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   Re: XLink - where are we? [tiny amount of frustration]

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  • From: Peter Murray-Rust <peter@ursus.demon.co.uk>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 21:03:20

At 22:16 10/11/98 -0600, W. Eliot Kimber wrote:
>At 02:14 AM 11/11/98, Peter Murray-Rust wrote:
>>(c) it appears to require all applications to have a stylesheet - i.e.
>>there is no default display and it's therefore primarily for rendering XML
>>as text with hyperlinks.
>Not trying to be difficult, but how could any useful form of default
>presentation other than running everything together or making every element
>a separate block be provided by a DTD-inspecific tool?  I don't know of any
>generalized SGML tool that provides any useful sort of default styling. The
>best is Arbortext's Document Architect, which provides a sort of wizard by
>which it asks a bunch of questions and makes some informed guesses and then
>generates a style sheet that can be a reasonable starting place (it can
>also be more trouble than it's worth depending on what sort of DTD you
>happen to have).

I am probably tilting at windmills but I am attempting something like this
in JUMBO - I have about 5 approaches to styles without stylesheets.
(a) redisplay it as raw XML. Not as silly as it sounds for many documents.
(b) pretty-print it and display as XML. Extremely useful for many documents
(c) Reformat start tags as bold and add NL after PCDATA. Works pretty well
for many documents.
(d) map every element onto a Java class. 
(e) allow the user to customise some or all elements with styles. I shall
use Swing for the rendering. Then, I suppose I could write the styles out
as XSL if anyone cares.

I get the impression that many people regard the reformatting of XML
documents for human readers as the only valid thing to do with XML. It's
important, but it's not going to lead to innovation. I'd much rather see
structured *graphics* being addressed than stylesheets. Far more exciting.
- Yes I know there is movement in this area. I'd also like to see *some*
movement on 'behaviour' - how to we create an interactive document rather
than simply decide on the best way to send it to the printer (which will be
99% of the use of XSL).


><Address HyTime=bibloc>
>W. Eliot Kimber, Senior Consulting SGML Engineer
>ISOGEN International Corp.
>2200 N. Lamar St., Suite 230, Dallas, TX 75202.  214.953.0004
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Peter Murray-Rust, Director Virtual School of Molecular Sciences, domestic
net connection
VSMS http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/vsms, Virtual Hyperglossary

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