RE: Venting

Subject: RE: Venting
From: "Didier PH Martin" <martind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 1999 09:06:19 -0500
Hi Guy,

CSS is easier than FOs, but the equation in one of CSS+HTML, which even at
a simple level I would suggest is not, and if one where to take exception
to that I would suggest that expressing pagination in CSS+HTML is not
simpler. You're arguements don't even begin to address the needs of our
brothers in print design, they wont be impressed by your suggestion that
they should use CSS+HTML.

DSSSL fulfil that niche very well. It has rich output with multiple formats,
and, in print you may need to get diverse output like Tex, MIF, etc... On
the oter side XSL fulfil needs for the Web.

Your point d) seems to lead on to suggest that the standards should only
follow implimentation, This approach again would kill nearly all the Web
standards we have. Also movements like WaSP have been established due to
the outrage at the ensuing chaos of implimentation running ahead of
standards, hence the nightmare that was HTML 4 + CSS browsers

I do not mean that. I meant that a spec is nothing until concrete
implementations reach the market beaches. As long as there is no concrete
implementations and usage of these implementations, a spec is nothing (in
the market). XSL is so alive today because there is concrete
implementations, otherwise it would be an empty space fulfilled with

You then return to say 90% of all implimentation are transformative, so
that can be taken as the definative decisiion. I would suggest as I have
before that this is a rediculous stance to take for a standard not yet
complete, aspecially for FOs. Everybody knows that neither MS nor NS will
impliment FOs until they're set in stone, as it requires serious reworking
of aspects of their browsers. They aren't going to do this while stood on
shifting sand, they'd be nuts to. I regard your line of reasoning here as a
non-arguement and against all reasonable expectations.

Guy, I simply took a very pragmatic view. Do you remember the post I made
about the time it takes for a new version to reach 90% market penetration?
For very pratical reasons, XSL will be used server side and to tranform XML
into HTML+CSS. Even _you_ will do that because of pratical reasons. Id you
don't, your content won't reach its audience. period.

On your own practical working practice, I simply respect that that is what
you like and percieve to be "a good thing", and I wouldn't seek to knock it
at all, we are all entitled to choose our prefered methodologies.

Its OK About methodolgies, I won't show you anything, you're a professional
and you know your job very well.

What I will add by way of expressing my own preferences is that in the work
I do I would like to kill HTML stone dead. As a mark-up expression it is
now more hinderance than a help. This is evidenced by the fact that I now
only use two elements from HTML, predictably, DIV and SPAN, the rest have
little bearing to what I'm matking-up. I am by using DIVs and SPANs
efffectively creating my own FOs. I would prefer there to be a standard set
of FOs..... but this arguement is already well expressed by others

 Guy, let's make a bet and I take people in this list as witnesses. Let's
bet that in September (after the august specs release - official date isn't
it?) your site use XSL with FO and XML output to be rendered with XSL with
FO aware browsers (So use the XSL FOs - client side). Is this OK? So what do
you bet?
Nevertheless, yes we need to move from actual FOs (HTML+CSS) to something
better - but these is legacy - 60 millions people that have to move and
believe me, a big mass like that don't move very fast. The Web is actually
experimenting what IBM experimented with its customer base and later on what
Microsoft is actually experimenting. To move a big customer or user base to
new stuff takes time and often more time than we think it takes.

Didier PH Martin

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