a compromise on tables, etc.

Jay C. Weber (weber@eit.COM)
Fri, 3 Dec 93 09:32:43 PST

We've seen a couple applications developers beg for HTML+ table support
in browsers, and we've seen browser developers uses tables as the main
example of the impractical side of HTML+. Being a little bit of both
sides I'll suggest a compromise. How about a BOX tag that works like

<BOX size=20>
This is some text to be put in the box.

What this does is put the text into a rectangle of real estate of
width 20 "em"s. Height depends on how the text wraps. Then the
whole thing is treated like a single character ala the IMG tag.

One can build a wide range of tables with this, including spanning
titles. It won't be as easy to use as the LaTeX-style header
description, but hey, I can live with that. It should be very easy
for browser developers to implement, especially those that use
widgetry for display management.

One can also fake text that flows around images using BOX.

Of course, there are a number of nice bells and whistles that we could
add to this; here are some in my order of increasing work:

o add an align (top, middle, bottom) parameter, ala IMG

o add a rows parameter, ala TEXTAREA, for explicit height

o change or enhance the size parameter to take a multiplier of the current
window width, e.g. size=.1 says take 10% of the window width. This will
scale better in some cases.

o add an ialign (right, left, center) "internal align" parameter, to
specify how to align text inside the box

o allow for tags to next inside <BOX>...</BOX>, e.g., for images, forms
components, sub-BOXes, etc.

What do people think?