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RE: storing info in XSL-FO: new issue? [was: Draft TAG Finding:...]

From: Didier PH Martin <martind@netfolder.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 10:17:23 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <000101c2452f$97b73160$6401a8c0@didierhome>
To: "'Håkon Wium Lie'" <howcome@opera.com>, "'Elliotte Rusty Harold'" <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
Cc: <www-tag@w3.org>, <www-style@w3.org>, <w3c-css-wg@w3.org>



Hi Håkon

Håkon said:
How do you express that some text is a headline in XSL-FO? Or that
some string is a variable?

Consider one example from Braille renderings. Since Braille characters
use much space, words are often contracted to fit more text on one
page. However, some words -- for example program variables -- should
not be contracted. HTML gives you the ability to express this (using
the VAR element) and this is crucial to improve Braille renderings.
XFO, on the other hand, gives access to the text but information that
can be used to decide if a word can be contracted or not is lost.

The sematics of HTML may be shallow, but it's just enough to enable
non-visual presentations which is critical for universal
accessibility.

Didier replies:
I agree with Håkon, XSL_FO has all the characteristics of a rendering
language. Its basic model is based on _formatting_ objects. Objects
similar to DSSSL formatting objects. The root object is a page and this
page contains other formatting objects. We do not have this kind of
distinction in HTML where the root object is an HTML element that could
be match to whatever rendering object you may want. It could be match to
an aural dialog, a tactile braille object or an SVG, DHTML(1), or
whatever visual rendering language that can be used to render an HTML
document. Conclusion: an HTML document is more abstract than an XSLT-FO
document. XSL-FO is definitively a rendering language used to specify
rendering/formatting objects. I understand that most browser since
mosaic implemented a visual rendition model but this is only an
implementation not an inherent characteristic of HTML. HTML element are
not rendering object but they could be matched with visual, tactile or
aural rendering objects with or without a rendition specification like
CSS or XSLT. We can also say the same thing of XHTML.

(1) I mean the visual model, the one used in actual browsers.

Cheers
Didier PH Martin
Received on Monday, 19 August 2002 07:50:08 GMT

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