, this is a pet hate....
Sysop MOIL BBS +44-1247-273357
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