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Re: styling xml with css - copying xml attribute values into CSS attribute values

From: Laurens Holst <lholst@students.cs.uu.nl>
Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2005 22:03:04 +0100
Message-ID: <439C9408.10102@students.cs.uu.nl>
To: Noah Scales <noahjscales@yahoo.com>
Cc: www-style@w3.org

Noah Scales schreef:
> "This would let me create complete web-pages using a custom tag set 
> that's particular to the  type of web-page that I'm building."
> I meant that XHTML, is not as meaningful to me as a custom tagset. If 
> I cared about how meaningful it was to others, I could supply an XSLT 
> script to transform my tagset to less-meaningful XHTML.

You’re talking about web-pages. From that I gather you want to publish 
it on the internet, and for that, a custom format is not the way to go, 
because then you’re not adhering to any standard which make sense to the 
outside world, causing all the disadvantages that I mentioned. For 
example, if you use ‘<breadcrumb 
myurl="./webpage.htm">webpage</breadcrumb>’ then Google won’t recognised 
it as a link, and the page rank system that Google is based on would go 
totally awry if the internet didn’t use (X)HTML as the standard document 
format for web pages.

Of course if you’re using a format internally, it’s a different matter. 
At my job we use XHTML 2.0 for our documents, it’s a working draft 
that’s not ready for public consumption, and so we use it internally 
only and publish normal XHTML 1.0 in the output.

In what you mention, there is nothing that prevents you from using 
XHTML. The only thing you want to do is to move your custom information 
from a class attribute into an element name, from what I can tell only 
for aesthetic reasons.

> Or maybe a tool could map my css and custom-tag file to a new css file 
> + an xhtml file. But if you could understand css at all, then why not 
> just look at my original css file?  All css pages require it anyway.

Well authored XHTML + CSS pages can be used perfectly fine without CSS. 
For a blind person, the CSS styling is invisible (well, unless it’s got 
an aural stylesheet, but no-one ever does that). Fortunately, because 
XHTML is an established standard, an aural browser can represent the 
page just as it was originally intended, because XHTML contains the 
semantics and the CSS only the visual styling.

So your ‘all CSS pages require it anyway’ statement isn’t true. Page 
authors won’t style a h1 as a list item or anything else (well, with the 
odd exception), a h1 is a level-one heading no matter what styling is 
applied to it.

That’s the whole point of having semantics, and styling separated from 
it. The CSS should not be part of the semantics.

> If machine-readability, accessibility, and automation are concerns, 
> then maybe xml CSS is a good idea.

Why? CSS is an established public standard. The syntax is well-defined. 
Whether or not it uses XML doesn’t matter a single bit.

It’s not the first time XML syntax for this has been suggested, and I’m 
not saying it may or may not be a nice idea, it’s got arguments both in 
favour and against, but it’s got nothing to do with this subject.


Ushiko-san! Kimi wa doushite, Ushiko-san!!
Laurens Holst, student, university of Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Website: www.grauw.nl. Backbase employee; www.backbase.com.
Received on Sunday, 11 December 2005 21:03:10 UTC

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