Re: CSS and XSL

Subject: Re: CSS and XSL
From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 18:47:14 -0500
At 04:43 PM 2/13/99 -0600, Paul Prescod wrote:
>"Simon St.Laurent" wrote:
>> If XSL can't deal with the style attribute, then maybe the XSL WG should
>> put some serious thought into how better to handle it.  As much as I like
>> atomization, being able to put style information into a single attribute
>> for handling by a CSS interpreter  - rather than cluttering my documents
>> and likely my DTDs with an incredible profusion of normally unused style
>> attributes - is convenient and usually downright sensible.
>You might want to hard-code, default or constrain particular CSS
>properties in your DTDs. You can do that if properties are directly
>represented as attributes.

Well, actually if I wanted to hard-code, or default particular CSS
properties, I'd do it in an external sheet - that's what they're for, and
that's why it's called 'cascading'.  Constrain?  Unless I was the
over-zealous corporate designer who wants to force everyone into a
particular letterhead, I probably wouldn't want to do that.

I could, of course, define style with a #FIXED value, if I really wanted,
but why?

>Anyhow, I'm asking/demanding that CSS be made XML compatible in the same
>way that HTML has been made XML compatible. Since XML is a fundamental
>building block of most upcoming W3C specifications, that seems reasonable.

Making CSS style sheets use an XML vocabulary is fine with me.  Making
every application that allows a local override of those styles declare an
enormous mess of attributes to represent every possible property seems like
a giant waste of time, processing, and energy.  And limiting people to the
style choices that a DTD designer came up with seems to violate the
principles that keep styles/formatting separate from structure.

>In my last message I've tried to show that XSL is only potential
>application that will have trouble with CSS syntax. DTDs, schemas, the
>DOM, query languages, RDF -- everything is based on the XML syntax for
>properties not the CSS syntax for properties.
>I'm not so much of a purist that I think that CSS's current syntax should
>never be used. All I ask is that when CSS is used directly with XML that
>it should align with XML conventions and syntax. It makes everyone's life

Yeah, aligning it is real simple:

<!ATTLIST myElement

Making it align with _your_ conventions, on the other hand, is a different
matter that makes lots of people's lives much more complicated.

We're on the wrong list here - this belongs in CSS-land, not XSL-land.

Simon St.Laurent
XML: A Primer / Building XML Applications (April)
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