RE: [xsl] Good practice (CSS,XHTML) was: Re: [xsl] First character in a word as capital-letter.

Subject: RE: [xsl] Good practice (CSS,XHTML) was: Re: [xsl] First character in a word as capital-letter.
From: "Nathan Young \(natyoung\)" <natyoung@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2005 10:27:03 -0700

> > > The <b> tag is still around, but not being used as you
> might think:
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > (Here it's used to give the effect of rounded corners
> without images)
> >
> > IMHO, adding extra tags purely to achieve visual effects is
> as bad as old html tag soup with table-layout cream.

Exactly!  CSS zen garden is a great proof-of-concept and many of the
designs are truly impressive.  If you dig a little deeper though there
are some real problems with it:

 - lots of hooks in the HTML that are there only for hanging markup
on... No semantic
   meaning at all
 - many of the layouts have critical pieces of content that's text
rendered into gifs
   and placed via css.  So 1999!!!
 - many of the layouts depend on the exact text of that particular page.
Changing the
   length of certain paragraphs breaks the layout

I agree that most of this is off-topic for an XSL list and should move
to the css list, but I do think there is one particular aspect that is
apropos to XSL development.

CSS and XSL can overlap where they are both used for display formatting.
XSL can be used to generate HTML layouts that don't depend on css at
all. In fact the project that I work on adopted XSL when netscape 4.7
and IE 4 were the primary browser targets, and at that time CSS could be
used reliably only for basic font styling.  So we have XSL that cranks
out some pretty complex HTML code with very few CSS dependencies.

More recent front end code removes a lot of the complexity and moves
much of the rest into the css files, so the XHTML code is dirt simple
and by extension so is the XSL.  Just because it's simple doesn't mean
it isn't fulfilling a real function though.  In order to have elegant
CSS and XHTML, the two have to work together to support the particular
visual/interaction design that's being asked for.  That's not to say
they have to be tightly coupled in every way... If you know the
parameters that need flexibility, you can build in great flexibility
(often at the expense of either simplicity, pixel perfection, or
semantic purity)

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that when building systems that use
XSL, XHTML and CSS to render a page, the design considerations span all
three layers.


> > An equally bad practice I consider the extensive use of CSS-hacks.
> You might want to try this one on css-d (
> as it's off topic for here.

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