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Request #6167 Definition of a column seems somewhat far from spec
Submitted: 2005-12-06 05:59 UTC Modified: 2006-12-16 05:52 UTC
From: sebastien_mouren at hotmail dot com Assigned: wiesemann
Status: Closed Package: HTML_Table
PHP Version: Irrelevant OS: Irrelevant
Roadmaps: (Not assigned)    

 [2005-12-06 05:59 UTC] sebastien_mouren at hotmail dot com
Description: ------------ HTML_Table seems to define a table column by its header cell (td or th) rather than using col and colgroup as defined by the HTML4 and XHTML specifications. This behavior allows support from many old-but-still-pervasive user-agents and relies on anonymous element insertion for column definition on user-agents that support it. Nowadays, more and more browsers support these column definition HTML elements. I think would be interesting to define such column element explicitly for semantics as much as styling. The risk to loose older browser support could be discarded by a fallback to the actual behavior if the author didn’t explicitly define its use in a well implemented set col/colgroup function.


 [2005-12-06 09:18 UTC] wiesemann
First of all, your proposal can't become the default behaviour because of backwards compatibility reasons. A well-known German (X)HTML tutorial ( states that <colgroup> is not fully implemented in current browser versions. Netscape 6 and Firefox should have full support, but Internet Explorer, Opera, Konqueror and Safari support only subsets of this. So I don't see much advantage of having support for <colgroup> in HTML_Table especially because the star variant (<col width="3*">) which is a unique feature of <colgroup> isn't supported by all browsers. Sebastian, if you have other experiences with <colgroup> and the browser support, please correct me as I have no experience with it and can only accept what's written in that tutorial.
 [2005-12-13 04:49 UTC] sebastien_mouren at hotmail dot com
Regarding browser support, I set-up a test page to obtain more information about <col>, <colgroup> and their attribute supports (CSS too). I will keep you informed of the results. <col>/<colgroup> supports in HTML_Table more flexibility and clarity in table setup. And it still offer huge adavantages in XHTML and CSS for expressing content separation or group and for easier styling. Thinking about the implementation side, it should be envisaged to default to a "quirk"(current) mode or to use the more expressive one. I'll keep this request updated with my research status progress.
 [2005-12-13 07:42 UTC] wiesemann
Thanks for your willing to do some further investigations. Please re-open this report if you have results.
 [2006-04-25 04:48 UTC] wiesemann (Mark Wiesemann)
This bug has been fixed in CVS. If this was a documentation problem, the fix will appear on by the end of next Sunday (CET). If this was a problem with the website, the change should be live shortly. Otherwise, the fix will appear in the package's next release. Thank you for the report and for helping us make PEAR better.