Subject: RE: [docbook] Whatever happened too CSS+XML?
Okay: do we agree that transformations are often required for production Web publishing? Do we agree that CSS cannot do them, and therefore depends on transformational technologies? Do we agree that XSLT is a fine tool for doing these transformations though there may be others? If so, then it seems the crux of our debate is the question is whether the output of these transformations should be XHTML or a normalized form of DocBook with TOCs, Indexes, inlined cross references, etc. My position is that generating either one is roughly the same amount of programming effort -- the transformation is the hard part, not the translation of element types (that's a trivial mapping exercise). And applying CSS styles to either one is basically the same amount of effort (are you applying to element types or classes). So there is no architectural simplification available. So then your question becomes: "What would DocBook/DITA/TEI in the browser gain you or lose you?" In today's world, I'd be curious about its affect on the following aspects of web publishing: * search engine indexing * search engine link recognition * browser recognition of links in general and semantically meaningful ("role") links in particular * browser recognition of images * rendering performance * compatibility with screen readers * compatibility with mobile phones, set-top boxes and other limited devices * compatibility with minority browsers like Safari, OmniWeb, Konqueror) * compatibility with link checkers * compatibility with web content management and web publishing software * compatibility with advertising injectors Let's say that all of that stuff is updated to work with XML+CSS (millions of dollars of investment, but anyhow...). Are we actually in a better world? Because HTML's element type names are globally meaningful, platforms that typically lack a specialized stylesheet (e.g. a screen reader, web scraper or mobile phone) can "figure out" the content. But in a world of arbitrary element types floating around the Web, they will find this problematic. Paul Prescod