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   Re: Why I dislike CSS

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  • From: Daniel Veillard <Daniel.Veillard@w3.org>
  • To: Sebastian Rahtz <sebastian.rahtz@computing-services.oxford.ac.uk>
  • Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2000 05:58:38 +0200

 To defend CSS a bit:

On Sun, Jun 18, 2000 at 10:30:55PM +0100, Sebastian Rahtz wrote:
> I am sure many people use XMetal. I find its style interface plausible 
> for many types of documents. Sadly, they generate CSS, but they could
> certainly generate XSL FO (or xslv) instead, and Ma and Pa could use
> that.

  I don't know XMetal, but I'm sure Ma and Pa don't want to see any
angle braket, be able to save what they edit and look at it *nearly*
identical to what they just see before pressing the Save button in
their WYSIWYG editor.
  If you have a big transformation process between your source data
and what's used to build the rendering, you may still be able to do
the reverse mapping when you save back, but the tools probably won't
be cheap, since that's very complex code.
  At least with CSS one can build a rendering without modification
of the document structure. I will also note that CSS will allow 
rendering of link anchors not based on the document structure (think
about me building an XLink based annotation on a document I didn't
author using an XPointer expression to put the anchor as a substring
in the source document). I don't see how i could render that anchor
using XSLFO (If you know, tell me !), CSS :link selector should allow
  Maybe this XSLFO/CSS bashing should came to an end. Both specs target
different communities, both have their strong points and weaknesses
depending on what they are targetted for. I will just react to the
assertion that CSS doesn't work with XML, that's just untrue. IIRC
one of the very first CSS implementation was the one from Grif, an
SGML shop, and my recollection of the early implementation I made
on the Amaya/Thot platform, there was nothing specific to HTML in the
code (Thot internal model is very SGML/XML'ish).

Daniel, speaking for himself

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