RE: Jade FAQ sorely needed

Subject: RE: Jade FAQ sorely needed
From: "Didier PH Martin" <martind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 11:39:41 -0400
Hi Frank,

I am currently writing a document form my notes but this is work in
progress. I am doing a comparison between:

a) CSS
b) XSL
d) Omnimark
e) XScripts ( a language I designed and still in the labs)

Balise is missing from the list and I think I should include it but before I
have to learn it.

I am using a simple XML document as benchmark source. My conclusions up to

a) Omnimark is very very versatile
b) XSL still miss a good expression language but is very strong for DOM tree
access. Its query language is well designed and versatile. The JavaScript
inclusion is incomplete and can be useful for marginal usages. The last
specs brought good improvements. The separation of XSLT and XSLF is good for
server side Outcoming servers. With the right JavaScript implementation
could be even more powerful than ASP. Political and philosophical issues
could prevent this full inclusion in the specs but some implementations will
do it simply because it is useful for their customers. Thus, XSLT for an
Outgoing processor is very promising. But, I can only comment from actual
implementations and current specs (otherwise, my act of faith should be
equally applied to all languages and end up with the result that all are
perfect and choice is simply based on other factors than its features, i.e.
price, availability, brand, religion, feelings :-)
c) DSSSL very versatile, Its expression language is very powerful. The query
language needs improvements, the DSSSL construct to access grove elements is
more complicated than XSL. The formatting objects are well designed and
James invention of the backend processors is clever. in several dimension,
XSL is a copycat of DSSSL.
d) XScrips. Useful for incoming XML or SGML document processing (in
processing compared to out processing for the other languages except
Omnimark), Its expression language is the most versatile (uses 4 different
procedural syntax Perl, Python, VBScript, JavaScript). However it is very
weak on the query language and should be improved on this dimension. It is
very near to Omnimark and takes from XSL its pattern match processing. But
still a work in progress. It is an open spec and anybody can do an
implementation. So, even if not designed by a committee, it is as open as
from other institutions.
e) CSS. Easy, compact, fast to learn. This language is less versatile than
others but has tremendous qualities for browsers rendition. With the
addition of transformation constructs as in STTS3 (form EDF) it is even more
powerful. My bet is that this will be the style language of choice for the
f) Balise. Cannot comment because I am learning it but it looks as powerful
as Omnimark and XScripts. From what I already learned, it seems to be very

I'll keep you informed as soon as the document is finished. You'll be able
to include it in your FAQ if you want. The process is also very useful for
me to distinguish between the hypes of evangelists, big pocket marketing or
religious attitude toward the software.

Frank, thanks again for you FAQ initiative.

Didier PH Martin

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-dssslist@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:owner-dssslist@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Frank Wegmann
Sent: Friday, April 30, 1999 4:12 PM
To: dssslist@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Jade FAQ sorely needed

As some of you are actually on the way for an improved Jade this
would also be the right
moment to establish a FAQ for installing/using Jade (in its current
form as well as in its future
yet-to-be-shaped form).

I did't yet work too much with Jade, but felt a FAQ would be very
valuable to newcomers.
Some very good work has been done already (e.g. the tutorial by
Prescod and especially
the Documentation Project hosted at Mulberry), but material
typically covered in a FAQ
is not always (or easily) found. This is what I think should be
handled by a FAQ:

* General Aspects
  What's Jade? in general, with regard to CSS/XSL/XFO... - what's

* Installation Issues
  The Easy Way - How To Compile Yourself (hey, nobody told me about
how to compile on my NeXT,
  but it works!)
  How To Configure a Working Environment (here I see a chance for
the Debian guys to step in
  with some remarks..)

* Using Jade
  How to use the backends - some common scenarios (got XML/SGML, now
where is the HTML output?),
  Common Pitfalls

  (*not* intended to interfere with DSSSL Doc Project etc.)
  Expression Language - Transformation Language - The Standard (uh oh)
  Typical Constructs Needed and Used
  Workarounds for features not (yet) implemented

Well, this is not thoroughly reviewed, just popping off my mind, sorry.
Nevertheless I think it would be a contribution to the community and
attractive for newcomers.
If people appreciate this idea, I would gladly step in as a
maintainer and even start writing
some items (if some of you are willing to correct my non-native English).

Any comments?

Frank Wegmann

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