Re: Cascading and scripting (was: The concept of cascading)

At 15:59 -0400 4.28.97, Paul Prescod wrote:
> Todd Fahrner wrote:
> >
> > What does it mean for this debate that the first "serious" mass-market
> > browsers to implement CSS will also feature the ability to alter style
> > sheets dynamically through scripting languages? I believe
> > [youradhere]Script, in conjunction with CSS, can perform many of the
> > selection/transformation tasks that Paul cites as unique DSSSL virtues.
> Actually, I don't think I claimed any virtues to be *unique* to DSSSL.

I meant unique among the alternatives being considered, i.e., CSS and DSSSL.

> > It
> > may even be possible to write quite complex scripts inside local (user)
> > stylesheets that will effectively parameterize the system, regardless of
> > whatever classes or tagsets are in use.
> Yes. This is the question of standardized formats vs. downloadable
> programs. Instead of standardizing math (or even HTML) we could just
> require everyone to supply Java Applets that render their documents.
> Anybody who wanted to do anything other than view the documents would be
> screwed, but JavaSoft would be happy!

I take your point. <platitude class=preachy>The trouble with standardized
formats, of course, is that they provide fewer opportunities for commercial
exploitation over the short term than proprietary ones. The Internet, as we
all know, is no longer primarily an academic/governmental enterprise. This
tendency toward "black box" formats  can at best be moderated and tempered
by consortia, but not outright stemmed. There's a war on, you know. It is
too bad.</platitude>

> [snip] I would rather avoid
> the bifurcation of effort and education, but I suppose that is what will
> separate the professional publishers from the amateurs.

Or the Francis Drakes from the Isaac Newtons - the former enterprising,
pragmatic and opportunist, moving in the sphere of the world, the latter
illuminating the smaller, brighter sphere of the academy. Both can be
professionals and amateurs (lovers) at once.

Todd Fahrner

The printed page transcends space and time. The printed page, the
infinitude of books, must be transcended. THE ELECTRO-LIBRARY.

--El Lissitzky, 1923