XSL: Why?

Simon St.Laurent simonstl at simonstl.com
Wed Sep 30 17:53:03 BST 1998

I'm writing a chapter on styles - just a brief overview, since the book
doesn't deal with generic presentation issues very much - and I've come to
something of an impasse.

I can't really see where XSL fits usefully into the XML developer's tool
kit.  I thought it was more capable than CSS, until I read the CSS2 spec in
depth and figured it had moved from covering 70% of design needs to
something more like 90-95%.  I'm finding it very hard to justify using XSL
rather than CSS for most of the situations I'm describing.

This may be the result of my background in Web development, rather than
SGML, but I can't see what's so intrinsically interesting about using a
transformative rather than a descriptive style language that it rates a
competing spec and has many people (notably Peter Flynn on XML-L a while
back) waiting for XSL rather than working with CSS now.

Would anyone care to evangelize XSL to a rather confused and somewhat
dispirited XML evangelist?  (I wish I had Frank Boumphrey's book now...)

Simon St.Laurent
Dynamic HTML: A Primer / XML: A Primer
Cookies / Sharing Bandwidth (November)
Building XML Applications (December)

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