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

RE: Getting rid of CSS

From: Braden N. McDaniel <braden@shadow.net>
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 03:45:09 -0500
To: <sjoerd@heeten.nl>, <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001be3d3e$b1b13540$01000080@bonezero>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-style-request@w3.org [mailto:www-style-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Sjoerd Visscher
> Sent: Saturday, January 09, 1999 9:02 AM
> To: www-style@w3.org
> Subject: Getting rid of CSS
>
>
> 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
>
> Problems with CSS not being XML:
> - extension is more limited

Is this really proving a problem? If you really think so, please elaborate.
There isn't the same pressing need to extend a style sheet language is there
is to extend a document markup language.

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

CSS is not a programming language. It is a declarative data format. I don't
see how learning CSS is any more difficult than learning a particular XML
application. CSS has a simple, straightforward syntax. Unless one is already
familiar with XML, XSL has a significantly steeper learning curve.

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

But that's way off in the future. XML is Not Ready Yet. There aren't many
browsers that support it. HTML is here Now. CSS is here Now.

Even if we had HTML in XML tomorrow, it would be at least a year before it
began to fall into common use. And non-XML HTML documents would continue to
be a big part of the Web for far longer.

As XML implementations become more common, and more XML authoring tools
appear, HTML (and especially non-XML HTML) will become less important, and
it can be expected that XSL will ride XML's coattails into prominence as the
new lingua franca for the Web.

Meanwhile, CSS is important and necessary. Furthermore, we should consider
it a sort of testbed for XSL as far as the formatting model is concerned.

> - A separate DOM has to be defined. Using XML would not
>   require this.

I don't see why; it seems to me that DOM support of CSS could be added in a
binding, without defining a new DOM.

> I'm reading this mailinglist for a while now and a lot of
> discussion is going on about how new features should be
> implemented into the CSS language. XML usually makes
> extending much easier. 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.
>
> There are 2 solutions:
> 1. Switch to XSL

XSL is still a working draft. CSS has two finished specifications.

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

And since we already have XSL,why do we need another XML style sheet
language for the Web?

I strongly suspect that as XSL and XSL implementations mature, tools for
converting a CSS style sheet to an XSL style sheet will emerge.

Braden
Received on Monday, 11 January 1999 03:46:26 GMT

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