Weighing in on XSL / Standards

Rick Jelliffe ricko at allette.com.au
Wed May 26 18:39:10 BST 1999

From: Tim Bray <tbray at textuality.com>

>At 10:20 PM 5/24/99 +1000, Rick Jelliffe wrote:
>>Dave has mentioned that DSSSL was only partly implemented, but it
>>be emphasized that this does not mean a failure in the DSSSL
>I couldn't disagree more.  A standard which goes unimplemented is not
>only a failed standard but actively damaging, as it weakens the
>for standards-based development.  -Tim

When DSSSL was in draft, the was a suggestoin to add a profile system to
allow simpler named subsets.  But the DSSSL working group did not seem
to see exchange of DSSSL code between different implementations (which
might benefit from a profile system) as a high user requirement for
DSSSL--it wasn't a networked stylesheet language but a processing
language whose scripts would be largely custom-written for a particular
site, system, application and implementation: from what I gathered they
saw DSSSL as a syntax and a flow-object smorgasbord from which vendors
would create products by picking the bits that fitted in with their
individual markets.

Presumably convergence and conformance  would come under the influence
of market forces.

I agree that a standard with all parts mandatory is weakened by
unimplemented parts. But a vocabulary is not weakened in the same way.
Ironically, the excellence, price and coding of Jade will disuade other
people from implementing alternate DSSSL processors; so the smorgasbord
has only had one guest.


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