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Re: CSS and SGML document formatting -Reply

From: Gavin Nicol <gtn@ebt.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1996 12:06:42 -0400
Message-Id: <199604251606.MAA28375@ebt-inc.ebt.com>
To: drand@sgi.com
Cc: preece@predator.urbana.mcd.mot.com, rieger@bse.de, TFRETER@novell.com, www-style@w3.org
>I've been lurking here awhile,  and as an occational author of content,
>a user of the web and an implementer of a browser I find this notion,
>that we could have two competing style sheet mechanisms, dangerous.  I
>certainly don't have time to learn even one :)

Feh. My whole *life* in the WWW standards groups is aimed at
interoperability and expandability. So far I have wasted far too much
time... 
 
>As a standards body,  W3 should make a choice of which style mechanism
>is the right one for HTML.  Having isn't acceptable.  I agree that DSSSL
>looks very complex to me.  I also don't like the notion that I must
>maintain a separate lexer and parser for DSSSL,  whereas what I've seen
>of CSS can be implemented with an SGML parser/lexer.  

CSS requires a seperate lexer/scanner. In fact if you go and look at
a few scheme implementations, you'll see that the code required for
parsing DSSSL is considerably less than the code needed to parser CSS
(and faking it by using lex and yacc doesn't cut it).

>But a choice should be made,  and if DSSSL is the right thing to do,
>then make the choice.  If CSS can be expanded to allow all of DSSSL's
>functionality then do that.

DSSSL is huge, and complex. It's true. However, here is a reasonable
subset of DSSSL that can be implemented (and perhaps as Scott
mentioned, CSS can be translated into it), while still providing
expandability. I should note that even with all it's complexity, I
doubt very much if a core DSSSL engine would weigh in at much more
than 100k after compilation. The complexitiy comes in the extras.
 
>If this isn't done, then IMO you'll continue to see ad hoc solutions
>from Netscape and Microsoft. 

Some of us feel like putting CSS into the "ad hoc" category as well.

I should agin restate my position: I am not against CSS. For what it
is aimed at, it's OK, but let's *not* pretend it will satisfy anything
beyond the simplest typographical needs. That's it. CSS will probably
be a useful, and widely used tool, and I might even use it myself in
WWW publishing for certain things. I would *never* put it into the
category of "the only stylesheet language worth knowing" though.

I should note that some people have told me that CSS is not relying
upon the hundreds of years of experience in typography we already
have, and is instead catering to the "new world". I cannot judge if
that is a valid stance or not. Perhaps the WWW is a new world. For
myself, I tend to feel it as just another exploration in human
communication/social interaction. 


 
Received on Thursday, 25 April 1996 12:08:21 GMT

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