Re: Style vs. Transformation

Subject: Re: Style vs. Transformation
From: Jani Jaakkola <jjaakkol@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 20:05:30 +0200 (EET)

On Wed, 4 Mar 1998, Jacques Deseyne wrote:

> Paul Prescod wrote:

> >The style language is
> > [...] 
> >demonstrably a *complete* transformation: any transformation that 
> >can be expressed in any other transformation language can be 
> >expressed in the style language. It is also a *good* transformation language.
> > [...]
> Has this been demonstrated somewhere ?  I'd be interested in any pointers.

This just follows from the fact that DSSSL-style language is
Turing complete. Therefore any computing problem that can be
solved with a computer can also be solved with the style language.
Transformations are just one class of computing problems.

The question which remains is, which way of doing transformations
is more elegant or just simply better or easier: the Jade way or the
DSSSL-transformation language way?

IMHO,  Jade proves that the style language with SGML
flow objects can have enough power and expressivity so that the
DSSSL-transformation language isn't really needed. But i'm sure
that not everyone will share this opininion.

> >But I see no reason to require XSL implementors to implement independent
> >transformation and style application steps.
> Probably, an independent transformation step seems overkill in a _Style_ 
> language. But why couldn't you expect requirements for modifying the document's
> structure during processing ? Do you really believe that the frequent transformation 
> needs among SGML users (evolution of DTDs, authoring vs. repository DTDs, ...)
> will all of a sudden disappear because they're using a fixed concrete syntax ?

The need for transformation language won't go away for sure.
The point is, that the style language with SGML flow objects could
also be the answer to transformation problems.

- Jani

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