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XSL and Web Native distributed computing, was Re: HTML is a formatting/UI language washarmful


Subject: XSL and Web Native distributed computing, was Re: HTML is a formatting/UI language washarmful
From: "Jonathan Borden" <jborden@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 16:48:40 -0400

(Morphing this thread again)

Håkon Wium Lie wrote:

> Hey, 1M of those 100M is an Opera browser :-)

    Which is why I am trying to cry as loudly as possible for the ability to
do client side XSL transformations :-)

> For new formats to establish themselves on the Web, tight integrations
> with browsers has proven necessary. I don't think you can find a way
> to support XTL through deployed JavaScript implementations, but I'm
> happy to be proven wrong.

    Yes. There are two separate functions. First is the display of an XML
document. In many cases if you really really really only want to display it
one way, CSS might do the job for you. Or you can always do the
transformation on the server (though this is a bad use of server cycles
which are typically more and more scare w.r.t. client cycles ... even
embedded processors are getting mightly fast).

    For real distributed systems development, especially on the Internet,
the bottle neck is round trips (perhaps even more than bandwidth). If one
document can be downloaded to a client and then transformed this way and
that, select a fragment here, display a toolbar there etc. etc. etc. 'Web
native' applications can approach the responsiveness and rich UI of
traditional client server applications e.g. VB, Powerbuilder, C++.

    The screen to screen delay which is a rule with typical client HTML,
server CGI/ASP etc. is largely eliminated by downloading a bunch of data to
the client and then interacting with it (the initial download is part of the
'application load time' which users have become accustomed to). XSL
transformations glued together by a bit of Javascript are a great way to
accomplish this.

    If the browser has a good bidirectional java interface, xt for example
would be a great transformer though the jar file is about 500 kb (and
without XFO support). Oh well. Does Opera JavaScript allow access to java
applets? Do applets have access to the HTML DOM?

    On the other hand, the justification for charging $ 35 for the Opera
browser is so enhancements can be made. This is quite reasonable. I would
hope that rigorous implementation of the XSL standard would be judged a
worthy place to invest some of the money generated from the sale !,000,000
browsers.

Jonathan Borden
http://jabr.ne.mediaone.net




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