XSL and the semantic web

David Brownell david-b at pacbell.net
Thu Jun 17 16:42:29 BST 1999

Marcelo Cantos wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 16, 1999 at 09:21:48AM -0700, David Brownell wrote:
> > If the semantic content is a "web" then anything short of looking at
> > the whole web at once (yeah, right!) is looking through a "firewall".
> I'm a little confused, and I think it relates to a degree of confusion
> between formatting and transformation (XSL/XTL?).
> My understanding is that Simon et al object to the use of server XSL
> to provide formatted output to the client.  Paul suggests that this is
> a good thing because it gives the owner of the data choice in what to
> make available to the user.  David then provides some examples to back
> up this argument.

Actually, I gave more general examples too ... when you transform the
data in any way (not only turning into "formatted" output like HTML,
FOs, etc) you may be preventing "clients" from seeing data that some
may want to be able to see.

> My problem with all this is that the cases-in-point that David
> supplies (embedded systems notwithstanding, though they really are a
> separate issue in my opinion) are all more appropriately dealt with by
> transforming the data rather than formatting it (in fact, David even
> refers to it as such).  But this is not, as far as I understand it,
> what Simon is objecting to.

I see all of those transformations as points on a spectrum, and the
note I responded to didn't seem to be restricted to XSL FOs; it didn't
mention FOs or formatting, as I recall.  (I was concerned about whether
the discussion lost some context, too!)

Turning data into presentation-only data is just another transform, in
any case, for all that it's a bit more apparent how much was removed.
Clients don't generally have any "right" to see that extra data.

- Dave

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