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Re: `High-level' format specifications with XSL?

Subject: Re: `High-level' format specifications with XSL?
From: Chris Maden <crism@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 11:04:37 -0400 (EDT)
high level format
[Kai Grossjohann]
> I use and love LaTeX because it allows me to `semantically' mark up
> a document and let the computer worry about making it look good.  I
> just tell it I want a section with the following heading, and LaTeX
> produces the right amount of spacing and the right font weight and
> size for the heading and so on, to make the output look good.

The LaTeX document uses semantic labeling; the LaTeX class file or
stylesheet determines the formatting consequences of that semantic

> I'd like to use something similar for XSL.  While HTML has very
> limited structuring capabilities, at least I can say I want a
> subsection heading (<H2>) and let the browser (and with CSS, the
> user) worry about making it look good.  But from my limited
> experience with the xslj/jade combination, it seems that I can't
> just tell it I want to have a section heading.  Instead, I must tell
> it that it should be left-justified, the font style, the font size,
> the font weight, and the spacing.  I don't want to do that -- users
> should be able to configure their browser how they like, not have to
> accept my specifications.

I think you're misunderstanding the purpose of XSL.  An XML document
is like the LaTeX document, with the semantic labeling; the XSL
stylesheet is like the LaTeX class file.  Just as LaTeX may say that a
\section{} gets 14-point Computer Modern bold with a hierarchal
number, XSL might say that "sect1/title" gets 14-point Garamond book
italic.  XSL is exactly where the detailed formatting instructions go.
As with CSS, there is a mechanism for cascading the styles, so the
user can override or augment your formatting choices, but XSL is
precisely where this information belongs.

<!ENTITY crism PUBLIC "-//O'Reilly//NONSGML Christopher R. Maden//EN"
"<URL>http://www.oreilly.com/people/staff/crism/ <TEL>+1.617.499.7487
<USMAIL>90 Sherman Street, Cambridge, MA 02140 USA" NDATA SGML.Geek>

 XSL-List info and archive:  http://www.mulberrytech.com/xsl/xsl-list

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