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Re: [css3-writing-modes] before/after terminology alternative? - FO and CSS names

From: Liam R E Quin <liam@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2012 22:40:39 -0400
To: Glenn Adams <glenn@skynav.com>
Cc: "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>, "public-i18n-cjk@w3.org" <public-i18n-cjk@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1349923239.6480.63.camel@localhost.localdomain>
On Tue, 2012-10-09 at 22:02 +0800, Glenn Adams wrote:
> Some persons in this thread/forum have implied that XSL-FO is dead. I am
> merely disputing such imputations.

XSL-FO is for sure not dead - FO usage is growing quite fast.

We (W3C) are not currently working on the spec, 'cos we can't get enough
people to do the work. This does not represent a lack of demand, but
rather that the people who want/need the new features tend not to get
involved in standards work.

Having said that, XSL-FO of course is a framework for formatting for
print that uses CSS properties. There are no selectors - you have to put
style attributes on everything - because the expectation is that XSL-FO
documents are generated automatically (e.g. with XSLT) from some other
format. Yes, there are some slight differences from CSS, some because of
historical divergence and some for other reasons -- e.g. the XSL-FO
expression language is more powerful, and the box model is slightly less
powerful. But the goal was to keep the properties compatible.

For new properties that the CSS WG adds, the XPPL WG (formerly the XSL
WG) was trying to follow the same names if the same things were done.
This helps implementors and users both.

We don't have good terminology for directions in either WG. XPPL had
recently decided to change block progression direction and inline
progression direction to block direction and inline direction, as the
word "progression" doesn't really add anything.

The terms start/end/before/after are pretty useless, because it's not
clear which is which. Terms like block-before and inline-after might be
really clear. The primary goal should be coming up with clear and usable
property names and values. But it would also be helpful to avoid
overloading terms that are already in use in the same technical field,
where that's possible.

Hope that helps.


Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/
Pictures from old books: http://fromoldbooks.org/
Co-author, 5th edition of "Beginning XML", Wrox, July 2012
Received on Thursday, 11 October 2012 02:41:52 UTC

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