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Re: Using an XSL Formatter as an XSL-FO Web Browser

From: Sebastian Rahtz <sebastian.rahtz@computing-services.oxford.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 16:31:31 +0000
Message-ID: <14985.24931.983419.834511@spqr.oucs.ox.ac.uk>
To: www-xsl-fo@w3.org
Max Froumentin writes:
 > need to specify everything everywhere. It also allows shorthand
 > properties and relative units, the latter being very handy using
 > several stylesheets on the same document (e.g. if you want to add a
 > user template saying something like 'make these headers twice as
 > big').

I cannot see how this applies to FO, I am afraid

 > Are you suggesting that we'd be better off without it, just because
 > it's an overhead?

IMHO, we would be better off WITHOUT shorthands, because

 - no-one will write FO by hand
 - the compatibility with CSS is at the expanded level anyway
 - its absolutely maddening to implement
 - it is a pain in the neck to teach

thank god they are optional in XSL FO. Of course, that means that
systems which don't implement them will never get used, because
authors will always seize on such features to learn first...

 > Using the CSS syntax and mechanism has not just been a political move,
 > it also makes sense on technical grounds. Common formatting properties
 > are now developped by both working groups, and that's the way things
 > should be IMO.

so, the recipe for the future is

 a) take one Byzantine unimplemented language  (eg DSSSL)
 b) stir in an incompatible, unimplemented, collection of grunts (not
    a real language) (eg CSS)
 c) express it all in a straitjacket designed by a lawyer with a
     strange sense of humour  (SGML/XML)
 d) top with political or technical unreality of your choice
 e) allow to simmer on the stove for several years until it sticks to
    the bottom of the pan and the hungry consumers have gone out for a

sigh, yes, of course I am joking.

Received on Tuesday, 13 February 2001 11:31:45 UTC

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