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

Re: Are there W3C definitions of presentation and content?

From: White Lynx <whitelynx@operamail.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2005 16:22:30 +0400
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-Id: <20050923122230.31B9623D1B@ws5-3.us4.outblaze.com>

> Indeed. One of the nice things of CSS is that it can be ignored.
Try to format XML documents with CSS.You simply can't  ignore CSS when
it is used to define layout, unless all elements are inline and no formatting is necessary.

> There are few methods already and others are being worked on
All these methods are either completely irrelevant or relevant to XHTML only.

Imagine email messages archieved in some XML based format,
you can easily format them with CSS and view in browser, but there is problem: 
messages may have attachments like 
<attachment type="image/png" href="picture.png"/>
some want to embedd these attachments into message like
attachment[type="image/png"] {display:block;content:attr(href,url)}
some want to create link to attached file
attachment {link:attr(href);}
It is the matter of presentation which way to go.

What if you want to format TEI (Text Encoding Initiative, markup language similar to DocBook) pages? Some versions of TEI encode links in form:
<xref url="http://www.tei-c.org">Text Encoding Initiative</xref>
You can format TEI documents with CSS and view them in browser, but links won't work as no browser supports TEI natively. With CSS linking extensions it is possible to actuate link above and emulate native support
xref[url] {link:attr(url);}

'eXtensible' Markup Language can be really eXtensible only if it is accompanied by powerful style language. Refusing to standardize linking extensions, means that W3C CSS WG from one hand restricts capabilities of XML+CSS approach and from another hand undermines eXtensibility.

> Still, IMHO, the 'correct' way to do this XML->XSL->XHTML+CSS
There are two counter points. 
First, web is not the only media where CSS is used. 
Second, XHTML is not the only markup language that can be formatted with CSS (how about CSS rendering engine that does not support XHTML at all) and in many cases XML markup carries important semantical information that is simply lost when you convert it into markup language that roughly speaking has only three block level containers: paragraph, address and blockquote (the rest of block level XHTML elements carry no semantics). 
For comparison languages like DocBook and TEI have hundreds of elements with specific semantical role. 



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Received on Friday, 23 September 2005 12:22:45 GMT

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