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From bugzi...@apache.org
Subject DO NOT REPLY [Bug 16268] - ant.apache.org uses tables for formatting.
Date Mon, 20 Jan 2003 18:30:13 GMT
DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL, BUT PLEASE POST YOUR BUG 
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http://nagoya.apache.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=16268

ant.apache.org uses tables for formatting.





------- Additional Comments From gus.heck@olin.edu  2003-01-20 18:30 -------
If your only criteria is do the bits eventually wind up in the right location on
the screen then you are correct. However there are other criteria for a good web
document. The logic you employ comes from a desk top publishing perspective,
which is different from web publishing in several critical ways.

1. Desk top publishing (DTP) results in paper output, which can only be read in
one manner. It can only be read by people, and can only be read with the eye.
All support for the handicaped, is entirely separate from the document produced
in desk top publishing. Nobody can actually look at a web document. (geeks who
shave and read memory chips with microscopes aside... I've heard that can be
done.) One can only read it with the aid of a computerized device. That device
*might* be a standard web browser on a desk top platform, which is what you are
assuming. However increasingly likely is the posibility that is palm base, or
phone based browsing, which in some cases treat tables very differently from
plain text. If the person is blind, it could be a text reader. If the person is
stuck somewhere they can't fire up a GUI, it could be a text only browser like
Lynx. Furthermore, unlike the paper produced by DTP, a web document may be read
by a *machine*. Machines have no way of understanding that this table is for
formatting and that table actually contains tabular data. If you dobut that, I
challenge you to write an algorithm for distingishing the two types of table...

2. Structured markup (such as xhtml) properly used describes what a document is
and what it contains. Formatting information is contained in the style sheet. It
is even possible to have a style sheet that specifies formating for visual,
print and aural media. This makes it possible for a (properly writen) browser to
render the page appropriately regardless of context.

Simplified structured markup is what HTML was originally supposed to be, but web
designers were in short supplie and Graphics Artists trained for print media
were in over supply, so much of the web design of the past decade was done by
people who only ever considered where the pixel lands on the screen. Many of
these people published books that sold well because there were a bunch of
(formerly starving) Graphic Artists trying to learn how to get on the Web gravy
train. 

Don't get me wrong, I don't fault them, every thing they did was logical and
expediant from their perspective. The web wouldn't be what it is today without
them, but the web can be more than it is, and we should be helping that process
not hindering it.

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