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

RE: CSS in XML format ?

From: Manos Batsis <m.batsis@bsnet.gr>
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 16:26:27 +0300
Message-ID: <E657D8576967CF448D6AF22CB42DD2690FF2D4@ermhs.Athens.BrokerSystems.gr>
To: "Patrick Andries" <pandries@iti.qc.ca>
Cc: <www-style@w3.org>

> From: Patrick Andries [mailto:pandries@iti.qc.ca] 

> Yes, yes. This is why XML and XHTML has been rejected by all 
> B2B and B2C
> applications : those tags are just too long (<TABLE COLSPAN=" 
> " where <T1
> C2=" could be sufficient).

No it wouldn't:

"XML documents should be human-legible and reasonably clear."

... Since XML docs are supposed to be easily understood by humans and
machines alike. Verbosity is explicitly a non-issue.

> Which only proves (with the fact that someone has developed 
> SAC) that other
> people want to convert CSS.
> Why should everyone redo this job 
> (write his
> parser) when, if CSS could be expressed as XML, the parsing 
> could be done
> with the same W3C standard used to interpret the accompanying XHTML ?

Not sure if I understand you correctly; SAC [1] is an API, not a program
and it certainly did not have the "conversion of CSS" as it's main aim.
SAC is for CSS what DOM is to XML. Anyway, if CSS had the initial form
of an XML vocabulary, it would surely enjoy less support than it does

What you are asking for (CSS in XML) exists and is called XSL-FO[2], an
"XML vocabulary for specifying formatting semantics". You can use
XSL(-FO) as your initial format to produce anything else from XHTML to

The level of presentation information CSS carries is directly dependant
on either the selector of element that holds the htm:style attribute.
Promoting such an attribute to a (sub) tree damages the original
hierarchy (thus the semantics of the document), unless you convert the
XHTML elements as well for consistency. So what you have to build is an
XSLT that will translate XHTML to XSL-FO (which might be a great idea
actually). It certainly is possible, since you have to deal with a
finite set as input (XHTML elements and their attributes) that need to
be mapped to XSL.

The more I think about it, the more I like it.

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/SAC/
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/xsl/


Received on Thursday, 11 July 2002 09:26:08 UTC

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