Re: The concept of cascading
| > ... most people would rather have the enforcement come
| > from the machine. I'm speaking from direct experience of how
| > publishing works in large corporations and the kinds of policies that
| > have to be put in place in the absence of software support for
| > enforcing stylistic consistency.
| Be they cascading or parameterized, stylesheets can be kept under
| central control. But can a stylesheet be an enforcement mechanism? I
| thought external stylesheets were about convenience and efficiency.
| Without the cooperation of authors, no stylesheet will "enforce"
| stylistic consistency. But with cooperation, they will "facilitate" it.
You can't prevent anyone from doing anything. So what.
Every medium- to large-size corporation invests major money in
creating a corporate personality for their public documents and puts
management systems in place to ensure that content producers within
the company follow the style guidelines. Anyone can, in theory,
ignore these controls, and then they will, in fact, get fired. The
point is that some methods of specifying style constraints work more
gracefully with this model than others. The parameterization concept
should work more gracefully with the requirement for corporate style
control than the cascading model because it allows permitted changes
to the corporate style to be provided as a kind of API to the
stylesheet and makes clear to authors the distinction between what can
be changed and what can't be changed that in the cascading model would
have to be provided as a set of verbal policies.
There is nothing to prevent corporate style from being controlled
through verbal policies; that's what we've been doing for quite a
while. But it's been my experience that authors find it easier to
work with policies when they are built into an interface than when
they have to be memorized. All things being equal, it should be
easier to build policies into an interface using a parameterization
model than using a cascading model.