Re: The "supercharged FONT tag": CSS vs. XSL

Subject: Re: The "supercharged FONT tag": CSS vs. XSL
From: "James Tauber" <jtauber@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 13:55:06 +0800
In his post, David Baron makes the comment that has often been made in this

"if these useful transformations are mixed with formatting
objects instead of elements with meaning (such as HTML, possibly with
CSS), they are no longer useful for people using alternative devices or

First of all, FOs as they currently exist don't have that much less
accessibility than HTML and it is easy to modify them to achieve at least as
much accessibility. As they stand, FOs indicate lists and list items,
tables, etc. The only *accessibility* difference I see between FOs and
HTML+CSS is that using block for headings versus paragraphs is not
distinguished and nor is emphasised text. This is easily solvable by, as I
have suggest before, FOs having a property with an ICADD type. (eg <fo:block

Secondly, David (and others) seem to have this view that on the one hand
there are "elements with meaning" and on the other "formatting objects".
This is a misunderstanding, in my opinion.

Whether an element has meaning or not is entirely dependent on whether the
recipient application understands the vocabulary.

Consider the XML


With CSS "annotation" I might get:

    <Foo css:display="block" css:font-family="sans-serif">Hello</Foo>

With XSL transformation I might get:

    <fo:block font-family="sans-serif">Hello</fo:block>

In what way is the latter "no longer useful for people using alternative
devices or disabilities"? Knowing that the element was a Foo ("an element
with meaning") does absolutely nothing for accessibility!

So I fail to see how XML + annotation with CSS does *anything* more for
accessibility than FOs.

The whole argument seems bogus to me, especially if, as I have suggested,
FOs have an ICADD-style attribute on them.


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