Query Languages for XML

Paul Prescod papresco at technologist.com
Thu Nov 20 14:42:48 GMT 1997

> XML does not address
> how to add buttons, etc. This *could* be done by ECMAScript, I suppose, but
> it starts to look a bit kludgy.

I don't think that it is a generic markup language's role to address how
to add
buttons. ECMAScript is a good language for creating scriptable code 
components. XSL and DSSSL are good languages for specifying which
code component should be used to represent which XML object.

> I am much more concerned with the potential interactive properties of XSL
> than laying out text to the nearest micron. I am not disparaging that -
> it's very important - but it seems to be the main philosophy behind XSL.
> I'd like to see an interactive component built in.

I don't think that that is its job. XSL specifies a mapping from
document nodes to (perhaps interactive) graphical components. I think it
going too far to ask it to also script those components. I would expect
make a tree control in DSSSL like this:

(make component system-id: "http://www.controls.are.us.com/tree.js"
                parameters: '(()) )

Of course if a huge number of stylesheets needed a tree control, then
it would be a good idea to make a tree control flow object:

(make tree-control width: height: ...)

Then the behaviour would be implicit in the flow object.

Putting the code for the control inside the stylesheet would be, in my
rather ugly and confusing. Perhaps it wouldn't be too bad if the code 
snippet is very short:

(make button onClick: "doit()")

 Paul Prescod

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