Subject: Re: [xsl] Re: xsl 2.0?|
From: Paul Tyson <phtyson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 2013 18:39:41 -0600
It is clear there are substantial barriers, itemized by Liam, to W3C fulfilling the promise of XSL-FO by carrying it through to 2.0 and beyond. I believe this leaves a gap in the processing standards for XML and HTML, one that will become more troublesome before it goes away. A toolchain comprised solely of XML processing tools (xslt, xproc, xquery, etc.) is better in many ways than one that has some XML tools and some CSS tools. It is a shame to let CSS outpace XSL-FO, forcing users who want to use advanced formatting features to extend their toolchain and processing paradigm to deal with the CSS syntax and processing model. CSS is terrific for what it does, and as another poster on this thread said, this is not about either/or, better/worse, or turf war. But beyond the vocabulary of property names and a largely compatible semantics for that vocabulary, the paradigms and processing models of CSS and XSL-FO are different. If all you want to do is "apply style to HTML (or XML)", then, from the outside, it is immaterial what approach you take. And if your world is exclusively HTML, then CSS is a good choice. But many industrial users work in a world where HTML is just a subset of their requirements--the tip of an iceberg that is mostly about selecting meaningful chunks from multiple large variegated datasets and presenting them in useful formats, one of which might be HTML. Those who (like me) want to use the power and simplicity of XML processing for these tasks, need a set of standards to support the process end-to-end. Not having advanced formatting objects capabilities leaves a gap in that processing chain, as I have only recently discovered. So far I have been able to work around the deficiencies without much trouble, because I have only implemented simple features. But I have in mind more sophisticated formatting and behavior that cannot be specified in XSL 1.1. Ideally it would be possible for XSL-FO to specify all the formatting and many of the behavior features possible in HTML5, PDF, and modern office document formats. Regards, --Paul On Sat, 2013-11-09 at 20:40 +0800, Liam R E Quin wrote: > On Fri, 2013-11-08 at 09:20 -0500, Charlie wrote: > > I've followed this thread with great interest. > > > > I'm the in-house XML Developer for a large US defense company. XSL-FO is > > used extensively in military technical publishing. We have complex > > documents with extensive cross referencing and strict pagination > > requirements. I cannot see CSS ever supporting those requirements. > > Since I don't think any MIL-STD people turn up at CSS meetings, I agree > it's unlikely, but you should not be too dismissive. I remember an > accountant at a former employer telling me that credit card companies > would never accept payments over the Internet.