XSL in IE 5.0, or is it?

Subject: XSL in IE 5.0, or is it?
From: Elliotte Rusty Harold <elharo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 10:48:18 -0500
 I've been working with IE 5.0 quite heavily this last week and I'm coming
to the conclusion that there are at least three separate languages called

1. The one implemented by MSXSL which seems to mostly be a subset of the
original XSL proposal

2. The current XSL proposal from the W3C which may be partially implemented
by tools like Koala and FOP, though I haven't tested this personally

3. The language supported by IE 5.0 which seems at best tangentially
related to the first two.

In particular not only are almost all the elements supported by IE 5.0 not
present in the W3C standard, and vice versa; but the examples of simple XSL
stylesheets in the standard and the examples in IE 5.0 on Microsoft's Web
site seem to be based on diametrically opposed philiosophies of how to
transform XML to HTML. The standard seems to be based on transforming XML
elements according to a series of rules. IE 5.0 seems to use a completely
different scheme based on embedding XML data in an HTML template. (note:
this is NOT the same as IE 5.0's XML data islands in HTML documents. I'm
talking about the appearance of an XSL style sheet itself.)  In other
words, W3C embeds HTML to which XML will be transformed in XSL templates.
IE 5.0 embeds XML data inside HTML via XSL elements. These two approaches
just don't seem to be the same thing at all.

Am I out to sea, here?  I had previously gathered from discussions on this
list that there were only a few miner differences like <eval> between IE
5.0 and the W3C draft, but after working with them they're like night and
day.  Is Microsoft simply going off on their own? If so, are they likely to
come back to the fold before final release of IE 5.0?  Or do they know
something about future directions of XSL within the W3C that I don't?  More
access to current standards discussions would sure help a lot. But right
now I'm very confused about what I should do.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx | Writer/Programmer |
|        XML: Extensible Markup Language (IDG Books 1998)            |
|   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0764531999/cafeaulaitA/   |
|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://sunsite.unc.edu/javafaq/ |
|  Read Cafe con Leche for XML News: http://sunsite.unc.edu/xml/     |

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