putting XSL and DSSSL in perspective (was Re: Opinions???)

Subject: putting XSL and DSSSL in perspective (was Re: Opinions???)
From: Adam Di Carlo <adam@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: 27 May 1999 14:45:34 -0400
I'd like to give my take on DSSSL vs XSL.  I'm sure this topic is
going to come up again and again, but I'd like to address it.

My outlook is a Unix free software hacker.  I like Java ok, but the
fact there are no non-Java free XSL processors is a bit of a problem
for me (a) Java tends to be slow, and (b) Sun owns Java too much, and
there isn't currently a production ready free JVM.  But I don't want
to get sidetracked into a java debate.  I'm just stating my outlook.

My position is very simple: if you want to do DTD -> DTD
transformations, I really think XSLT will prevail over DSSSL.

Why using jade/DSSSL for DTD -> DTD transformation is not optimal:

* the DSSSL transformation language isn't really implemented in any
  free tools -- Jade uses a proprietary system.

* jade SGML transformation is too slow for a really scalable solution
  (I guess a caching system could really help) and the lack of it
  being based on a standard means that competing (fast)
  implemementations are unlikely

Why using XSLT for transformations is good:

* the XSLT paradigm of match/apply is better suited to DTD -> DTD
  transformations than jade's, uh, "functional programming" technique

The last point is probably debatable, however, I would pretty much
categorically state that you can prove (with some work) that, for any
given input, your output will be valid to a target DTD using XSLT, and
this is not really the case with jade's DSSSL transformation language.

On the other hand, I do not think that jade will be surpassed by
XSL-FOT for printable output for quite a while, if ever.  The idea to
have print/web single stylesheets is a good idea, I just don't think
it will become a reality before 2003 or later.

.....Adam Di Carlo....adam@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx<URL:http://www.onShore.com/>

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