XSL Debate, Leventhal responds to Stephen Deach

Simon St.Laurent simonstl at simonstl.com
Fri Jun 11 17:11:24 BST 1999

At 10:48 AM 6/11/99 -0400, Ann Navarro wrote:
>At 09:29 AM 6/11/99 -0400, Simon St.Laurent wrote:
>>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's the wrong question. It's "is XSL good for *XML*". XML right now
>isn't the Web. The Web is moving in that direction, and will certainly be
>embracing XML, but there's no real "there" there yet. 

I'm afraid it is the right question, unless the World Wide Web Consortium
has changed their mission statement substantially.  The current process
document (http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Process/) makes it rather clear the
W3C is about the Web.  "W3C's mission is to lead the evolution of the Web
-- the universe of information accessible through networked computers. "
That certainly doesn't limit it to the 'public Web', but it does say Web
loud and clear.

In any case, it's all going to come back to one lucky individual - Tim
Berners-Lee -  and there isn't much the rest of us can do about it except
hope that he listens.

>There is certainly overlap between CSS and XSL, and I don't think anyone's
>attempted to say there's not -- but they're not mirror duplicates either,
>and both have their place in the large world of internet-based documents. 

Both may have their place.  Still, it seems like it would have been a good
idea for the W3C to sit both groups down at the same table and make them
work together, rather than pretending they don't compete. (Common
vocabulary would have been a good start.  XSL FOs are finally moving toward
CSS, after wasting a lot of time elsewhere.)  Making them work together
would have spared us a lot of the conflict we've had and possibly let us
get on with more real work.

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