re: Style Matters - A class act

Subject: re: Style Matters - A class act
From: "Vun Kannon, David" <dvunkannon@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2000 11:07:29 -0500
	If you've read Didier's fine effort on, please indulge me in
a response.

	The overloading of the CSS2 class attribute 'works', in a rough and
ready way, to help pierce the 'semantic firewall' of XSL transformation. It
should be recognised, however, that any time you overload a construct, you
risk a collision with its intended use. Especially in the case of an
attribute, where there can only be one of that name per element.
	The solution works for direct element to element transformation. It
is unclear to me how it handles transformation of attribute content. You
can't attach a class attribute to another attribute.

	I'm of the opinion that a more general solution is the creation of a
set of Xlink elements during transformation. This set of links captures
exactly which nodes of the source document(s) influenced the creation of
exactly which nodes in the result. Ideally, I think this link document would
be a separate document from the source and result documents. Ideally, this
link document would be produced automatically by the XSL engine, via command
line switch or input parameter, because it is far easier for the engine to
do than for the stylesheet writer to do. Whenever the engine is about to
emit a result tree node, emit a link to the link fork/document/database
which specifies the context nodes from the source and the result nodes being
	This will work between any XML sources and any XLinkable result. In
particular, a direct manipulation GUI needs to drill down through the
presentation layer to the semantic content over and over, traversing these
links to get at individual characters of content at times. In such usage
scenarios, industrial strength linking between source and result is a

	I hope my suggestion of automatic link output is taken seriously by
XSLT engine authors. Even as a debugging tool, it would be valuable.
David vun Kannon
Manager, Financial Services
KPMG Consulting LLC
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