Re: Netscape 6 lack of XSL support

Subject: Re: Netscape 6 lack of XSL support
From: "John E. Simpson" <simpson@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2000 08:51:44 -0400
At 06:48 AM 04/06/2000 -0500, Mark Volkmann wrote:
> Rather than supporting the formatting of XML documents through CSS1,
Microsoft has chosen to focus on formatting through XSL. As Tim Bray, a
co-editor of the XML specification has noted:

> "Microsoft's XSL efforts are very impressive, but (readers will pardon us
being something of a broken record on this subject) XSL is in the future."

> He further adds, "It seems obvious to me that for anyone who wants to
deploy XML in production mode right now, XML + CSS is the way to go."

I think these are absurd statements! CSS is far too limited to use for
presenting XML documents. It has zero transformation capabilities! Without
the "content" feature of CSS2 it cannot add new content to the output. It
can't sort. It can't reorder content. I've got to wonder if Tim Bray really
said that last line, "XML + CSS is the way to go".

Yes, he really said that. It's a little misleading though for Netscape to be reproducing the remark verbatim, without saying what "right now" means. Tim's comment actually appeared in an article written for in October *1998*, reviewing the *original* IE5 support for XML-related technology.

At that time it was (IMO) indeed right to say what he said. And in some ways it's still right (although I agree with you on the superiority of XSLT): implementations of the *display* (i.e. formatting objects) standard are still over the horizon. It'd be a boon if browsers supported the years-old CSS better than they do. (Although Opera and Mozilla are doing a good job with it.) Even right now in mid-2000, it'd be great to have both transformation capabilities and a fully-implemented display standard.
John E. Simpson | "After they make styrofoam, what do | they ship it in?" (Steven Wright)
simpson@xxxxxxxxxxx |

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