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   Re: XML and IE5 beta PR2

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  • From: Jon.Bosak@eng.Sun.COM (Jon Bosak)
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 17:56:50 -0800

[Paul Spencer:]

| I agree that the current IE5 implementation of XSL only does tag
| transformation. However, unless I have misunderstood CSS, I don't think
| your conclusion follows.
| I have used IE5 XSL to do reasonably complex formatting of XML
| documents, including taking elements out of order, and displaying images
| (URL in the XML) with hyperlinks to documents (also with their URL in
| the XML). With a bit of judicious pre-processing of the XML using the
| DOM, I also display another image a number of times according to a
| number in the XML document.

That's not complex.  Complex is multiple columns, interleaved column
sets with multiple text flows, footnote zones, synchronized
marginalia, math formatting, mixed vertical and horizontal writing
directions -- in other words, the stuff you need in order to do
genuinely internationalized automated print publishing.

The goal is to have a single language that, once mastered, can be used
for any kind of formatting -- a language powerful enough to support
the high-quality automated layout of any amount of material that
conforms to a given DTD or document schema and modular enough to share
the bulk of a complex stylesheet across both print and online

Only when you have a single stylesheet language that can replace the
proprietary style and layout formats of programs like Quark Express,
FrameMaker, PageMaker, and Word will you be able to achieve completely
functional and transparent document interchange across applications.
And only when you have a language equally capable of supporting both
print and online display will you be able to build the common training
infrastructure that can create the shared set of human resources
needed for media-independent publishing in the next century.

That language must be primarily declarative, so that stylesheets can
be interchanged between different interactive stylesheet editors, and
it must be able to scale from a one-off memo on up to the Yellow
Pages, the New York Times, and the L. L. Bean catalogue -- both the
online and print versions.  A language that supports only the
production of HTML can't do that.


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