CSS & DSSSL together (Was: Re: <insert> and external entity references)

Jay Bazuzi (jbazuzi@neilyoung.async.vt.edu)
Wed, 20 Mar 1996 13:44:59 -0500 (EST)


From: Jay Bazuzi <jbazuzi@neilyoung.async.vt.edu>
Message-Id: <199603201845.NAA28879@neilyoung.async.vt.edu>
Subject: CSS & DSSSL together (Was: Re: <insert> and external entity references)
To: www-html@w3.org
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 1996 13:44:59 -0500 (EST)
In-Reply-To: <199603200413.XAA27494@www19.w3.org> from "www-html-d-request@w3.org" at Mar 19, 96 11:13:12 pm

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Earlier, "Benjamin C. W. Sittler" <bsittler@mailhost.nmt.edu> wrote:

> On Wed, 20 Mar 1996, Abigail wrote:

> > Murray Altheim wrote:

> > I have heard this many times, yet I see problems noone has given
> > me an answer to. HTML certainly is more than just a grammer.
> > Search engines can index a document properly _because_ there
> > is an implicit meaning to <TITLE>, that <H1> is more important
> > than <H6>, that <STRONG> is used for something else than <B>, etc.

> > But in the DTD, <H1> and <H6> have interchangeable roles;
> > <STRONG> and <B> have the same context and the same content;
> > <TITLE> is just something which appears in the <HEAD>.

> > <A>, <IMG>, <INPUT> have side effects which aren't set in the DTD.

> > If each document comes with its own DTD, then what? A user agent
> > knows how to parse it, but how should it be displayed? Of course,
> > authors could be required to deliver a style sheet as well, but
> > they have to include everything, as there cannot be user agent
> > defaults to fall back on. And what about user preferences? How
> > is a user supposed to set preferences, if each document can have
> > unknown elements?

> A style and semantics language like dsssl could solve this, at least
> for a known DTD. Each DTD can refer to a dsssl program which renders
> it.

Sorry for the long quote -- I just want to make sure I'm in context.

I've seen on the W3C web site that "the industry" has committed to
support CSS.  This sounds great -- the need for style sheets on the
Web is dire.  However, DSSSL allows an advanced UA to present any SGML
document (with DTD & DSSSL sheet) to the user in an appropriate
fasion.  I think that entry-level users are more likely to embrace
CSS's simplicity that DSSSL's power and flexibility.  

I'm imagining a tool which uses a style sheet mechanism on general
SGML, and would like it to be useful for HTML Web authors.  Hence a
dilemma of which style sheet to use.  It occurs to me that the tool
could use DSSSL to interpret the document symatically (figure out an
IMG), and use CSS to specify presentation preferences.  If the edited
document was HTML and was served on the web, the UA would then use the
CSS.  UA's which only want to do HTML wouldn't need DSSSL support and
users of my tool could use full SGML.

What do you folks think?  

- -- 
Jay Bazuzi     jbazuzi@vt.edu
http://neilyoung.async.vt.edu

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