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RE: XSLT vs. CSS (Re: Indexing)

reference css from xsl
At 11:38 AM 7/9/2003, Didier wrote:
>Totally true. However in recent work I am doing that involves a lot of
>usability (After so many years going back to my early Xerox PARC days :-), I
>came to the conclusion as Marshall McLuhan came to before me that the
>"medium is the message", said differently, the layout also convey some
>information like for instance non verbal mimics also convey additional
>information to the spoken words. Hence, I am not so sure that the cascading
>mechanism which seems practical in theory is that much practical in the real
>world. Changing the layout may change some part of the message the author
>intended to send. Off course, if the author of the message is taken over by
>some convulsive mimics to accompany the spoken words, or that the layout is
>as ugly and idiosyncratic as my aunt wallpaper then for sure a cascading
>mechanism would find a lot of buyer, but this is a different story :-)

In other words, sometimes precise presentation semantics are vital to 
communication (as magazine advertisements must have high production values 
or they betray the products they are trying to sell -- if this isn't the 
case for you then why are you buying ads in *Vogue*?) -- other times not. 
(I really don't care what color paper your fax machine prints on as long as 
you can read it.) Part of the message of the web medium is some aspects of 
information can be held constant even while others vary, or escape control 
altogether. My red just isn't the same as yours. This may drive graphic 
designers (with Vogue expectations) crazy; yet for others it's a feature, 
not a bug. Grow your font size, or shrink it: it's cool!

Certainly I want CSS, and better CSS, since it's simply superior to inline 
<FONT> tags for many compelling reasons, and would be even if I can 
generate FONTs ad nauseum from XSLT templates -- CSS is worth the extra 
overhead. I also want, and need, a language capable of arbitrary 
transformations of document structures. On the whole, I think the layered 
system that is evolving, notwithstanding the many confusions among 
designers and early adopters about which features are needed in which 
layer, is serviceable. For sure, way, way better than "best viewed in 
Netscape 2.0". And in the meantime, we get to figure out what the message 
of the web medium really is.

Model        View         Controller
-----        -----        -----
page code    rendition    CSS
XML source   page code    XSLT


Wendell Piez                            mailto:wapiez@m...
Mulberry Technologies, Inc.                http://www.mulberrytech.com
17 West Jefferson Street                    Direct Phone: 301/315-9635
Suite 207                                          Phone: 301/315-9631
Rockville, MD  20850                                 Fax: 301/315-8285
   Mulberry Technologies: A Consultancy Specializing in SGML and XML


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