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Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful

Subject: Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful
From: "Paul Tchistopolksii" <paul@xxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 1999 11:06:37 -0700

>I'm strongly in favor splitting "XSL" into a "pure" transformation language
>plus something else.  CSS1/2/3 are much farther along than FOs, and it does
>seem strange for W3C to have two formatting efforts underway.  One of the
>many advantages of creating a distinct "XTL" is that the CSS vs. FO
>tradeoffs could be addressed head on, without the distraction of
>transformation issues.

I strongly agree. However, I see another advantage of splitting - it
comes from FO part itself.

I have done some experiements with rendering FO to CSS and it
seems to me that even FO is ( kind of ) superset of CSS, there are
some small things that make developer's life much harder than it
could be.

Why should I map 'space-after' to 'margin-bottom'? Realy, I don't
underdstand if there is any technical reason for separating CSS
from FO...  they are *so* close... I appreciate the efforts that XSL
workgroup did trying to syncronize FO with CSS, but unfortunately,
it seems that here is the area when 70% syncronization is not
much better than 50% syncronization, because only 99%
matters. ....

In our existing world if you want to create *realy* *good*  HTML page
you should sometimes ( maybe it's better to say "always") create
2 different versions of the same HTML page for IE and
Netscape. Unfortunately, a couple of small-but-different things can
sometimes 'kill' significant efforts.

I feel that existing versions of CSS and FO are not syncronized


If comparing XML/CSS with XML/XSL,

CSS is better because of:
1. Simplicity.

XSL is better because of:
1. Transformation part.
2. Some small differences ( line-spacing ;-) in FO part.
( well, 'small'  is relative, but most of formatting functionality
is common for FO and CSS ;-)

a.  Let's have transformation part separated from FO part
(well... we *already* have  XT ;-)

b. I think making XFO to be CSS + "some XSL-specific
small things, easy recognizable by name" would be
better than situation we have now with those 2
same-but-different formatting engines.

Unfortunately, strong adjusting CSS to FO and *back* may
be a bit painful, but from my point of view it would be worth the




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