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RE: Cascading and scripting (was: The concept of cascading) (fwd)

From: Chris Wilson (PSD) <cwilso@MICROSOFT.com>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 11:40:13 -0700
Message-ID: <41F7F4CE3CA2CF11BC5000805F14B2A90174B57B@RED-31-MSG.dns.microsoft.com>
To: "'Paul Prescod'" <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>, MegaZone <megazone@livingston.com>
Cc: www-style@w3.org
Paul Prescod wrote:
>>MegaZone wrote:
>> The DOM is portable.  It says nothing about what does the transforms.
That
>> can be JavaScript, VBScript - or any standard scripting language that
might
>> be deployed.  
>
>That's what makes it *non-portable* in my mind. What if my browser has
a
>different scripting language built in than the one in the stylesheet?

I don't propose that scripting languages take over the responsibilities
of stylesheets - that is, I don't believe solutions like Netscape's
JavaScript Style Sheets (renamed "Dynamic Stylesheets" - heh heh) are a
good solution to the basic stylesheet requirement, because they not only
require that your user agent support that scripting language (and
scripting languages are still a bit political), but they require the
document author to be able to write scripts in that language, and I
believe that usually engenders more overhead than learning a simple
stylesheet language like CSS (although, as I've said before, I think
DSSSL falls in the same complexity arena as scripting languages).

BUT, I obviously feel that exposing stylesheet functions - that is,
presentation attributes - to script engines through the object model is
incredibly powerful and goes a long way into turning applications using
the Web platform into truly interactive experiences.  I think it's silly
to recommend that someone write J*Script just to write basic stylesheets
- but I think it's great to be able to write
"ONMOUSEOVER="this.style.fontWeight='bold'" to get hover effects.  Check
out the IE4 demo pages, and you'll see what I mean, if it's not
blindingly obvious.

Although the object model is cross-platform, you're right - the
scripting language *IS*, in this case, part of the platform, and
therefore a potentially limiting factor for the platforms on which the
content can be presented.  This is, in my mind, another reason to make
sure there's a simple baseline style language with low overhead that can
be implemented even on simple user agents (e.g., Web browsers on PDAs).

	-Chris
Chris Wilson
cwilso@microsoft.com
***

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Paul Prescod [SMTP:papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca]
> Sent:	Monday, April 28, 1997 8:16 PM
> To:	MegaZone
> Cc:	www-style@w3.org
> Subject:	Re: Cascading and scripting (was: The concept of
> cascading) (fwd)
> 
> MegaZone wrote:
> > >Still, I'm not really convinced that we need these "in-between"
> > >standards like <FONT ...> and DOM to allow people to do interesting
> > >things in wildly non-standard, non-portable, non-generic markup
> ways.
> > 
> > The DOM is portable.  It says nothing about what does the
> transforms.  That
> > can be JavaScript, VBScript - or any standard scripting language
> that might
> > be deployed.  
> 
> That's what makes it *non-portable* in my mind. What if my browser has
> a
> different scripting language built in than the one in the stylesheet?
> 
> > JavaScript is a defacto standard now, fairly safe if you code well.
> 
> Where's the specification for JavaScript?
> 
> > I don't believe ISO is a serious player in the least.  They take
> far, far,
> > far too long to develop anything.  By the time they produce anything
> the
> > vendors will be five steps ahead of them.
> 
> Well, that's the fundamental difference between how ISO works and how
> W3C works. ISO doesn't try to keep up with the vendors. They
> standardize
> the ideas that their customers (industries, governments, large
> organizations) want them to, and those customers pressure vendors into
> accepting the standards.
> 
> Of course ISO is irrelevant at the level of the Latest KEWL features
> from Netscape and Microsoft. But when we are talking about the
> standards
> that will be the basis for transferring medical (or financial) records
> between organizations, or encoding the documents that define our
> civilization (and governance), I say again: "thank God that ISO is
> there
> for sober second thought."
> 
> One interesting point: I can find substantially more information on
> the
> Web about the upcoming revision to ISO SGML than the revision to W3C
> HTML. As a citizen of a participating country I also think I have more
> control over that process.
>  
> > >BTW, when will we get access to the DOM WG mailing list archives?
> The
> > 
> > I'm on www-dom, it has been basically silent for a week or so.
> Things are
> > just starting out.  The list was only recently created.
> 
> I believe that you (and I) are on the *public* mailing list. There is
> also a *private* WG mailing list where the real work gets done. You
> and
> I can yack on the public mailing list till the cows come home. I think
> we'd be lonely there, though. I believe that the people on the private
> list are not supposed to tell us what is going on.
>  
>  Paul Prescod
> 
Received on Tuesday, 29 April 1997 14:40:30 GMT

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