Re: DSSSL Design Question

Subject: Re: DSSSL Design Question
From: Paul Prescod <papresco@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 26 May 1997 10:00:49 -0400
James Clark wrote:
> Since you can declare your own characterstics, why aren't they sufficient?
> Is it the fact that you can only get at characteristic values within the
> specification of other characteristic values?

Yes. I need them in content sometimes.
> I think it would desirable to allow #f instead of a public identifier in
> declare-characteristic, to mean that this isn't a characteristic that has
> semantics that should be passed to the formatter, but rather it's just being
> used to pass information down.

That would be fine, though I haven't had any problems with the system as
it is. It would be nice if it were possible to declare non-inherited
> One solution is what might be called first-class modes:

Yes that's one solution. But without the ability to manipulate flow
objects, the kind of higher abstraction stylesheeting I want to do is
still fairly difficult, so I don't know if it is worth adding to DSSSL
(but maybe the other benefits to first-class modes make them worth it).
Another approach would be "parameterized" modes.

Sometimes I want to reorganize flow objects, insert flow objects and do
other kinds of processing with them. The idea would be that the
stylesheet "end-user" would create flow objects and label them, and I
would post-process them into a "style" like LaTeX-report or
Wired-magazine or whatever. You could think of it as a two-step
transformation, but the first step does create flow objects, not nodes.
This is the other half of the problem I am having.

 Paul Prescod

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