RE: Style Matters - A class act

Subject: RE: Style Matters - A class act
From: "Didier PH Martin" <martind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2000 07:55:56 -0500
Hi Dave,

Dave said:
Flawed argument Didier, if the information provider is going
to give you access to the stylesheet, why don't they simply
link back to the XML source? That way I have the true
original semantics, without interpretation.
Does that make sense?

Didier replies:
True, we can, as well, have a pointer to the original XML document included
in the HTML document. However, it helps to be able to link the XML object to
their encoding into HTML. For instance, to know that the element <rowset> is
now encoded as the element <table>. I also impose a certain discipline to
create a container for all transformation. The container is then back-linked
to the XML document.

In fact, with the usage of templates you create rendition objects that are
often bigger than a single element. If you encode in the resultant HTML
document, to which element (or attribute) the HTML object group is related
to, then, you documented the relationship between the XML object and the
HTML group of object you used to render each XML objects. This also help for
other usages like re-use, debugging, documentation.

I know, because we are actually at the beginning of the XML era, we are
using "by the seat of the pants" techniques and poorly documented XSLT
scripts ( i.e. style sheets or transformation sheets). What David proposed
is a more formal way to do it that has the advantages to also allow the
linkage between any xml document (elements, attributes, text, etc..) and the
group of HTML/SVG objects used for rendition. The usage of a linkbase is
enough versatile to this usage.

A secondary advantage of having a link base (a document containing a set of
links) that establish a link between the rendition objects and the XML
objects is that you have a better debugging tool (if used properly by the
style sheet debugger) when you develop complex style/transformation sheets.
You can abstract, from the linkbase, the relationship between macro objects
(group of HTML/SVG objects) you created to render XML objects and each XML

Didier PH Martin
Email: martind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Conferences: Web New York (
Book to come soon: XML Pro published by Wrox Press

 XSL-List info and archive:

Current Thread