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Re: XSL Debate, Leventhal responds to Stephen Deach

  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@s...>
  • To: Paul Prescod <paul@p...>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 11:25:31 -0400

cross reference debate
At 06:28 AM 6/16/99 -0400, Paul Prescod wrote:
>Having done this process right, for a sophisticated document type, it is
>highly unlikely that you will be able to display your documents directly
>using CSS. Graphics will cause a problem. Cross references will cause a
>severe problem. Navigational mechanisms will be lacking...and so forth.
>
>Therefore you cannot just stick the XML file and a CSS stylesheet on your
>website. You must dumb down the XML somehow -- to HTML or to some weakly
>semantic variant that has redundant cross reference text, redundant
>navigational mechanisms, HTML-compatible IMG tags and so forth.
>
>Without some client-side transformational mechanism (either XSL or the
>DOM), CSS *discourages* the distribution of rich semantic information
>because it requires you to dumb down your data.

I'm afraid - in my opinion at least - that this is a gross underestimation
of the capabilities of CSS.  While CSS does not at present provide an easy
way to display graphics, this is:

a) easy to add 
b) dependent on XLink, which is thus far a no-show.

Navigational mechanisms and cross references have similar dependencies on
XLink, but I see no reason why they should cause 'severe problems'.

It's not there yet, mostly because XLink isn't there yet, but these are
hardly significant barriers.  If you want, we can put this part of the
discussion back on www-style, and see what people come up with.  Unlike
formatting objects, I think this is quite solvable.

Simon St.Laurent
XML: A Primer / Building XML Applications
Inside XML DTDs: Scientific and Technical (July)
Sharing Bandwidth / Cookies
http://www.simonstl.com

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