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Re: [xml-dev] XML and CSS

I'd agree with David here.

I've written a couple of those XML+CSS type chapters for various books, and the reordering issue was almost immediately the first major problem to crop up with just about any XML data set. There are of course ways around that, but they all involve some kind of alternative transformation technology, whether the use of an initial XSLT in order to remap the content to something closer to (x)html or something like a binding layer like xbl or xbl2. I think that the xml+css vogue came about at a time when most browsers didn't have an xslt processor available to perform processing, and it's since become somewhat obsolete.

Kurt Cagle
Managing Editor

On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 9:21 AM, David A. Lee <dlee@calldei.com> wrote:

Peter Hunsberger wrote:
On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 10:49 AM, David A. Lee <dlee@calldei.com> wrote:
I read this with interest, and IMHO the biggest thing "missing" is what I
think is the fundamental issue of CSS for XML.
That is you cant re-order the elements !   (Please tell me I'm wrong  .. but
thats my understanding).

I have to ask, why do you want to reorder the elements?  That's partly
what XSLT is for, but browser support can be unpredictable.  However,

Yes this is what XSLT is for, and CSS cant really do it  ...
Why do it ? Thats an interesting question ... my answer is "Why would you NOT ?"
Much of the XML I deal with is Data oriented.  Its not simply a "document" with some tags to mark it up, its structured data.
How you display that is varient, and its really a degenerative (rare) case that I'd want to display it in the form and order in the XML file,
any more then I'd want to display a raw dump from a relational database in the order and form given by the data extraction SQL statement.
It would be a coincidence, not a general rule, if the data in an XML file happened to be in the structure and order you wanted to display it ...
at least thats my take on it from the XML files I deal with daily.

Even for document oriented XML data, a simple example would be to list a TOC at the beginning ... extracted from the XML Data.
And yes thats what XSLT is for ... ( why I suggest CSS is in the general case not a good tool for displaying XML in a browser).


David A. Lee

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