[xep-support] <fo:table-column> ... why?

From: Patrick Goetz <pgoetz@linuxcs.com>
Date: Fri Mar 27 2015 - 08:21:45 PST

I was initially under the impression that the <fo:table-column> element
implemented the functionality of the xhtml <col> tag; i.e. it specifies
a set of formatting specifications for a particular column, or set of
columns of table cells.

After some experimentation and upon re-reading the W3C spec, it's clear
that this is only true for the column-width attribute. Any other
characteristic is elective. For example, if I set

   <fo:table-column column-number="2" color="red"/>

The text in column 2 table cells will only be red if I specifically
request this attribute using the from-table-column() function:

   <fo:table-cell color="from-table-column()">

Does anyone know why someone thought it was a good idea to design the
spec this way? It seems much more logical to have characteristics
specified in the table-column apply to the entire column by default,
particularly since you can always override them in individual
table-cells when you need to. And in particular, this makes it chore to
transform xhtml <col> to xsl:fo.

Yet be to resolved is the mystery of the number-columns-spanned vs.
number-columns-repeated attributes of <fo:table-column>. Near as I can
tell, number-columns-spanned doesn't do anything; i.e. if I specify

   fo:table-column column-number="2" number-columns-spanned="2"

then try using <fo:table-cell color="from-table-column()"> for a table
cell in the 3rd column, nothing happens; i.e. the text is not rendered
in red; however if I specify

   fo:table-column column-number="2" number-columns-repeated="2"

and then use <fo:table-cell color="from-table-column()"> for a
table-cell in the 3rd column, then this does result in red text.

If someone knows what the purpose of number-columns-spanned is in
<fo:table-column>, please share.


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Received on Fri Mar 27 08:18:35 2015

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