Query Languages for XML

Paul Prescod papresco at technologist.com
Fri Nov 21 16:47:41 GMT 1997

Derek Denny-Brown wrote:
> One of the things that I see as a potential problem is that HTML etc as it
> is used now has 2 (as I count them this side of the morning) relatively
> distinct uses.
>         1) as an alternate form of (relatively) static information.
>         2) as a (very-basic) cross-platform (g)ui.
> XSL and DSSSL are focusing rather hard on (1), but not on (2).  

I'm not sure what you mean by that. XSL as currently proposed has access
to all of the form features of HTML, just as it has access to all of the
static display features of HTML. It is correct to argue that we are
spending more effort on *improving* HTML's static display features than
improving its form features, but I think that that is probably
appropriate considering the market's interest in better static pages,
SGML's particular strengths in that area and Java's suitability for

> hmm... so maybe what I am looking for is a "standard" way to extend a XSL
> processing/display engine with new flow-object types at run-time.  Paul,
> was it you who talked about this some months ago? 

Yes, I looked into this, and will talk about it at SGML/XML 97. I was
more interested in compound "heavy weight" flow objects like "title",
"section", "table of contents" and so forth. There are some tricky
issues with even these simple compound objects and the issues get
trickier when you want to talk about new primitives (how do they
negotiate real estate? how much information do they need to negotiate
properly? what about line breaking?).

 Paul Prescod

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