Re: XML vrs SGML tools [was Re: Capitalizing on HTML (was ...)]]]
> XML on its own does not solve the browser problem. The browser
> writers are still faced with the problem of style sheets. The reason
> there are so many cheap HTML browsers is because it is _very_ easy to
> figure out how to display HTML (well, for the most part). DSSSL may
> solve the problem, but it solves it in a rather difficult to
> understand and implement way. XML will be an easy sell to browser
> writers if it comes packaged with a useful but simple style-sheet
> mechanism. DSSSL might work, if someone would write a good book about
> it, or at least about DSSSL online. Maybe Cascading Style Sheets
> (CSS) is an easy (quick and dirty) answer; I have not had a chance to
> look into it properly. There was a great deal of discussion about why
> CSS is too simplistic a month back on comp.text.sgml, but it may be
> "good-enough" for a first run. Every one here seems to want XML tools
> today, but we don't even have a DSSSL capable browser now, how many
> months after the standard's publication?
Hey, DSSSL isn't trivial--neither is the problem of "presentation."
There are three DSSSL engines in the works. James Clark's engine
is already in alpha testing.
> I do not mean to cut down DSSSL. DSSSL looks to me to be a great
> possiblity, for the future. A XML/DSSSL browser will not be able to
> compete with a HTML browser in today's market though. It will look too
> slow. It will definitely have a market, but it will lack a real
> mass-market appeal. (But boy would I kill for a good, extensible
> DSSSL browser to play with... with some work on on-line display
> extensions to the standard, you could use SGML/DSSSL to do everything that
> would be fun.)
Too slow? I don't really think that is necessarily true. We are seeing
very good response times on DSSSL formatting without *any* optimization
or use of a JIT compiler. (Our DSSSL engine is written in Java).
> XML is one important part of the picture, and although DSSSL is one
> way to help fill in the whole picture, I don't see it as being an
> immediate answer. No, I don't have any better ideas, and I would love
> to be proved wrong. (This is one of those rare cases where I _want_ to
> be wrong.)
The only way to ensure that XML and DSSSL will be a solution is to require
some level of DSSSL compliance. The question is (James, correct me on
this one) is there a minimal set of features that could be defined that
would allow a DSSSL engine to be "easy" to implement but still be
compliant with the DSSSL standard? Is this DSSSL-online?
DSSSL is a "today" solution if we want to make it so.
R. Alexander Milowski http://www.copsol.com/ email@example.com
Copernican Solutions Incorporated (612) 379 - 3608