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

On 6.7.2012 18:43, Gabor Kovesdan wrote:

> 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? 

Could you point us to deprecated formatting elements emitted by

> 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.

Browsers deal with HTML5 + CSS so there is no need to target legacy HTML

> 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.

You can simply use selectors

.informaltable table
.table table

to match only real DocBook tables not tables used for navigation and few
other things.

>> 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. 

You are probably using HTML table model not CALS. It seems that for HTML
table model enclosing <div> with proper class is not emitted, this is
bug. Probably no one faced this before because legacy DocBook users as
me are relying on CALS tables.

> 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. 

My experience is that the current output can be restyled in any way
using CSS.

> 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.

There are XSLT 2.0 based stylesheets that aim to output more clean and
more HTML5ish code:



  Jirka Kosek      e-mail: jirka@kosek.cz      http://xmlguru.cz
       Professional XML consulting and training services
  DocBook customization, custom XSLT/XSL-FO document processing
 OASIS DocBook TC member, W3C Invited Expert, ISO JTC1/SC34 member

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