[xep-support] Re: table column widths correct in FOP but not in XEP

From: LW White <lwwhite5@hotmail.com>
Date: Wed Jun 15 2011 - 14:21:28 PDT

Eric, Ken, Kevin--

Okay, I have a better understanding of the issue now, I think. While the spec could hardly have explained the default behavior in a more confusing matter, my interpretation is that if the @width value is greater than the sum of the column widths, use that and enlarge the columns accordingly. I can only assume that the reverse is also true...if the sum of the column widths is greater than the @width value, use that. In other words, let tables run over into the margin.

This seems to be a fundamental usability flaw in the spec. In DITA, the table width cannot explicitly be set by an author (i.e. there is no @width attribute for table). Most authors are unlikely to even know that a default @width="100% value is being written to the FO. Instead, an author will size individual columns as desired, with the expectation that those widths comprise the total table width and will be honored by the FO renderer. (Apparently @pgwide=0 is supposed to force the OT to honor column widths but it does not appear to be working.) So, in short, by honoring the specification, XEP is forcing tables to span the page body, regardless of an author's column width specifications.

I understand that in this respect, XEP is staying true to the specification, which is usually a very desirable thing. But I hope you can understand why the result of this honoring is not desirable and might be worth a revisit. While FOP's failure to consistently conform to the spec is often frustrating, in this case, it produces the desired and expected result...whether by accident or design, who can say!



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Received on Wed Jun 15 14:21:58 2011

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