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Re: [Selectors], XSLT, and a browser's internal view of an xml document

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2006 08:20:19 +0000 (GMT)
Message-Id: <200602170820.k1H8KKV02960@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: www-style@w3.org

> - use separate files (for example, use an XML file
> with a CSS stylesheet).

That achieves the objective.
> 
> - use separate namespaces (for example, use an XML
> file with the XHTML style element and attribute).

No.

> 
> - use special elements and/or attributes (for example,
> use an HTML file with the HTML style element and
> attribute).

The HTML style attribute does not maintain separation.
The HTML style element does allow a reasonable degree
of separation.

> - use presentation mark-up (for example, transform an
> XML file to generate XSL-FO).

There is no presentational markup in the primary document.  In this
case there is separation.  The style is in the transformation and XSLT-FO,
and the data in the primary document.

Basically, when people say separate style from content they mean make
it such that you can give responsibility for editing the content to
someone who doesn't need to know the appearence and that for defining
the house style to someone who doesn't need to know the details of
the content.  Having markup in the respective parts which handles the
other function frustrates this as it gives the tow parties access to
the other ones capabilities.

Home pages are the one problem in this, in that the imperative to
give them advertising impact makes it irresistable for the graphic
designer to work down at the sentence, word or even character level,
but on a site that has real content (in my view, many commercial ones don't)
simple industrialisation of the production process means that the graphic
designer cannot hand tweak every page, so should simply provide a set of
generic rules.

Such generic, house style, rules pre-date sophisticated computer typesetting,
and it is probably easier to see the separation concept there, as a human
readable house style document has to be written, and those providing content,
whilst they do have to introduce the styling into the document, have to
do it by mechanically following the house style rules.  Like with a good
computerised style sheet, they still have to make decisions about the nature
of parts of their content, but they don't have the authority to choose the
way that type of content is formatted.

Even in the home page case, you can have reasonable separation if
you write the text without styling then minimally decorate it with
additional id attributes.  This assumes that you start from the point
of view of the content being important - I suspect a lot of advertising
the appearence is important, and the text just has to fit with that
appearence - that conflicts with the concept of HTML, and really needs
a purely presentational language.

> 
> - "content-describing" mark-up (for example,
> <first-name>Noah</first-name>).

This is what people mean, although in HTML, this would have to be
<.... style="firstname">....

> 
> - "presentation mark-up" (for example, <inline
> font="bold 12pt">Noah</inline>).

This is considered a particularly bad case of mixing styling and content.
It is definitely not separation.  When used in HTML, where "inline" is "span",
it is generally seen as attempting to use the deprecated font element,
without actually using it.
Received on Friday, 17 February 2006 08:22:20 GMT

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