> This should indeed be handled better, but your FO is actually very dubious... 
> In fixed-layout, the number of columns and their respective widths are 
> ultimately determined based on 
> the cells in the first row. There is no obligation for an implementation of 
> XSL-FO to even process the 
> offending cells in the next rows...

It appears that I've been thinking about that recently. In the current
code, the number of columns of a table is the maximum number of columns
in the first rows of:
- the table-header, if any;
- the table-footer, if any;
- each (and every!) table-body.

AFAIK it is specified nowhere in the Recommendation how this number of
columns should actually be computed. The CSS2 spec doesn't tell anything
about this either. In the HTML 4.01 specification, it is stated that
(adapted to FO vocabulary) if there are fo:table-columns elements, they
fix the number of columns, otherwise this is the number of columns in
the row having the most columns.

We could mimic the HTML specification to a certain extent, that is:
- if table-columns are specified, they fix the number of columns and any
  row having more columns would be considered erroneous;
- otherwise, I see two possibilities:
  - either we use the row which has the most columns; this would have
    a potentially heavy impact on memory consumption since the table
    would have to be read in its entirety. IIC that's already the case
    today, but if we are to implement some producer-consumer model as we
    recently discussed about this will become noticeable. But that would
    be a nice-to-have for users who don't care about memory consumption
    or for simple tables. All the more than if they do care, they would
    just have to add fo:table-columns objects.
  - or we do as currently, that is rely on the first rows of each
    table-header/footer/body. But then we would have to take only the
    first table-body into account, to avoid a bad impact on memory.

I'm personally in favor of the first solution, because it provides means
to satisfy everyone: speed as well as flexibility.


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