RE: venting

Subject: RE: venting
From: "Didier PH Martin" <martind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1999 15:35:05 -0500
HI Sebastian,

hear hear. keep the S in XSL! Having destroyed DSSSL by promising the
world and loads of sweeties with XSL, I take it as sad
that the big boys now want to jump ship, and leave formatting stuck in
the doldrums for another decade.

In fact Sebastian, there is a high probability that big guys will first
implement CSS in their browsers. This will help them create some
independency between the rendering engine and HTML (they did it a bit with
the DOM but it still need more work) then after could implement the XSL FOs
(as long as the model is strictly identical to CSS that I think is probably
what is discussed seriously within W3 closed doors). This will probably will
the course of action for Microsoft and will be for Mozilla (we don't have
any work in progress in Mozilla for XSL only CSS1 and 2).

Just take the time it took to get CSS1 compatibility - at least two versions
and about 2 years... this could gives you some clues of how long it can take
before we get XSL client side. Add to that the traditional turnover of
clients replacing their actual version which to gain approx 70% penetration
needs about 2 years too. As an other example, take HTML mail. Is this list
using HTML mail? But MHTML specs are about 2 1/2 year old. Hope this will
give you a clue of how long technology introduction takes in the market
place. To split the spec in two could at least increase the penetration rate
and favor small producers by introducing XSL server side and, for a while,
as long as enough clients do not have XSL client side, render in HTML. This
is strictly business comon sense. If we hope that client side support will
be so fast then why then are we not using HTML mail? Sorry to bring some
"down to earth business sense".

I am sad too about dsssl potential disappearance, probably more than you
think. At least it is used for internal usage and for SGML. I am sad too
about SGML being replaced by XML but progress is what the collectivity
decides. Sometimes the collectivity can make also good choices like for
example splitting XSL in two. At least to favor competition and not always
big guys deciding for us in the end and everybody crying because the big guy
takes it all. Maybe it is caused by own behavior and institutions in which
we put our trust. We have a chance here to change this and I fully support
Paul's initiative toward that goal. Never forget that standards are driven
by action. And a manisfesto signed by enough people could _be_ a standard
especially if it is supported by real implementations ready for the market

Didier PH Martin

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