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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] DocBook XSL stylesheets violate structure-oriented paradigm

Hi Bob,

On 2012.07.06. 17:51, Bob Stayton wrote:
The stylesheet authors try to accomodate many types of users, some of which need strict HTML and CSS, and some that want the HTML to look usable without adding their own CSS stylesheet.
that CSS could also be provided by the project with the values that are hardcoded at the moment. And if the user wants a single file, then it can also be embedded into the output HTML file. If not because of the single file, why would anyone nowadays need an obsolete HTML file polluted with lots of deprecated formatting elements? I think it just encourages people keep using bad practices, adds complexity to the stylesheets and adds overhead for the stylesheet developers. All modern browsers can now deal with HTML Strict + CSS.

There is a stylesheet param named 'make.clean.html', which when set to 1 will remove most of the internal styling. The stylesheet also has a couple of parameters that can generate a CSS file from an XML source file for chunked output such as 'custom.css'source'.
Thanks, I'll take a look at this. Actually, in this case I use the stylesheets as a basis of DocBook Slides stylesheets that I'm working on in Summer of Code. And there I wanted to give a default CSS formatting for the tables.

I'm surprised about the comment about class attributes. The stylesheets emit class values for pretty much every element. An informaltable is contained in a div element with class="informaltable". Was that not present in your output?
No, definitely not. And I just call <xsl:apply-templates/> to generate the content part of my foils so I haven't made any customizations on informaltables.

Apart from this particular issue, I'm a FreeBSD doc developer and I'm working on migrating from DocBook 4.1 SGML and DSSSL to DocBook 4.2 and XSLT. I talked to another FreeBSD developer about this migration and he had the same complaint about the XSLT stylesheets. He said he couldn't format his HTML output with CSS and he rewrote the stylesheets from scratch for a smaller subset of elements he uses. So I'm not the only one who had such problems. Accommodating many type of users - as you say - is good and an important point but I think not supporting the commonly accepted correct usage in favor of some legacy features is a wrong decision. Maybe the development directions should be reconsidered.


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