Re: CSS and XSL

Subject: Re: CSS and XSL
From: Chris Lilley <chris@xxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 18:21:47 +0100

Paul Prescod wrote:
> "Simon St.Laurent" wrote:
> >
> > But (on my reading), css:chunk is only for use within a separate style
> > sheet, not within documents that apply style sheets.  It's a good move, and
> > maybe something that could be extended to style application within
> > documents, but I don't think it's there yet.
> I don't follow you. I complained that the problem with CSS *as an XSL
> target* is the basic paradigm of using a single attribute for style
> application. 

Or a single element or a link to a pre-existing style sheet. I agree
that XSL is not currently suited to generating non-XML  output (but see
that as a benefit not a drawback).

It is perfectly possible to use the transformational part of XSL
together with the XML 1.0 and CSS 2.0 Recommendations, *today*, *now*.
Just use XSL to rip through your data-like XML, spit out document-like
XML, with a link to a CSS stylesheet or stylesheets suitable for that
class of generated document.

> That note shows how to use CSS as an XSL target where each
> property is broken out into its own attribute. 

That note however, falls between two stools. It isn't CSS, so nothing
understands the syntax. You would need to implement a specisl CSSFO
formatter just to understand it and provide formatted output; as we have
seen there aren't exactly a whole queue of people eager to implement FO

It doesn't provide any functionality that CSS doesn't, so (unlike XSL
FOs) there is no incentive to work hard for greater capabilities. It
complies with neither CSS nor the XSL WD.

> If SVG had followed that
> document's lead then SVG would be a reasonable output format from XSL.

When choosing between an established Recommendation and an unimplemented
note with no actual benefit ... erm, that wasn't very difficult.

If you can show that XSL could do the necessary transformations to, for
example, go through a spreadsheet expressed in XML and generate some
standard business graphics of those numbers (ignoring the style part for
now, as I said you can always use a link) then I might be more

As it is, that looks like a prime candidate for a DOM program rather
than an XSL style sheet. I have reason to believe that XSL is not wells
uited to this particular task.



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