Re: Weighing in on XSL / Standards
From: David Megginson <david@m...> >XSL inherits from at least two major sources -- FOSIs, which are/were >SGML instance-based stylesheets for typesetting SGML documents, >specified by the USDoD; and DSSSL, which is/was a declarative >Scheme-based language for transforming and formatting SGML documents, >standardized by ISO. I would say that XSL inherits from three major sources: surely calls for schemas to use element syntax have had some influence. The arguments that schemas will be easier to use and manipulate and read and treat as hypertext than some non-XML syntax can just as well be applied to transformation languages. (By the way, why isnt Michael Leventhal also saying that XSchema is a waste of time too: one can write DOM programs to do all that validation too!) > Both were implemented and used in >production-grade systems (in the case of DSSSL, only *partly* >implemented), and FOSIs were very heavily used through much of the >1990's. Dave has mentioned that DSSSL was only partly implemented, but it should be emphasized that this does not mean a failure in the DSSSL specification: for example, why on earth would James Clark's Jade implement Chinese vertical writing if RTF and MIF (i.e., his target outputs) do not support it. It is an ISO requirement to pay attention to internationalization; I know that some of the ISO WG8 saw DSSSL as an effort to gather and formalize knowledge about documents and document processing: ISO standards such as SGML, HyTime and DSSSL are not intended to be technologies (like Perl, perhaps) which are handy but which do not represent any theoretical or methodological gift to the world. They also function to raise the base-level of discussion by program designers about what is possible, what is needed, what is good, etc. It is quite like the CALS DTDs, where no-one implemented all the CALS tables model; however, vendors got together and made a common base-list of features they all would support: it raised the general capabilities of all. DSSSL came out of long discussions; the first DSSSL drafts used a non-LISP syntax, and (my understanding is) that adopting Scheme (LISP) gave the list-processing and functional power needed to get DSSSL going. There is a strong tradition in the text-processing world of using LISP: Interleaf, Cost. (11 years ago I co-wrote a C text processing tool for XML-ish SGML that used a little LISP for its scripting syntax; I found it worked fine.) >The real question is what kind of market penetration XSL will have. Then that is largely on of how well it is marketed, not the core technology! Rick Jelliffe xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev@i... Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1 To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; (un)subscribe xml-dev To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; subscribe xml-dev-digest List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa@i...)
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