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Re: Default XSL stylesheet for XHTML documents

From: Ian Hickson <ianh@netscape.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2000 10:34:07 -0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
To: Elliotte Rusty Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
cc: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.WNT.4.21.0010021023500.952-100000@HIXIE.netscape.com>
On Mon, 2 Oct 2000, Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:
> I've just finished quite a bit of work with XSL-FO, and it seems to 
> me that it goes quite a bit beyond what CSS attempts. I can easily 
> see using XSLT+XSL-FO to lay out a complete book. I can't see doing 
> that with CSS. Why? Here are a few reasons:
> 1. Page numbers!   XSL-FO makes it straight-forward not only to 
> insert the current page number but to cross-reference to numbers of 
> other pages. This is essential for building tables of contents, 
> indexes, cross-references, and more.

There is a public CSS3 draft that I believe covers pretty much the same
ground as XSL:FO. Do you have any comments on this draft that would help
us make the CSS3 spec able to do everything you need?

> 2. Footnotes and other floating objects.

Again, there is a CSS3 draft on this (although I cannot recall if it is
public or not).

One problem with footnotes is they are a 'Hard' problem to incrementally
reflow, especially when the DOM can change at any time causing you to have
to work out the new positions of everything.

> 3. Running headers and running footers. Every book has these. I don't 
> see them in CSS.

CSS2 has this already (fixed positioning). CSS3 drafts improve on it

> 4. More granular properties. Many CSS properties are just shorthands 
> for more detailed XSL-FO properties.


> 5. Much better support for non right-to-left, top-to-bottom text; 
> including text that mixes writing directions.

CSS3 will be specifying this in detail.

> And of course there are the practical issues like the fact that 
> XSL-FO lets me produce a high-quality PDF and bring it to the local 
> print shop while CSS doesn't.

I do not understand this. Assuming CSS3 has all the capabilities of
XSL:FO, why would XSL:FO be any better at making PDFs than CSS?

> Some of these are fixable problems, and some of them will likely be
> fixed (though I'm really curious to know how CSS could even begin to
> handle page number citations and cross-references)

There is a quite complete draft specification for this already, please
check it out and give us your comments!

CSS3 public drafts are available online:

Ian Hickson                                     )\     _. - ._.)       fL
Netscape, Standards Compliance QA              /. `- '  (  `--'
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Received on Monday, 2 October 2000 13:32:08 UTC

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