W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > December 2002

Re: XBL is (mostly) W3C redundant, and CSS is wrong W3C layer for semantic behavior *markup*

From: Jeremy Dunck <ralinon@hotmail.com>
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 16:16:08 -0600
To: dbaron@fas.harvard.edu, shelby@coolpage.com
Cc: www-style@w3.org, rayw@netscape.com
Message-ID: <BAY1-F11Q0r9Zvfk88O0001ea56@hotmail.com>

>From: "L. David Baron" <dbaron@fas.harvard.edu>
>Subject: Re: XBL is (mostly) W3C redundant, and CSS is wrong W3C layer 
><snip>
>While it is a good idea to begin with general solutions when they might
>be adequate rather than prematurely optimizing, I find it hard to
>believe that retransforming an entire document and redoing the layout of
>the entire result document (something that is already known to take a
>few seconds or more for complex pages) for any DOM manipulation would
>have acceptable performance for some of the more complex pages on the
>web today.
<snip>

And on that note, one -could- argue that the DOM is redundant with XSLT.  Or 
that XSL:FO is redundant with CSS.  Or that XHTML is redundant with HTML.  
And so on.  And they'd be somewhat right.

I know you, Shelby, interpreted Daniel's remark "Hammers are too heavy to 
efficiently smash flies." as being snide, and I certainly think it could 
have been put less abrasively--  but the point is valid.

The fact is that there's more than one way to skin any particular cat, and 
the varying ways to do it are better than others in certain situations.

I happen to believe it would have been better to make XBL bindings using 
CSS-like selectors (and the cascade?) in separate instances, rather than 
mingling them in where they could be mistaken as CSS properties.

I also believe that at some point, there must be glue to make all these 
orthogonal layers work.

Witness the inclusion of an [stylesheet in XML].  Witness the dodged bullet 
of providing the [DOMImplementation] instance for client-side DOM usage.

Yes, I do believe that W3C standards could be used to accomplish what XBL is 
doing-- but perhaps not so well.

I am not knowledgable about XSLT, XBL, or DOM implementations to comment on 
that.  I am not knowledgable on XEvents and XForms to comment on that.  But 
I am also willing to believe that a group other than the W3C had a good 
idea.  (That's not intended to be inflammatory...)

Thanks for the constructive feedback, David.

Shelby, you may not have fired the first shot, but humility in the face of 
arrogance is quite disarming.

Daniel, I think you've provided some great insight into XBL.  Before this 
thread, I knew of XBL, but but had never looked into it.  While I may 
disagree with some of the specific implementation choices made, I think that 
XBL does provide a great value-- Standards are good, but there's a lot to be 
said for working code.

So let's keep it constructive.

  Thanks for the learning experience,
    Jeremy Dunck

[stylesheet in XML]
http://www.w3.org/TR/xml-stylesheet/

[DOMImplementation]
http://www.w3.org/TR/DOM-Level-2-Core/core.html#ID-249F15BA


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Received on Friday, 27 December 2002 17:16:40 GMT

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