W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org > April 1997

Re: Linking to stylesheets in XML

From: Alex Milowski <lex@www.copsol.com>
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 1997 16:11:13 -0500 (CDT)
Message-Id: <199704212111.QAA08139@copsol.com>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
> Alex Milowski writes:
>  > 7. Legal print documents.  I must be able to deliver semantics for a XML 
>  > document that allows a user to hit "print" and they will get a legal *print* 
>  > document.  I have many clients who absolutely need this.  
> 
> But how important is page-fidelity in achieving a "legal" print
> document?  DSSSL does not promise page fidelity.  Section 6.3.2
> states, in part:
> 
>   DSSSL allows enough flexibility in the specification that it is not
>   tied to a set of composition or formatting algorithms, i.e.,
>   line-breaking, page-breaking, or whitespace distribution
>   algortithms, used by any particular formatting system. ... The
>   output of the formatter, undefined in this International Standard,
>   is a formatted document suitable for printing and imaging.
> 
> James Clark puts it much more succintly in a slide from a presentation
> (http://www.jclark.com/dsssl/bcs/precise.htm):
> 
>   No page/line fidelity (use PostScript/photocopier)
> 
> Do your clients require exactly the same results no matter which user
> hits the "print" button?  If so, a XML document may not satisfy them.

No.  The requirements are what the law says.  Specifically, things like:

  For recordable documents in Indiana, the bottom margin on the last page
  will be at least 2 inches and be completely void of print.

Thus, the requirement is not for page fidelity, but for tighter control on
what the printing requirements are.  They are rather loose requirements on
page control and other formatting--but they are still print oriented.

From the above, if I could describe my ideal environment, I want to be
able to send *one* XML document that represents the legal document and
send a stylesheet (or whatever) that controls different presentation
modes/views so that I can deliver a function online version taking
advantage of the user interface and then, through some printing service
available in the browser environment, deliver the printed document
*correctly*.

Taking browser conformance aside, this can be accomplished right now
with a DSSSL browser.

Note: The conformance issue is a rather sticky bit in delivering a legal
      application document.  It comes down to how big a risk there is
      in assuming that an arbitrary user's software is doing its job
      correctly.  Essentially, the only way to solve in legally is to
      conformance test a set of browser applications and require users
      to use those "approved" browsers.

An on-line version will probably never match page-for-page the specialized
tweeking that can happen in a print shop for legal documents.  We are
just trying to find a happen medium between the optimal-legal-space-saving-I-
spent-hours-and-removed-one-page-saving-the-bank-five-dollars-a-page-on-
recording-costs document and an online version that is printable and legal at 
the same time!

==============================================================================
R. Alexander Milowski     http://www.copsol.com/   alex@copsol.com
Copernican Solutions Incorporated                  (612) 379 - 3608
Received on Monday, 21 April 1997 17:12:31 EDT

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