Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful

Subject: Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful
From: Stephen Deach <sdeach@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 19:20:21 -0700
  If I aurally walk an XSL FO tree (ignoring the preliminary layout
definition stuff), I get a completely understandable result. So, I need to
ask, what problem are you trying to infer.

Also, based on your interpretation:
 1.) The IRS will never issue another form.
 2.) People who can't hear are precluded from having an
     understandable visual presentation.

  XSL allows you to produce a presentaion that is (minimally) as rich as,
and (potentialy) richer than, HTML+CSS for BOTH aural and visual
presentations (independently or concurrently).

At 19:29 1999-04-23 +0100, Wendell Piez wrote:
>XSL List--
>Despite a real interest (this is just the kind of "soft" problem I feel
>comfortable with) and wanting to interject more than once, I haven't
>posted on "XSL Formatting Objects Considered Harmful." But I just got a
>pointer to a ZDNet story, which suggests that the concerns of this
>thread may soon be of more than casual interest, at least to U.S.
>ZDNet won't let me paste out, but the the paraphrase I received (in a
>bulletin from NINCH, the National Institute for a Networked Cultural
>Heritage at ) reads:
>> The Government will shortly unveil new requirements under the
>> Americans With Disabilities Act for the Web sites of companies
>> doing business with government agencies. Similar requirements
>> will shortly affect all of us operating online.
>It is hard to know what such guidelines and requirements would cover;
>taken to its logical conclusion, however, the disabilities issue would
>imply the _universal_ deployment (at least as far as "companies doing
>business with goverment agencies" are concerned) of a set of abstract
>FO's with richer semantics and cross-media descriptive capabilities than
>layout-oriented <xsl:block> or <DIV> elements. It is certainly worth
>asking who the government thinks should design these, and how they are
>to be standardized across platforms -- not to mention how this
>requirement is to be reconciled with the idea of a "semantic web." Can
>we have our cake and eat it too?
>Personally I don't think of Formatting Objects delivered to the client
>as evil in themselves: it simply depends on what kind of functionality
>you want to empower at the receiving end, and in this the deliverer of
>the information will always be able to take the upper hand (except when
>it comes to paying the bill). Rather than focussing on FOs as such (as
>others have said), we should focus on the critical issue, the behavioral
>semantics available to the client (whether hardwired in browsers,
>supplemented with scripts, or merely potential), how these are to be
>known, and how FOs work as an instrument to this end. This is what
>providers and users of information at the high end will be negotiating
>so fiercely. (And I include impecunious XML/web developers at the high
>end. Don't fool yourself: in this world, being a member of the
>techno-elite counts for alot.)
>Onward and upward--!
>Wendell Piez
>Wendell Piez                            mailto:wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>Mulberry Technologies, Inc.      
>17 West Jefferson Street                    Direct Phone: 301/315-9635
>Suite 207                                          Phone: 301/315-9631
>Rockville, MD  20850                                 Fax: 301/315-8285
>  Mulberry Technologies: A Consultancy Specializing in SGML and XML
> XSL-List info and archive:

  Stephen Deach                            |  Sr Computer Scientist
  408-536-6521 (office)                    |  Adobe Systems Inc.
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