Re: Jade for HTML

Subject: Re: Jade for HTML
From: James Clark <jjc@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 18:31:06 +0700
At 22:10 21/04/97 -0400, Paul Prescod wrote:
>Is the Jade SGML transformation engine appropriate for multiple document
>HTML websites? I know that the HTML transformation engine is currently
>undocumented, but it worked well for me, and I found it a very powerful
>and efficient tool. It may well be Jade's "killer app" in the sense that
>with a powerful library of functions it could make generating large
>websites easy. I'm not smart enough to figure out how to get the SGML
>one to do multiple output files and hyperlinks between files. If it
>isn't possible or easy I will go back to the HTML one.

It provides an easy way (the entity flow object) to produce multiple output
files.  It doesn't do the automatic translation of link flow objects into A
elements that the HTML backend does, and it would be non-trivial to do it
with  the SGML transformation backend.

The direction I want to go with the HTML backend is to allow it to handle
standard DSSSL stylesheets with no HTML-specific stuff in.  Any extensions
shouldn't be HTML specific.  For example, instead of doing (make element gi:
"applet" ...) you would have an applet flow object which could potentially
be implemented by a native DSSSL browser.  This direction is going to make
it increasingly hard to support people adding random bits of their own HTML
code using the formatting-instruction flow object.

For cases where you're writing an HTML-specific style-sheet which specifies
the exact markup that you want, I plan that the SGML transformation backend
will be the normal tool.  The piece that's missing at the moment is
something to provide convenient support for HTML style addressing.  I don't
want to do something that's completely limited to SGML: I think one
important use for the SGML transformation backend will be taking large,
complex SGML/XML documents and generating webs of small XML documents that
are simple enough to be handled by CSS1 (ie they don't require any generated
text or reordering, use tables in some standard model and so on).  One
important part of this will be to generate XML links from whatever linking
mechanisms the document uses internally.  I would like to design something
that's general enough that it can handle this as well as the HTML case, but
I haven't yet come up with anything.


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