Which style first ? Re: Associating DSSSL style sheets with documents

lee at sq.com lee at sq.com
Mon Mar 10 03:38:39 GMT 1997

James wrote:
> I don't think it's safe to assume that an entity is intended to be be used
> as a style sheet for some document simply because it is declared in the
> document with a style sheet notation.  Suppose for example, somebody was
> writing a book about DSSSL: they might declare each of their example style
> sheets as being entities with the DSSSL notation. [...]

This highlights a weakness, I think, present in XML; it's also present
in a different way in the WWW.

We don't clearly distinguish between the type of an object (e.g.
its data format, as determined by NOTATION or Mime Media Type) and
our intended use of it.

In HTML the link context -- IMG, A, META, LINK -- determines to
some extent how the "remote" resource is to be used, but if a
browser followes an <A>-style link, the resulting action is
determined almost entirely by the MIME media type that's discovered.
I say almost, since Netscape Navigator has the target=(window/frame name)
mechanism to give someattempt at control.

Presumably (I admit I'm not up to date on the latest link draft!)
in XML the same sort of situation applies.

If so, one way to deal with it is to declare multiple NOTATIONs, one
for each action you want to use.  There ought to be a #DEFAULT
notation for representing content negotiation -- what if a particular
link might return a JPEG or GIF or PNG image or even descriptive text,
but you can't in advance tell which?

Sorry, a longish message for a simple point.


Liam Quin, lee at sq.com         | lq-text freely available Unix text retrieval
Senior Technical Consultant   | FAQs: Metafont fonts, OPEN LOOK UI, OpenWindows
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