Re: The beginning of xslt?
On Friday 22 November 2002 9:41 am, DPawson@xxxxxxxxxxx wrote: > > A few people picked up on the selection and transformation part, but it > wasn't seen as sexy in DSSSL. I'm intrigued as to why this is, and what the difference was then. For me, I find the difference between XSLT and XSL-FO is immense - one is simple to understand (although justifiably incredibly detailed and with a microscopically anal depth to it matched only by the legal profession) and the other simply makes zero sense to me whatsoever, no matter how hard I try and 'get it', no matter which way up I hold it - it contains no 'meaning', but in an amazingly homogenously impenetrable state. They're about as far apart as doing the washing up and teaching your dog to plan a lunar landing mission (including finding the budget). So, what kind of mentality would ever stumble across the 'T' part of what was to become XSLT and consider that it remotely has a place in a stylesheet language, which is after all, concerned with making your fonts bold and other nice harmless endevours. Surely devils invaded and changed all the plans overnight, one halloween, and nobody noticed the next morning and simply carried on with the perverted course of style. I really take issue with the use of 'style' in the name of XSLT. It's not about style, it would seem. It seems more about structure. It's essentially a means of restructuring a document. This isn't style. I've never, as a designer, needed to specify a wholesale alteration of structure, as part of a style sheet. Style sheets occur at the phase between a designer and a finished artist, or between a designer and a typesetter, but generally, structure isn't communicated within a style sheet. Structure is decided at the beginning, with thumbnail sketches or marker roughs. However, in the current and future days of dynamic documents, it would be sensible to see structural alterations apply at a later part in the process - make the deviation into alternative structures as late as possible. This makes sense - use a structural specification (but don't call it a style sheet - it has zero to do with style) - or use many different ones, all from the same pool of resources and artistic materials. In a sense, I see XSLT as a kind of alternative phase-space-like specification of structure. It, on its own - unapplied - represents a completely different dimensional view of the journey between a document's raw materials on the pasteboard, and the end product on the shelves. It's that complicated - the kind of person who can somehow 'see' the altered dimensional space of an XSLT structural specification is looking in a completely different direction to the designer of the original document, who in turn is looking in a completely different direction to the customer or reader. XSL-FO on the other hand is an almost pedantically precise mapping of what things should look like (but not at page-level, rather at pre-imposition level). How can the same people be responsible for both XSLT and XSL-FO? Proof, as if any is needed, that the W3C does have contact with alien technology, I reckon. -- Ian Tindale XSL-List info and archive: http://www.mulberrytech.com/xsl/xsl-list
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