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   RE: [xml-dev] XSLT vs. CSS (Re: Indexing)

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Hi Michael,

Michael said:
>Pipelining is an important addition to XSLT and will certainly be useful
>for some transformation tasks. However I believe that it will not make
>XSLT any more suitable as a styling language, as it will make the
>connection between the input and output documents even vaguer than it is
>at present. Customising complex styling transforms will still be very
>difficult without detailed study of the default templates.

Didier replies:
Yes indeed all that could be overwhelmingly complex but necessary in certain
cases. For instance, try to present an XBRL document using only CSS. Bottom
line, won't work. In that particular car to render a balance sheet or income
statement you need:
a) to build an infoset from an instance document (ex: an income statement)
and from a presentation linkbase (giving you the parent-child relationship
between elements). This can't be done with CSS but can be done with XSLT.
b) from the infoset created from two XML documents, transform the income
statement elements into something rendered on a screen. Actually, since
HTML/XHTML elements are associated with implicit rendering properties, a
transformation into HTML/XHTML is a royal path to what we want (could also
be another XML based rendering languages like SVG).
c) as a final touch, the XHTML elements' presentation properties could be
modified with a CSS file.

So, in a lot of real world cases, the original XML document is improper for
rendition. It needs to be transformed into something more suitable to our
senses. In other words, the model needs to be transformed into a

Within the XML world, the model/view/control paradigm is translated into
having an XML document encoding the model, an XSLT stylesheet transforming
this model into a view/control. The control part is the included scripts and
the view is a document encoded with a rendering language (ex: XHTML+CSS).

I personally found that if you use XSLT within this model/view/control
paradigm, XSLT makes a lot of sense.

Didier PH Martin


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