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Re: [xml-dev] XML and CSS

Jesper Tverskov wrote:
> All text books about XML have a pretty long chapter about how to style
> XML with CSS. Almost all new browsers do that when we click on an XML
> file showing a nicely indented XML tree. Most browsers also have some
> JavaScript+CSS presenting RSS XML documents as if they were webpages.
> Apart from the above examples, how common is it to actually style XML
> with CSS? On the web and inside "systems"?

It's not very common, though it does get use.  I've used CSS many times 
to make it easier to explore an XML document without the pointy brackets 
or hierarchy.

More formally, I've heard many good things about Prince, which generates 
PDF from XML and CSS:


The main problem I had early on in displaying XML with CSS on the public 
Web was Internet Explorer's lack of support for the display properties, 
apparently for performance reasons, which has since improved.

I wrote a now out-of-date series of articles on XML and CSS for XML.com 
back in 2000.  The summary table does a nice job of describing the state 
of the art at the last moment web developers actually seemed interested 
in using XML directly:


The failure of XLink is, I think, the other reason XML didn't get 
anywhere on the public web.  My XLink talks were frequently my most 
popular, full of developers looking for better hypertext possibilities. 
They generally left with a big but unfulfilled wishlist.

> If we want to display XML in a browser, it seems much more natural and
> have many benefits, to transform that XML to a well-known and
> well-supported XML Application like XHTML made for the purpose.

If you need transformations to reorder your document, make links work, 
or perform calculations, this is completely true.  Otherwise, it's a 
fairly tremendous waste of time.

Simon St.Laurent

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