Re: [xsl] xml-stylesheet p.i. and other options (was Re: text/xsl...)

Subject: Re: [xsl] xml-stylesheet p.i. and other options (was Re: text/xsl...)
From: David Carlisle <davidc@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 23 Jun 2002 22:16:24 +0100
> I'm just saying that what we typically use XSLT for makes certain
> application design patterns and abstractions more sensible than others, and
> <?xml-stylesheet?> tends to be one of the less sensible solutions.

It seems to me that the xml-stylesheet pi embodies the main use case for
which XML was developed. 

XML is a _document_ format without implicit presentation semantics (so
unlike HTML for example) as such you need to need a link between the
document and some presentation rules.

One may argue whether a PI with "pseudo atributes" was the best possible
syntax choice but that's a minor point. The fact of having a
vendor-neutral link from the document is the important point.

Without such a thing then one can not hope to serve XML files over the
web, and XML was _designed_ to be SGML-light for exactly this purpose.
It may be that current hype of XML usage is towards data transmision
formats (where the PI is irrelevant rather than harmful) but I believe
the original use case that lead to the development of XML is still
So, server side transformations, while sometimes useful, especially for
serving to legacy HTML browsers, are not really the point, and microsoft
(or any other system) specific scripting is totally out of the question
in an open document format. So at the present time I see no alternative
to the PI, and any alternatives that I can imagine would differ in
syntax rather than functionality. The link doesn't have to be in the
file explictly but it does have to be in the URI of the document.
If you could standardise on a URI scheme that allowed specification of
both document and stylesheet that would be an alternative, but there
currently is no such scheme (as far as I'm aware).


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