RE: XSL-FO positioning inlines and blocks
In my somewhat limited experience with FO, I've resorted to tables a few times. I can justify it to myself by looking at the source of a PDF and noting that there isn't really any semantic value in there to begin with, so using a table for layout doesn't make it much worse. It does make me cringe on a philosophical level though.
Cringing is understandable, but we should learn to get over it.
J.Pietschmann is correct: "table" in FO more or less means "grid" and might better have been named so. (But typesetters have probably been calling them "tables" for longer than keyboards have had "tab" keys.)
"List" in FO more or less means "series of aligned pairs".
The semantic domain of FO doesn't allow for richer senses of "table" and "list". If it did, we'd have to invent something that didn't.
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