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> If the solution to posting documents on the web involves using script
> code to load up specific implementations of DOM and specifc
> implementations of XSL then that _is_ fatal to the web as an open medium
> for exchanging documents.
Netscape's gratuitous flaunting of standards, its tolerance for horribly
broken HTML, its endless extensions to HTML to turn it into a user agent
control language rather than declarative document structure markup, and its
inability to properly render tables (one of its own HTML extensions, if I
recall), certainly were not fatal to the web. The W3C even embraced their
ideas and incorporated them into HTML 3 and 3.2.
> If XML was designed specifically for the purpose of distributing
> documents over the web in an open manner, why should I have to front
> _every_ XML document by an HTML page with some script that tries to
> second guess every conceivable DOM/XSLT implementation with which the
> document might be used?
Because the standards leave too much room for different DOM/XSLT
implementations to interact in unforeseen ways? I'm not saying we have to like
it, just that the hassle of dealing with it isn't necessarily spelling doom
for the web or for XML. If it's a serious roadblock, let's address it.
A couple years ago we were looking at the same issue on xsl-list: many vendors
had slightly different implementations of roughly the same functionality in
their perfectly legal XSLT extensions. If you wanted to portably convert a
result tree fragment to a node-set, you had to introduce spaghetti code to
check for the availability of node-set() in various namespaces. EXSLT came
about as the solution, and now, a couple years later, the major XSLT
processors are all supporting it (even Xalan, in CVS). Granted, you still
might need a little bit of spaghetti, but chances are, you've said "this code
does what it's supposed to as long as your processor supports EXSLT" ...and
you didn't feel terribly guilty about saying it.
I realize this doesn't change anything, but if-MSXML-do-This-otherwise-do-That
spaghetti isn't going to kill the web, and we can probably sort out something
better for the future.
mike j. brown | xml/xslt: http://skew.org/xml/
denver/boulder, colorado, usa | resume: http://skew.org/~mike/resume/