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Re: lynx-dev LYNX: should nested <blockquotes> indent even further?

From: David Combs
Subject: Re: lynx-dev LYNX: should nested <blockquotes> indent even further?
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2002 18:00:39 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.4i

On Wed, Nov 27, 2002 at 07:02:55AM +0000, David Woolley wrote:
> > 
> > QUESTION: are nested <blockquote> tags supposed
> > to indent more, the deeper nested it becomes?
> Nested blockquote tags, i.e. <blocquote<blockquote>> are illegal.
> For nested blockquote elements:  HTML is not a page description language.
> It does not mandate any particular presentation for any particular element,
> even though the spec may suggest ones or mention typical current practice.
> As such, the question is meaningless.
> The presentational behaviour of a browser without style sheet support, or
> the default style sheet for ones which are purely style sheet driven are
> a matter of choice for the designers.  The speciment style sheet in the
> CSS2 specification indents both right and left and does so indefinitely,
> even if the result goes to zero width!
> The sample is invalid, because it contains the non-existent characters
> &#146; and &#147;, but I can't see any structural error that would
> affect things here.  I haven't put it through the validator.

Well, I ran the html through netscape, and it came out
as apparantely intended, beautifully indented (nested).

Whether or not HTML is or isn't a page-description (text-
description?  concept-description?) language, seems to me
that maintaining that hard-headed *beaurocratic* attitude
toward displaying text -- to hell with you intend, we'll
do it the way *we* think *proper* -- does *not* serve
the user.

Especially, as in this case, doing so *changes the 
meaning* of the text:

Here we have someone commenting on someone else's
writing, and the creator of the .html-file clearly
intended to show the reader what was his own
comments and what was being commented on, to
distinguish between them not by words but by
"in your face" visual appearance -- well, that's
his/her intention, his/her communication, and
by *not* doing what he *expects* to be done
(say, before posting he looked at in netscape
or IE (which presumably indents the same way
as netscape; someone maybe try it and see),
we *sabotage* not just the sender, but also
the reader!

Worse, *far* worse, we *now* know that we're
doing it (not doing the double-indentation
that's done by (almost) the "national standard" --
maybe I'd better capitalize that -- the
"Official National Standard" -- that, it seems
to me, constitutes not just innocent negligence,
but "aggravated" negligence.

I mean, suppose it were some legal document
being published via the net, that people
were to rely on.

Worse, suppose it were placed on some official
federal site, and authored by, say, either or
both of Mssrs Aschroft and Ridge, both of them
armed with both patriot and homeland
acts!  (Prize: free trip to Guantanamo!)


Look, it's ok to not handle some things,
like javascript, or tables -- because
we make it VISUALLY EVIDENT to the reader that this
is the case.   (Looks so horribble (tables) or
gives explicit message (javascript).

But this indentation thing -- is NOT self-evident
that we're doing something quite different from
IE and NS.

Myself, I think the legal implications of this decision
demand that we change our ways on this one issue,
and simply copy what NS and IE do.

Taking some beaucratic approach of interpreting the
fine print and then stolildly refusing to budge --
in my opinion, not so smart.

Especially these post-9/11 days, when what acts are deemed
to violate a law come not via slow "due process",
but by instant sound-bite from, say, Mr. Ashcroft.

Need I say more?


PS: When I add IE to Netscape, I'm assuming that IE
does as does (at least my copy of) Netscape.  Should
someone find that not to be true, that of course
changes everything!


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