Re: CSS and XSL?

Subject: Re: CSS and XSL?
From: "Chuck White" <chuck@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 08:25:13 -0700
Simon St.Laurent wrote:

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

It's still not. I use CSS with XSL right now. It's not even FOs versus CSS.
I am interested in using both in a publication environment, and am a bit
perplexed by the desire of some to remove one option.

>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
FOs *are* built on the CSS vocabulary. If I hadn't known CSS, FOs would have
been perplexing. Rather, because of CSS, they're intuitive. 

>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.

It doesn't generally happen at the late working draft stage. People have had
plenty of time to protest. Where were all the semantics bloodhounds when
people started using TABLE for design in HTML, anyway?

>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.

Again, the vocabulary isn't much different. If a vocabulary is defined by a
DTD, since I saw no DTD for, it's hard
to make any arguments about its merits (it may have a DTD, but I didn't see
it). Anyway, I'd rather see formatting described through a DTD in a series
of defined elements. Easier to pass progrmattically, according to people who
know more than I do. 
Chuck White
Creative Director
Advance Recruitment Advertising, Inc.

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