Re: fresnel for tabular layouts?

From: Chris Bizer <>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 12:03:08 -0500


I have been playing around with displaying tables using Fresnel.

The result is an example how CSS tables can be used to render the friends of
a person, which is found here:

We don't need additional terms for rendering tables with Fresnel, but the
browser has to be pretty smart.

The problem is, that the CSS table styling language is intended for styling
XML and expects all table-header labels to be children of one XML element in
front of the other XML elements containing the actual data.

But our intermediate format, which I proposed two days ago, models the
labels in a different way: They are repeated for each instance.

So what a browser would have to do in order to make tables work is to:
- look in the containerStyle CSS styling instructions for "display: table"
- if it finds display table, it would have to render that part of the
intermediate tree the way CSS expects it.
- or if the browser directly renders HTML, it could also put HTML table tags
at the appropriate places.

So, I think we shouldn't invent new Fresnel vocabulary for tables (the
nessesary semantics are covered by CSS terms), but leave it to the browser
to handle the CSS terms in an appropriate way.

What do you think?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Stefano Mazzocchi" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2005 11:28 PM
Subject: Re: fresnel for tabular layouts?

> David R. Karger wrote:
> > How is fresnel going to handle tabular layouts? I don't think css can
> > decide to put things in a table---
> > most of the html i've seen, even if
> > using css heavily, still uses <table>, <tr>, <td> tags in order to
> > construct the table. If these are fundamental tags for the
> > intermediate representation, should fresnel have specific knowledge of
> > them and vocabulary for using them?
> I don't think so. It's the job of the fresnel implementation to convert
> the vocabulary into HTML in case the client is not capable of
> understanting CSS table indications, not of the spec itself.
> --
> Stefano Mazzocchi
> Research Scientist Digital Libraries Research Group
> Massachusetts Institute of Technology location: E25-131C
> 77 Massachusetts Ave telephone: +1 (617) 253-1096
> Cambridge, MA 02139-4307 email: stefanom at mit . edu
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
Received on Thu Mar 24 2005 - 17:03:14 EST

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