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Subject: Re: [docbook] Whatever happened too CSS+XML?

I think perhaps you are missing the point. I don't think anyone here
is saying that CSS is the equivalent of XSLT, or in fact, anything

I think the major point is that if you want the semantic goodness of
an advanced XML document type such as DocBook without any of the post
processing goodness of XSLT - CSS is more than an adequate way of
styling this information for the user.

On 11/8/05, Paul Prescod <paul.prescod@blastradius.com> wrote:
> > Why use (X)HTML at all?  That's the whole point.  Modern
> > browsers can display XML fairly well without transforming the
> > original document into some bizarre and unnatural form.
> XHTML and CSS aren't bizarre and unnatural to people _with a design
> background_. XML and XSLT are.
> I work with XML auhors all day, every day, so I know that in the general
> case the XML you author on your desktop is not exactly what you want to
> publish to your website or to print:
>  * it lacks a TOC
>  * it lacks indexes
>  * certain elements need complicated prefixes and postfixes (including
> text, graphics, borders, table-like structures)
>  * chunks are not necessarily at the "right size" for reading and
> downloading
>  * cross reference syntaxes may not adhere to Web standards (e.g. DITA)
>  * IDs which are in the "same document" in XML may be in separate chunks
> on the Web -- these links need to be fixed up
>  * it lacks breadcrumb navigation
>  * every HTML chunk needs a header and footer with next/prev/parent
> buttons
>  * links may be injected from an external link base
> You don't need a transform step for what you're doing today. Great.
> Consider yourself lucky. Please don't consider yourself representative.
> CSS would be much further ahead right now if its advocates would
> acknowledge where it is strong, where it is weak and where it needs to
> work together with transformation technologies. Instead, they continue
> to treat XSLT and CSS as competitors which ensures that CSS is
> guaranteed to lose. After all, XSLT programmers are free to mix CSS
> properties into their XSLT and thereby demonstrate that XSLT is
> functionally a superset of XML+CSS without XSLT. But CSS users look
> silly when they discount the requirements that drive people to XSLT.
> "Indexing? Why would you want to do that?" A better strategy is to admit
> that those things that cannot be done in CSS are best done in XSLT but
> those things that can be done in CSS should be, because it is simpler,
> more maintainable and easier to read.
> In fact, it is because "Web people" tend not understand the mechanics of
> large-document publishing on the Web that big documents are usually
> delivered as PDF. Please take a look around this site and tell me how
> you would accomplish it with "just CSS":
>  http://www.docbook.org/tdg/simple/en/html/sdocbook.html
>  Paul Prescod
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"Creativity can be a social contribution, but only in so
far as society is free to use the results." - R. Stallman

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