XML and IE5 beta PR2

Paul Spencer paul.spencer at boynings.demon.co.uk
Mon Nov 9 18:08:11 GMT 1998

>From: Jon.Bosak at eng.Sun.COM (Jon Bosak)
>Date: Thu, 5 Nov 1998 20:13:06 -0800
>It's my impression that Microsoft sees XSL simply as a way to do tag
>transformation and that their strategy for XML display is to use XSL
>to transform XML tags to HTML tags.  This means, of course, that you
>will not be able to use Microsoft tools that support XSL to do any
>formatting more complex than what can be expressed using HTML+CSS.

I agree that the current IE5 implementation of XSL only does tag
transformation. However, unless I have misunderstood CSS, I don't think
your conclusion follows.

I have used IE5 XSL to do reasonably complex formatting of XML
documents, including taking elements out of order, and displaying images
(URL in the XML) with hyperlinks to documents (also with their URL in
the XML). With a bit of judicious pre-processing of the XML using the
DOM, I also display another image a number of times according to a
number in the XML document.

I don't think I could do any of this with CSS. My understanding is that
CSS only lets you apply styles to what is there, in the order it is in
the XML document, XSL lets you move elements around and style them, but
you need the DOM to manipulate the PCDATA. This gives three layers of
functionality, each increasing in complexity of implementation. Correct?

Mind you, I don't think MS is correctly implementing the August 18
draft, but that is another matter, and I could be wrong.

Paul Spencer
Boynings Consulting
Tel: +44 (0)1628 687010 Fax: +44 (0)1628 687011

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