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Re: storing info in XSL-FO: new issue? [was: Draft TAG Finding:...]

From: Roger Gimson <roger_gimson@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 12:04:50 +0100
Message-ID: <3D5CDC52.4000301@hpl.hp.com>
To: www-tag@w3.org

On Fri, 2002-08-09 at 13:43, Bert Bos wrote:
 > Indeed, I believe it is an architectural principle, that the TAG
 > hopefully one day puts in writing, that XSL-FO elements are at a
 > different semantic level than (X)HTML, SVG and MathML, and that it is
 > possible to transform the latter three into the former, but that
 > putting them in the same document would be counter to the goals of the
 > semantic Web. In particular, W3C promotes (X)HTML, SVG and MathML as
 > permanent repositories of information and we expect them to be found
 > on Web servers, but we don't expect XSL-FO's to be used for anything
 > else than as a volatile format, that only exists in the milliseconds
 > between the formatting and the printing of the results.

Let me rewrite that last bit using a parallel example:

.. we don't expect CSS to be used for anything else than as a volatile 
format, that only exists in the milliseconds between the formatting and 
the presentation of the results.

Clearly untrue! CSS files are first-class objects on the Web. They are 
authored, stored, retrieved and used by browsers to create 
presentations. Just as XSL-FO files can be used.

XSL-FO files cannot be simply transient. The formatting information they 
contain, for example about pagination and layout, cannot be recreated 
automatically from some earlier representation. Similarly, it is not 
possible to derive a CSS stylesheet from XML content.

XSL-FO, like HTML, may be used to mix content and presentation in an 
undesireable fashion. But that does not invalidate the use of XSL-FO as 
an XML-based markup language for storing presentation descriptions.

Roger Gimson

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Received on Friday, 16 August 2002 07:07:06 UTC

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