Re: Dynamism in CSS and DSSSL

At 04:13 AM 4/19/97 -0400, Paul Prescod wrote:
>I think that the idea of dynamically adding and removing
>content from documents at runtime is rather suspect, myself, but DSSSL
>can handle it. I feel that dynamically adding and removing content is
>suspect because it makes validation impossible and meaningless,
>complicates UI and requires behaviour in exactly the way that SGML is
>supposed to avoid. It is, however, an excellent way of hardcoding
>documents so that they depend on the browsers of today.
>What you want, rather, is dynamic *display* of statically marked content

Most times, I'd say this last sentence is accurate. But there is a smaller
subset of documents in which adding and removing content at runtime is
critical. For examples, see any web page that uses JavaScript to rewrite
the contents of a frame. Extremely useful for setup and configuration
screens (like for searching and portfolio management), among other things. 

What MSFT's dynamic HTML allows you to do -- as opposed to NSCP's dynamic
layers & style sheets -- is allow you to react to user input in a manner
much freer and cleaner way than the frames document.write chore. This
technology is extremely exciting, and essentially delivers on Java's
promise of a fungible GUI *without* the laborious applet startup times. 

Just to stir some thoughts ;-) Imagine a document object model that can
trigger actions based upon where in the text a user clicks and drags. The
XML-linking terminology gives you the vocabulary to keep track of these
spans, and Dynamic Markup lets you rewrite the content and alter the style
sheet. Voila! A word processor!


    Alan Karben
    Manager, Multimedia
    The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition

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