Re: XSL in IE 5.0, or is it?

Subject: Re: XSL in IE 5.0, or is it?
From: Guy_Murphy@xxxxxxxxxx
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 18:00:37 +0000

Firstly, the old MSXSL I believe is dead, it was a technology preview
intended just to cover basic ideas. I beleiev all references to MSXSL as it
was are to be removed from the MS site within the next couple of weeks.

The current MS implimentation one would *hope* is the MS tracking of the
current XSL WG state at present ::shrug:: anybody know for sure? Got to be
somebody wired to the WG around here somewhere.

As for the difference is examples betweeen W3C and MS... they're entitled
to different implimentation philosphies, looking at ASP it's not suprising
MS favour the approach they do, as it most closely resembles standard ASP
implimentation (they've got to see XSL as an ASP threat).

Personaly I prefer the WC3 methodology for XSL although curiously I like
the MS approach to ASP templates ::shrug:: odd discrepancy in my tastes.

As far as where things are going, I like your good self, can't be sure. I
do know that the last time I looked at the XSL spec, editorial comments
made it clear that the like of <xsl:process-children /> was likely to
change in the direction that we now see in the MS implimentation of
<xsl:apply-templates match="..." /> maybe MS does know something we

As for what one should do given the current state of affairs? It's all
still draft so anything one does is a gamble. At this stage I see XSL as
something to play with in preparation for the final product, I'm not
planning on commiting any real development to XSL until it's ratified and
the dust settles. Hopefuly MS will the final XSL spec into IE5 when they
come about. I think they'd be nuts not to, especialy with with NS showing
sudden zealous standards commitment.

If you want to see funky stuff, take a look at what MS is doing with
XML/CSS in IE5 custom tags... a little bit of this, a dash of that :)

I'm normaly quite a fan of what IE has been doing with IE, but my current
fear with IE5 is that although I like the new features, that mixing them up
with XML/CSS/XSL is going to produce a mish-mash of standards freely

Anyway, drifting off topic here so I'll shut-up.


xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on 11/20/98 06:48:18 PM

To:   xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
cc:    (bcc: Guy Murphy/UK/MAID)
Subject:  XSL in IE 5.0, or is it?

 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)            |
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