Re: DSSSL and WYSIWYG Editing

James Clark <jjc@jclark.com> wrote:
> [...] there are some optional features in DSSSL that I think it would
> be hard for a WYSIWYG editor to support (notably the full query language).
Yes.  I think there are several design challenges...
* a good GUI for editing styles; probably one would have to implement a
  limited subset of DSSSL, at least at first, which might cause
  interoperability problems.  I hope the SGML vendors (including us)
  continue to work together here;

* if you allow document reordering, for example so that the 1st paragraph
  in a chapter appears above the title instead of after it (say), it's
  going to be hard to avoid confused users, especially after an "insert
  Paragraph" operation.

* you need to be able to have some form of tracing and debugging support,
  I suspect.  At the very least, you should be able to point at a piece
  of your document and ask which parts of the style sheet were used to
  generate it.  This probably involves keeping track of quite a lot
  of information above the minimum you'd need in a batch environment.

> Jade doesn't attempt to support editing: I don't think a decent-quality
> DSSSL based WYSIWYG XML/SGML editor is something that can be done by a
> single person in a reasonable time-frame.
Yes, I think that's probably an understatement :-)

> >Does the DSSSL Online specification, which mainly goes into detail about
> >style characteristics, also require a transformation of the original
> >document into a new document?

DSSSL Online was designed primarily for browsers and editors to use; some
of the difficulties I've alluded to above are avoided with this subset.


Liam Quin, lee@sq.com
Senior Technical Consultant
SoftQuad Inc. +1 416 544-9000