Re: CSS and SGML document formatting -Reply

Scott E. Preece wrote:
> 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.

I've been lurking here awhile,  and as an occational author of content,
a user of the web and an implementer of a browser I find this notion,
that we could have two competing style sheet mechanisms, dangerous.  I
certainly don't have time to learn even one :)

As a standards body,  W3 should make a choice of which style mechanism
is the right one for HTML.  Having isn't acceptable.  I agree that DSSSL
looks very complex to me.  I also don't like the notion that I must
maintain a separate lexer and parser for DSSSL,  whereas what I've seen
of CSS can be implemented with an SGML parser/lexer.  But a choice
should be made,  and if DSSSL is the right thing to do,  then make the
choice.  If CSS can be expanded to allow all of DSSSL's functionality
then do that.

Some compromise needs to be reached which allows people to start using
style sheets.  Experience will determine how the features should be
expanded.  The core could be determined from what you folks believe is
important to control,  or one can just choose some particular formatting
tools set of notions and make those available (in some suitably
abstracted form).  If this isn't done, then IMO you'll continue to see
ad hoc solutions from Netscape and Microsoft.

Doug Rand <drand@sgi.com>	(508) 567 - 2217	
Silicon Graphics		http://reality.sgi.com/employees/drand
Digital Media Systems		User Interface Technology
Disclaimer:  You think *I'm* opinionated?

Follow-Ups: References: