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Re: Bad News on IE6 XML Support

On Saturday 08 September 2001 17:34, Bjoern Hoehrmann wrote:
> * Robin Berjon wrote:
> >Well, it's part of the CSS spec, so why not implement it (especially when
> > you already have good table rendering support). Plus, I really would like
> > to be able to style any XML with CSS in the browser.
> Assuming, your "any XML" is structured in a way you can make use of CSS
> to present it (i.e. document-centric linear structure, no superfluous
> data, proper nesting of elements, etc.) you gain nothing but avoiding
> transformation to XHTML (what'd be quite easy, since your "any XML" and
> XHTML are supposed to have a very similar structure) but lose
> accessability, portability, interoperability and compatibility. A domain
> where these four bilities don't matter would certainly be an intranet,
> not the WWW. Web browsers are clients for the WWW, aren't they?
> The web needs a lingua franca to work, use it!

I see your point, and part of it is valid, yet I disagree.


We now have an excellent document on how to best create an accessible 
vocabulary (http://www.w3.org/TR/xmlgl). Depending on the use case, it's 
obvious that it could be possible to create a document the structure of which 
would fit its content much better than XHTML would, or in fact ever could. 
This alone would already promote accessibility, simply by providing better 
context. Add to that some form of metadata (which could be rendered directly 
by the stylesheet) and I think you could get a very accessible document. Yes, 
we probably miss the tools to go that far (but it'll be a lot easier to 
create tools to process arbitrary XML documents than tools that process the 
kind of HTML one sees out there).

Portability, Interoperability, and Compatibility

We are only talking of having a good clean CSS model. I'm not saying it's 
easy, but Mozilla, Opera, Konqueror are all at various (good) stages on that 
path. Tools that don't need a graphical UI would have an even easier job.

And that's without mentionning that we have other tools to promote giving 
better context (for both semantics and processing): RDDL, various schema 
languages, etc.

I'm only scratching the surface, but imho you loose a *lot* more potential by 
enforcing a translation to XHTML than you do by styling an adapted vocabulary 
with CSS. Plus, it's probably easier to write an aural CSS sheet than to 
write another XSLT sheet to convert to VoiceML (or whatever other voice 
markup language).

Robin Berjon <robin@knowscape.com> -- CTO
k n o w s c a p e : // venture knowledge agency www.knowscape.com
Critic, n.: A person who boasts himself hard to please because nobody
tries to please him.