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Re: XML on Gecko

Subject: Re: XML on Gecko
From: Chris Lilley <chris@xxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999 12:09:59 +0200
gecko xml editing

"John E. Simpson" wrote:
> At 07:52 PM 3/31/99 +0200, Chris Lilley wrote:
> >Yes, also both IE5 and Gecko support it (using CSS on XML documents) so,
> >you can write one stylesheet and have it displayed, client-side, in both
> >of those browsers and any others that support CSS and XML.
> One bitter disappointment in attempting to use CSS with either Gecko or IE5
> was that neither, apparently, supports generated text.

Okay; I heard that the Mozilla developers were working on generated text
(:before, :after, and numbering) but as you say, it isn't in the current

Thats where you can use XSL on the server side to make up the shortfall
- add your generated text there, while keeping your original XML files.

For example, you can do chapter, section, and subsection numbering in
XSL, serving up some XML that is a numbered version of your original XML
This lets you edit the original XML without having to fuss with
renumbering when you add a section, and then use CSS to format and
render the result.

> That's a CSS2 feature 
yes; also, one of the last to settle down before CSS2 became a
recommendation. Some of the other parts (like CSS Positioning) had been
pretty stable as standalone working drafts for nearly a year before CSS2
became a recommendation.

> (i.e., not CSS1, which itself isn't yet fully supported),

also true, although the browsers are edging up to the 70% levels now. In
terms of serving up Web pages today, that still gets you quite a lot
(and feel free to mail your favourite browser vendor asking for the
remaining 30%; feature prioritisation depends on customer feedback).

Some of the buggy and quirky aspects are due to bugwards-compatible
rendering hacks, designed to make current pages work at the expense of
standards compliance; happily these only apply to HTML, so browsers tend
to work better with CSS ad XML than they do with CSS and HTML. Of
course, the combination of server-side XSL plus client-side CSS on XML
is the real cracker.

We are also finding that the CSS1 test suite has helped developers fine
tune their implementations and get those percentages up. As I said,
mailing vendors/implementors with specific requests for feature support,
preferably citing a particular CSS1 test suite page that fails, is a
good way to get that development prioritised.

>  so I
> shouldn't have been too surprised. But it's such a useful feature that it
> was a letdown not to have it.

It is useful, I agree, and things will be better once it arrives. In the
mean time, you can get the effect by using XSL transformations.


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