W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 1999

Re: Getting rid of CSS

From: Daniel Glazman <Daniel.Glazman@der.edf.fr>
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 08:23:50 +0100
Message-ID: <3699A706.3BA2791E@der.edf.fr>
To: sjoerd@heeten.nl
CC: www-style@w3.org
Sjoerd Visscher wrote:

> I'm sorry if I shocked some off the CSS fans.
> 
> This is why I think CSS should be history in a few years:
> CSS IS NOT XML

	So what ? Do you want to throw everything away just
because we now have XML ? I really do not understand the "XML-
everywhere" fever. It seems that you guys who usually take money
under big consideration forget the existing databases. I
remember messages of the same type just a few years after SGML
release. "This is the death of old doc formats and applications".
Thirteen years from that, we're still not there. XML is mostly
SGML minus some ambiguities and plus some features and nothing
really changed.
	A CSS parser is a very low cost implementation. It can
be implemented in some days by any programming newbye. It is simple
to understand, simple to implement, simple to extend. Compare
it with the total cost of implementation of a XML-based app...
	Industry already uses CSS and unless the W3C provides a
a fully compatible standard and ways to automagically turn dozens
of CSS stylesheets into XSL, it won't snap fingers and make the step !
	Last but not least, for the moment, the Web is HTML. A
non-XML version of HTML w/o XSL. Millions of documents...

> Problems with CSS not being XML:
> - extension is more limited

	Ridiculous. The CSS+FP WG is now building the 3rd level
of CSS. Take a look at CSS1 and then CSS2 to see how it can be
extended. Many proposals are based on CSS : STTS, Action Sheets,
HTML Components, Spice. A limited extension mechanism does not
allow new specs to appear... 

> - authors need to learn a second (programming) language

	Ha !!! Take a look at XSL and show an example to anyone
in your neighborhood who is not a XML fanatic and you'll see
people respond "this is a difficult programming language". XSL
is so simple that this mailing list is full of messages asking
for help ! At the contrary, a CSS rule is readable in a single
glance...

> - future optimized soft- and hardware may only be able to
>   read XML. The ideal internet would be an XML-only internet.

	Ideal for who ? For XML fanatics, certainly. For industry,
this is still a conjecture.

> The need for extending CSS
> has required the use of almost al characters on a keyboard,
> i.e. () {} [] ' " @ ; : and ! (I'm sure that's not all of them).
> This will get more and more confusing.

	I don't know what you mean by "need for extending CSS".
The CSS syntax is able to handle all the extensions the CSS+FP WG
has thought of. If you have something in mind, please tell us.
 
> There are 2 solutions:
> 1. Switch to XSL

	For the moment, CSS and XSL are not so compatible. CSS
is a standard and XSL is a draft. We'll wait a little bit...

> 2. Converting CSS to XML, this should not be to hard.
>    We could call it NG-CSS.

	So we don't need XSL styles. Great !-)

</Daniel>
Received on Monday, 11 January 1999 02:24:00 GMT

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