Re: CSS and SGML document formatting -Reply

From: Gavin Nicol <gtn@ebt.com>
| >I was tempted to implement CSS1, I was not tempted to impliment DSSSL.
| >I was rather intimidated by DSSSL :-) And it is hard to pronounce,
| >too.
| This is part of the problem. People don't understand DSSSL, or are
| intimidated by it, because they don't understand the problem it's
| trying to solve to the level of detail the designers of DSSSL do. 
| I think that CSS and HTML will be used for a while, but eventually, I
| think that they *must* become as complex as the other solutions.
| CSS is small, it's easy. Anybody can work with, or design something
| like it. The one thing is is *not* is suitable as a general-purpose
| stylesheet language for large scale publishing of structured
| documents. 

I suspect CSS and DSSSL can and will continue to live in parallel
indefinitely.  CSS is probably pretty close to adequate for the kinds of
simple styling that *users* want to do to ocntrol display of information
in their browser.  I think the learning curve is too steep for DSSSL to
be practical for that purpose (I think that in part because I haven't
been able to convince myself to start climbing it, yet, and I *like*
being tool-literate).  Meybe it just requires better presentation than
I've seen, yet, but essential complexity is part of the problem, too.

The interesting question is whether some kind of mapping from CSS to
DSSSL can be implemented to allow users to express preferrnces in CSS
and have the browser use them to tune the presentation of a document
whose author provided styling in DSSSL.  Bert Bos's paper on the
translation looks like a step in that direction, but I don't know DSSSL
to the point that I could say whether it provides everything you would


scott preece
motorola/mcg urbana design center	1101 e. university, urbana, il   61801
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