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Re: [xml-dev] Saxon and Sun Serializer problems?

At 2009-06-01 12:55 +0100, DavePawson wrote:
>Michael Kay wrote:
>>>> From http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/REC-xslt-19991116
>>>  XSLT is not intended as a completely general-purpose XML
>>>  transformation language. Rather it is designed primarily
>>>  for the kinds of transformations that are needed when XSLT
>>>  is used as part of XSL.
>>I often quote this sentence as an example of where you need to read between
>>the lines of a specification. Although I have no specific knowledge of how
>>this sentence came to be there, I have always imagined that it was probably
>>added as a result of a somewhat inconclusive debate about some language
>>feature that someone considered either too general-purpose or too
>Folk lore has it that being JC, with the DSSSL background, the ideas
>were brought across to XSL (as was).
>I.e. it was intended to be an update to the transformation capabilities
>of DSSSL, without Scheme.

Actually, it may have been more nuanced as I don't think it came from 
the transformation mode of DSSSL.  I think James's private "formatted 
markup" mode of DSSSL, where the styling language was used with 
custom semantics in order to create marked up results instead of laid 
out results, revealed a nodes-only mode of result tree 
construction.  Then it was a matter of formalizing the grove concept 
for the inputs into an input/output node tree for the entire 
transformation process.

But while I was at the DSSSL table in the ISO community, I was not at 
the XSL table in the W3C community, so that is just my interpretation 
of the germination.

>Once XSL users realised its potential for HTML generation and other
>more general transformational activities, a cry went out to separate
>the transformation from the formatting; this being on the XSLT list
>people in the main.
>That's when XSL-FO and XSLT parted ways.
>But that's only folk lore.
>Ken? Hows your memory on this?

I think it is more than folklore and you've remembered it 
correctly.  I ask my students who have worked with XSLT if they have 
wondered why the namespace prefix "xsl:" is used in examples instead 
of "xslt:".  What we now know as XSLT was published first as chapter 
two of XSL, where "xsl:" was used in examples and persists to this day:


And even still XSLT is a normative part of XSL, still in chapter two:


The very first XSL draft had result-ns="fo" with no other documented 
standardized values for this concept of handling the result tree (but 
it was implied that you could specify a different namespace prefix 
and interpret the semantics represented by the namespace URI).

The second draft proffered more non-normative detail that specifying 
a prefix mapped to the HTML namespace would produce an HTML 
serialization ... but it still wasn't formalized.

The split happened the next year when the first draft of XSLT 
formalized the details:

   "XSLT is also designed to be used independently of XSL. However,
    XSLT is not intended as a completely general-purpose XML
    transformation language. Rather it is designed primarily for the
    kinds of transformation that are needed when XSLT is used as part
    of XSL."

I know you were a DSSSL student of mine, Dave, but I'm not sure if 
that was before or after December 1997 when I started adding XSL 
concepts to the DSSSL syntax class.  Our pure XSLT classes, with 
syntax, didn't start until 1999.

It has been a fun run!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . Ken

XQuery/XSLT/XSL-FO hands-on training - Los Angeles, USA 2009-06-08
Crane Softwrights Ltd.          http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/x/
Training tools: Comprehensive interactive XSLT/XPath 1.0/2.0 video
Video lesson:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrNjJCh7Ppg&fmt=18
Video overview:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTiodiij6gE&fmt=18
G. Ken Holman                 mailto:gkholman@CraneSoftwrights.com
Male Cancer Awareness Nov'07  http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/x/bc
Legal business disclaimers:  http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/legal

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