Associating DSSSL style sheets with documents

Jon Bosak bosak at atlantic-83.Eng.Sun.COM
Thu Mar 6 00:19:01 GMT 1997

Within the next week or so, I expect to announce the availability of a
Web server that can respond to certain kinds of URLs with an XML data
stream (eventually, a variety of XML data streams).  For our own
design purposes, and also for the purposes of experimenters working
with combined XML/DSSSL applications, I would like to see this group
come up with an unofficial method or methods by which to associate a
DSSSL style sheet with a particular chunk of XML.  Such methods would
be far in advance of the sgml-wg specification effort and subject to
later revision, but given the influence of experimental
implementations, I think that it's appropriate to put a little bit of
thought into the design.

One possible method suggested by James Clark (thank you, James) is to
adopt the convention used by Jade in the absence of the -d option:
replace the extension of the document entity's URL or file name with
.dsl and fetch that.  Thus, if a browser fetches

then it should also look for

and apply it to bar.html if found.

This is appealingly straightforward, but I wonder how well it
accommodates multiple stylesheets and stylesheets that use other
notations (CSS, for example).  Of course, we could deal with the
second concern by saying that DSSSL is the default stylesheet language
for XML experimentation and that we will figure out some way to
accommodate other stylesheet languages later.

James lists some other possibilities:

| - a processing instruction somewhere in the prolog
| - a catalog entry that says unconditionally to use some DSSSL style
|   sheet
| - a catalog entry that associates a DSSSL style sheet with the public
|   identifier of a DTD
| - make the document serve also as a style sheet by making it conform
|   to the DSSSL architecture (this will work with Jade too)

Any thoughts on this?  I am, of course, particularly interested in
hearing from those of you who are actively building DSSSL


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