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Re: [xml-dev] xml + style.

On 6/22/2010 3:12 AM, Dave Pawson wrote:
20100622081222.45903745@marge3" type="cite">I was asking if any other work has been done in this area.
It's largely been a sacred cow since XML, I no longer take
that view. 



IMHO, this "sacred cow" is a misconception, although I have shared it myself.  

It confuses the markup language (XML) with the intent of the document (data vs presentation vs content ...).

If the intent of the document is indeed presentation there are "blessed golden cow" standards that fully embrace it.  A classic example is FOP which is all about presentation.  And of course xhtml ...  Then there are "somewhat structured somewhat presentation" formats like say DocBook ... although I suspect some would argue that they are not at all presentational I disagree.  Its a mater of degree.    You may not be specifying the exact font or even presentation order in DocBook but when you do have things like "Ordered Lists" I would call that atleast somewhat presentation markup.   ( from" http://www.docbook.org/tdg/en/html/orderedlist.html 
" A list in which each entry is marked with a sequentially incremented label" - to my reading that is a presentational directive).

In the end I think it all depends on your goals.  A lot of what "markup geeks" are trying to do is to get away from a long long history of presentational documents and to encode meaning and structure and separate out the presentation into some other thing (like XSLT + FOP ! yet still that's XML ).

So its not like "XML Shall Not Encode Presentation Data."

There does seem to be a lot of standards somewhat in the middle.  (like say HL7 or even xhtml), depending on how you look a it, either recognize the difficulty of fully removing presentational markup, embraced it as a 'necessary evil', or perhaps gave up fighting the desires of the actual end users of the technology.   Maybe thats "good".  
IMHO, the choice should be driven by the goals of the users of the technology, not the technology itself.

In fact if you *couldnt* represent presentation data in XML I suggest XML would never have gained wide use.

David A. Lee

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