Re: CSS and XSL?

Subject: Re: CSS and XSL?
From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 15:27:01 -0400
At 11:51 AM 6/10/99 -0700, Chuck White wrote:
>My point was that if the current working draft had taken a different form,
>there would have still most likely been debate, although I have no more
>empirical evidence that it would have been so than you do that it wouldn't

The battle lines would certainly have been different - it wouldn't have
been CSS vs. XSL, at any rate.

>So perhaps I should have said people who wanted FOs would have been
>the ones crying foul. Since FOs is the formatting model that has been
>included in the working draft thus far, it's pretty clear *somebody* is for
>them, and presumably they would be yelling if the XSL-CSS note had gained
>favor instead of the current draft.

I don't think anyone has genuinely made clear what advantages the XSL FO
syntax has over the CSS syntax, and why the XSL FOs couldn't have been
built on the foundation of a CSS vocabulary rather than going its own
direction.  Most of what I've seen have been blasts at CSS implemementation
in commercial browsers, rather than problems with CSS (particularly CSS2)
itself.  It seems to have been a political choice, and I have to say it's
been a lousy one.  XSL set itself up for opposition from the start.

>Consider the delays that will occur if we change direction now. Whether or
>not there *would* have been debate about a different way to manage XML style
>sheet capabilities, I hope you can understand that a change in the direction
>at this point would result in a debate at least as lengthy and spirited as
>the current one. Not to mention the time it would take to develop a model
>that works as well as the one currently in the draft.

Consider the delays that will occur if we change any direction now, on any
standard. It happens, and people deal with it.  As little as I like their
process, making decisions of this kind is exactly the task of the W3C, and
I hope they take this opportunity to insist on real changes.

I don't think _anyone_ considers FOs complete at this point.  XSLT may be
getting there, but FOs still seem half-cooked.  It's the right time to make
the change.  Let XSLT go on at their own pace, but make FOs work in a way
that builds on CSS rather than clumsily attempting to squash it.

I can't say I approve of formatting objects period, but having formatting
objects use a different vocabulary from that used in formatting annotation
seems remarkably foolish.

Simon St.Laurent
XML: A Primer / Building XML Applications
Inside XML DTDs: Scientific and Technical (July)
Sharing Bandwidth / Cookies

 XSL-List info and archive:

Current Thread