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: Mon, 24 Jun 2002 09:38:30 +0100
> If I've got some data I need to format five different ways depending on who's
> looking at it, with the p.i. I have no way of making the decision of who gets
> what variation. 

That's not a document, that's some data that you might want to make into
five different documents. XML is good for doing that, but so was SGML.
The point of XML was to be a lightweight form so that the source itself
could be served over the web rather than doing it SGML style and doing
the transformation at the production side.

> If all you are ever doing is one kind of transformation for one class of web
> browsers, then sure, you can use the p.i. ... but even then, you really didn't
> buy anything by separating your data into the separate document.

I disagree. Once you have a document, you might want to do other things
with it. Not least, print it. A Docbook+MathML+SVG (or XHTML+MathML+SVG)
document is a lot more useful and content rich than an HTML file with a
pile of gifs.

> That's another thing about the p.i. -- an application is free to ignore it.
> Under what circumstances is that *ever* okay, in a real world application?

Any application is free to ignore anything, a PI is no different from an
element. <script <style <object; none of these are guaranteed to have any

> But that's what people do every day, probably in far greater numbers with
> server-side solutions than with the xml-stylesheet p.i.

If they are server side solutions then aren't they shipping html rather
than XML?

> I'm also failing to see why XML is needed as the basis of all things Web, when
> the majority of web sites don't even have enough content to be worth isolating
> and organizing the data for.

I'm sure that thre will be more HTML content than XML on the web for a
long time yet (and if you include stylesheet free XHTML in that, then
that will always be the case). It isn't that all of the web should be
XML based, or even that all XML lives on the web, it's just that an
important, original, use case for developing XML requires something that
looks a lot like the xml-stylesheet pi, even if that is not relevant for
many of the current uses of XML.


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