W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > December 2005

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

From: Orion Adrian <orion.adrian@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 18:25:03 -0500
Message-ID: <abd6c8010512141525h39b98a68s419bf08dec1b8cc2@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-style@w3.org

> > So what is it you're really asking for?"
> >
> > Let people write their own hypertext languages. Let them use CSS to
> > specify what those languages mean to browsers, to search engines, and
> > to people interested in the display semantics of that mark-up.
> CSS is styling. Nothing more. It certainly doesn't convey meaning and it
> never will.

Well, I have to agree with the original poster. CSS can present
meaning, but that meaning is limited document structure. Formatting
and layout can be used to communicate relationships between objects
within a document. If you removed the default layout of all objects
and made them all either block or inline, you would be changing the
meaning of the document.

Spatial orientation is a good demonstration of this. If I tightly
group set of objects together, I am indicating that they are related
even if they aren't.

00        00
0 0         0


Here spacing can be used to indicate a relationship between the
objects. This also applies to auditory spacing in how pauses are used
to group clauses, sentences, items in a list, etc.

Now if I simly removed that formatting, I would be changing the
meaning, at least in its accuracy in communication.

So what he's saying is that he has data, relationships encoded in XML
that he wants to be able to format for the purposes communicating that
data. Perhaps he has a picture and a name. He may format the name as a
caption. What he doesn't want to do is lose the original fidelity of
the XML. By converting it to HTML, he looses all the additional data
stored in the element and attribute names in the XML. So now agents
don't know it's my picture and my name; they just know it's an image
and caption.

Now perhaps RDF is a good solution for it, or perhaps it's not. While
I think I know what he's saying, I know what I'm saying. Presentation
is a critical tool for communication because of the conventions built
up at this point and the power of spacial orientation,
similarity/dis-similarity, and other basic grouping and typing

> HTML is the standard that browsers (including non-CSS-capable), search
> engines, use. If you want to write your documents in some XML-based
> custom language, fine, but then let the server transform it so that it
> ends up as HTML. Otherwise it will not be accessible. You can add your
> own elements to HTML by means of the class attribute.

I'm thinking he'd rather worry about the data first and then format
it, then worry about the formatting and then data-ize it.

Now, I may be totally wrong here, but what I'm saying makes sense to me.


Orion Adrian
Received on Thursday, 15 December 2005 00:25:19 UTC

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