XSL Debate, Leventhal responds to Stephen Deach

Simon St.Laurent simonstl at simonstl.com
Fri Jun 11 15:23:35 BST 1999

At 08:13 AM 6/11/99 -0400, Jonathan Borden wrote:
>Please, have some respect. The Scientific American article is an
>accomplishment. They wrote it, Leventhal didn't. This just sounds like sour

Actually, I brought this up when the article first appeared.  Tim Bray
acknowledged that this was a significant omission.

I think the sour grapes come from having to put up with a group that
launched off in its own direction without much regard for prior work _on
the Web_ and that keeps insisting that it is _the_ solution for XML
formatting.  Listening to the opening XTech keynote in March was a
particularly painful moment in this regard, but it's a theme that goes on
and on.  This "CSS and XSL don't compete" stuff is a load of condescending
garbage that should have been disposed of long ago.

>    Noted and filed. Whine all you want about XSL and its so called
>failings. I for one am using XSL even in its early implementation to do real
>work. The people who use my application will need a browser which supports
>client side XSL+DOM+ECMAScript. This can be accomplished via Java,COM,XPCOM
>etc. I suspect that IE5 and Mozilla will be able to handle this. If your
>company's  browser isn't up to the task, then so be it, but in this context,
>this whining about XSL and pleading for people to stop using it (and for the
>W3C not to support it ) sounds alot like a vendor with an agenda.

I think you've come to the conclusion that anyone who disagrees with you is
whining.  From the other side, I've come to the conclusion that you're

I write books.  The existence of standards makes those books worth writing,
but it makes very little difference (financially, at least) whether those
books cover CSS or XSL.  I have no vendor agenda.  Still, I think Michael
Leventhal is making some very important points.  

I would genuinely like the W3C to sit down and ask if XSL is _good for the
Web_.  Not good for the XSL community, not good for the DSSSL community,
but whether it is good for _the Web_.  That is, after all, their job.  If,
after some serious, preferably public, pondering, they conclude that it's
good for the Web, then fine. XSL can become a recommendation.  If they
decide that it's not good for the Web, they'd better drop it.  XSL can move
on to a different organization if necessary - I don't see it dying any time

>    If my comments are inflamatory I apologize. They are in reaction to a
>done discussion that I have been hoping will just go away.

If you keep inflaming it, it'll keep going, not go away.

Simon St.Laurent
XML: A Primer / Building XML Applications
Inside XML DTDs: Scientific and Technical (July)
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