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Re: Action item on syntax-based interoperability

From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2003 17:13:58 -0400
To: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <r02000200-1028-D1BEA172059D11D888600003937A08C2@[192.168.124.11]>

Elliotte Rusty Harold writes:
>At 11:23 AM -0400 10/23/03, Champion, Mike wrote:
>>Web-related tools such as DOM, SOAP, Xinclude, etc.  How about XSLT? 
>>It is most definitely an important part of the Web as I understand
>>the term, but most definitely not defined at the level of concrete
>>syntax.
>
>I like XSLT, but is it it a coincidence that XSLT in general is not 
>exchanged on the Web today? Instead it is processed locally on the 
>server side. In practice, XSLT is as or more unreliable when 
>delivered to clients than JavaScript and DOM. I used to think this 
>was purely because of bad implementations, but now I'm not so sure. 
>Perhaps the problems that plague client side XSLT are endemic to any 
>effort to exchange a data model instead of syntax.

I think this set of XSLT issues may also suggest an answer to Dare
Obasanjo's repeated claim that CSS demonstrates the value of a data
model shared among applications: CSS interoperability is notoriously
problematic.  (XSLT has the advantage of being far smaller and better
defined prior to implementation; that it still has problems is not a
good sign.)

Application developers have taken years to get CSS sort of vaguely
right, though some have certainly put more effort into it than others.
It's pretty obvious, however, that this isn't an easy task.  DOM interop
has faced similar problems, with similar results.

Data model sharing requires tremendous agreement and an enormous amount
of effort to implement that agreement.  Syntax-based interop, XML 1.0
style, seems to have enormous advantages in this regard.

(Like Elliotte, I've taken to creating my own XML object models,
reflecting my own priorities.  While it's a lot of work, and never as
complete as I'd like, it's also a tremendous relief.)


-------------
Simon St.Laurent - SSL is my TLA
http://simonstl.com may be my URI
http://monasticxml.org may be my ascetic URI
urn:oid:1.3.6.1.4.1.6320 is another possibility altogether
Received on Thursday, 23 October 2003 17:14:01 GMT

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