Re: There Are No Metadocuments
[Peter Murray-Rust, responding to Bill Smith:]
| > My personal preference would be to include references to behavior (code)
| > and appearance (style sheets). Without that separation reuse is difficult
| > and object management is seriously impaired.
| I think this is a very useful distinction, which will also help when
| it comes to considering style sheets.
The problem I'm having with a distinction between behavior and
appearance is that it just won't stay nailed down. Most behavior can
be (and is) described with regard to an appearance, and most
appearances are the result of some behavior. Peter has a system that
uses Java code to perform (among other things) the formatting
functions that in some other system might be expressed in a
stylesheet. Is that behavior or appearance?
Allow me to generalize that. For any DSSSL stylesheet that specifies
that a certain appearance should be associated with a given node in
the XML tree, I can imagine a Java program that causes exactly the
same appearance to be associated with the same node. Suppose that it
is impossible to tell the difference between the way the document is
rendered by a DSSSL engine under the control of a stylesheet and the
way that the same document is rendered by a collection of Java
programs. Does the DSSSL stylesheet constitute a specification of
appearance and the collection of Java programs constitute a
specification of behavior?