About background color

Subject: About background color
From: "Didier PH Martin" <martind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 21:47:22 -0500

It seems that there is a fundamental difference in the model supported by
DSSSL and CSS. But first the similarities:

a) both seems to be based on an object model where each object has a
property set. DSSSL is formally structured that way by grove and property
sets. CSS treat the processed document with an implicit grove and apply a
property set to matched items. Obviously these properties applied to grove
objects are not inherent object properties but properties owned by the
resultant formatting object. DSSSL call that FO and CSS elements.

Now the differences:
a) CSS elements have background color. This property is applied to all CSS
b) Some DSSSL FO have a background color property and some do not. For
instance the Box FO has a background-color property but not the character or
the paragraph FOs. What is surprising is that Character FO do not have the
background-color property. Most rendering systems can display colored
characters with colored background.

I am wrong to think that DSSSL was designed with a certain model and that
this model is more printed material than electronic displays? Or maybe I am
missing something?

In my work with the SGMLKit I created a folder with the same document
rendered with different output formats: rtf, html, text. I voluntarily used
the Microsoft simple example used to show XML rendering with CSS and XSL. I
found that DSSSL could be, as simple as CSS. The drawback being that DSSSL
FO lack properties like for instance background-color.

I'll publish very soon a new version of the SGMLKit (with improved doc and
bugs resolved ;-) This version will contain a sample folder containing the
same document rendered with different output formats created by CSS, XSL and
DSSSL. This greatly help to compare their advantages and drawback.

It seems that all the actual attention is on XSL. Personally, I found the
XSL template construct very useful. But for simple style sheets DSSSL is
easier to read as is CSS. DSSSL seems scalable, you can start with easy
style sheets a la CSS and ends with complete programs, CSS is not. However,
I think that DSSSL need a Youth revival and can be improved to be adapted to
screen displays. </opinion>

Didier PH Martin

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