Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful

Subject: Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful
From: Stephen Deach <sdeach@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 09:03:08 -0700
You will note that the definition of *both* FO's *and* XSLT are REQUIRED
deliverables for the WG as specified in 2.1 of the XSL WG Charter.

You will also note that the first stated overall goal (Section 1.1,
paragraph 3) is:
  to define a language for the PRESENTATION of ... structured information.

The first portion of the XSL WG's charter reads as follows:
------begin charter fragment----------------------------------------------
1.1 Purpose

     The XSL Working Group is chartered to specify a style sheet language
     for XML and other structured markup languages. This language is known
     as "XSL" for "extensible stylesheet language."

     To provide for the requirements of advanced structured publishing
     applications for both traditional and Web environments, the XSL
     activity includes the specification of an advanced stylesheet
     language for structured information based on the DSSSL Style
     Language (ISO/IEC 10179:1996) and Cascading Style Sheets 2 (CSS2).

     The overall goal of this work is to define a practical style sheet
     language capable of supporting the presentation of and interaction
     with structured information (e.g., XML documents) for use on servers
     and clients. The language should support browsing, printing, and
     interactive editing and design tools.

     It will also provide for defining the display and behavior of highly
     structured data. To enhance accessibility, XSL will be able to present
     information both visually and non-visually. XSL is not intended to
     replace CSS, but will provide functionality beyond that defined by 
     CSS, for example, element re-ordering.

       1. that CSS1 is a W3C recommendation (that newer CSS versions are
          under development) and that a large body of documents use
          and will use CSS to specify the presentation of these
          documents, and 
       2. that the ISO/IEC 10179:1996 (DSSSL) specification provides
          1. a style specification language that covers high quality 
             publication formatting and 
          2. a model for explaining the semantics of this language, 

       the intent of the XSL effort is to define a style specification
       language that covers at least the formatting functionality of 
       both CSS and DSSSL. The intent is also that within XSL, the
       formatting properties and values of CSS1/CSS2 can be used with
       their current meaning. Where the functionality of CSS and XSL
       overlap, the style information shall be exportable in both XSL
       and CSS. As the XSL activity goes forward, the formatting model
       will be extended as a joint effort of the CSS&FP and XSL working

     The working group will take as its starting position the proposal
     submitted by Microsoft, INSO, and ArborText on 27 August 1997. The
     task of the WG will be to extend this draft into a suitable style
     sheet language for XML.

2.0 Deliverables
2.1 Primary deliverables
     The primary deliverables of the XSL WG under this charter are:
        1. A requirements document indicating the market requirements
           to be addressed by each version of the specification. 
        2. A specification of the Extensible Stylesheet Language,
           version 1.0 (and appropriate future versions required by
           the WG), to include 
           (a) a language for flow object tree construction and 
           (b) an extensible set of flow object properties/characteristics
               and values. 
        3. Minutes of each teleconference and face-to-face meeting.

------end of charter fragment----------------------------------------------

  Stephen Deach                            |  Sr Computer Scientist
  408-536-6521 (office)                    |  Adobe Systems Inc.
  408-537-4214 (fax)                       |  Mail Stop E15-420
  sdeach@xxxxxxxxx                         |  345 Park Ave
                                           |  San Jose, CA 95110-2704
                                           |  USA

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