Style sheets and a pro-active approach to Formats and Protocols

What is the status of XSL development within the W3C. On the Consortium's
web site, I have found a draft note which sets out a proposal for XSL, but
it is stated to be a submission, implying no endorsement by the W3C, and
it does not constitute a working draft. What approach is being taken
toward XSL by the XML WG? Given Daniel's point that there is a price to be
paid for delaying CSS or rendering it more complex, a remark which echos
sentiments that T.V. Raman has wisely repeated on several occasions and
which are also consistent with Al's account of the CSS 2 meeting, it might
be preferable to concentrate the WAI effort on the development of XSL,
which would better accommodate the complex features required to generate
fully satisfactory braille and audio formatting. If XSL is compatible with
CSS, then some of the less sophisticated braille and audio features, if
proposed and accepted as part of the development of XSL, could then find
their way into future versions of CSS. 

So far, the involvement of the WAI in the development of W3C standards
has, of necessity, been reactive rather than pro-active. By this I mean
that it has been limited to reviewing W3C standards (especially HTML 4.0
and CSS 2) at the draft stage and arguing for important modifications
which support the requirement for output in audio and to some extent
braille media. An equally important function, however, now that the WAI
and its International Programme Office have been fully established, is to
influence W3C standard development at an earlier stage of the process.
XSL, and to some extent also RDF and DOM, offer the opportunity to engage
in a more pro-active approach which attempts to ensure that requirements
defined by the WAI are taken into account as early as possible in the
development of standards.

For this reason, consideration should also be devoted to the question of
what features the WAI would wish to be included in the next version of
HTML after 4.0. Phonetic markup is one possible candidate; fully
hierarchical SELECT options are definitely on the agenda, but are there
other features as well that would be useful from the perspective of
braille and audio requirements?

Received on Monday, 17 November 1997 18:33:07 UTC