Re: Language choice (was: Re: Interactive XML)

Subject: Re: Language choice (was: Re: Interactive XML)
From: Gregg Reynolds <greynolds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 19:13:24 -0400
Brandon Ibach wrote:
> So, could someone
> briefly explain, or point me to something online which explains, why
> a whole new standard is being created rather than some type of
> adaptation or profile of DSSSL?  TIA...

I've posted similar anguished pleas and the usual response is "it was
thought that..." or "it was decided that..." DSSSL was too hard, or too
"printy", or something along those lines.  Certainly DSSSL can be
improved, and it doesn't even address large areas of functionality of
great importance to the online world.  But I've never seen or even heard
of any reasoned critique of it (ok, I may not have been paying
attention, but if it's out there it's pretty well hidden).  I'd love to
see an account of exactly where "it is thought" that DSSSL falls short,
but I think we'll just have to infer this from XSL publications.  There
is some merit to the "too complicated" charge, but there is also some
merit to the argument that it, like many of its ISO cousins, is rendered
far more complicated than necessary by the language in which it is
written.  And I don't mean English.  The other complaint I've seen is
the old "too many parentheses" whine, er (sound of hyperventilating),
argument against Scheme.  

And remember that DSSSL is an ISO standard.  Great, international
consensus, but imagine how long it would take ISO to do an upgrade of
DSSSL.  Much better to have a strongly managed, quick and productive
organization like W3C do it; just pretend that ISO commissioned W3C to
adapt DSSSL to the web.  And in truth I think once the whole thing is
finished you'll find that indeed XSL is "some type of adaptation or
profile of DSSSL".  


(I only rant for myself.  Any organizations with which I am affiliated
will have to rant on their own.)

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