Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful
At 01:31 PM 4/16/1999 +0200, Håkon Wium Lie wrote: >I've put some thoughts about Formatting Objects on the Web into >writing . > > http://www.operasoftware.com/people/howcome/1999/foch.html Thought-provoking reading. But I can't help wondering if your angst is misplaced. Your general thesis seems to be that XSL style sheets containing only formatting objects are meaningless (literally devoid of semantics). I confess this had me scratching my head -- not that it's untrue, but that it's hard for me to imagine a world in which developers will *want* their style sheets to contain only FOs. Such a stylesheet would be not only meaningless but pointless. Although the essay is well-written and cogently argued, the point of "Formatting Objects considered harmful" itself rather falls apart if one rejects the appeal of an FO-only document. Yes, the *abuse* of FOs could be considered harmful, but as you more or less admit, preventing the abuse is practically impossible. Further, it's difficult to imagine what could be gained by a potential abuser of FOs, so it's difficult to imagine some of the dire scenarios you foresee. (It's kind of like the old misconception that money is the root of all evil -- no, *love of* money is. So let's not throw money into the deep end of the pool with a weight around its neck, shall we?) Your analysis of how FOs will limit accessibility hinges on your answer to a "FAQ" which uses the example of why an aural style sheet is a difficult thing to present reliably to clients: 1.there must be a specification for aural formatting objects 2.there must be implementations of aural formatting objects 3.the fact that the user has an aural client must be known to the server 4.all web sites must install [XSL style sheets containing only transformational operations] to transform content into aural formatting objects Among these, the first two will require much time and work. The third is undesirable, while the fourth is impossible in practice. Besides, caching suffers. Fair enough, but I don't see how (say) CSS2's aural styling (which answers #1) gets around #2 or 3, and #4 is even *more* impossible since, of course, CSS can't transform squat. Deep apologies if I've misread your arguments. As I said, it was thought-provoking reading, which isn't all that easy to come by; I just had to suspend my disbelief in order to let my thoughts be provoked. :) ============================================================= John E. Simpson | It's no disgrace t'be poor, simpson@xxxxxxxxxxx | but it might as well be. | -- "Kin" Hubbard XSL-List info and archive: http://www.mulberrytech.com/xsl/xsl-list
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