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Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful

Subject: Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful
From: Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 00:35:03 +0200 (MET DST)

John E. Simpson wrote:

 > So I guess my main question is still, WHY would someone want to build
 > documents in an FO-only way? I still think this is a straw-man argument --
 > it attacks the spec for failing to legislate against an extremely unlikely
 > crime...

Let's assume that Adobe and Sun's $90k bounty leads to ubiquitous
support for XFO on the Web. What barrier will will there be for
WYSIWYG tools and products like Destiller to output XFO? These
applications often don't capture semantics in the first place so there
is no way to use XML+XTL "correctly", but outputting XFO is trivial.
Given the assumption, I beliveve the temptation will be too big for
the average product manager.

I've seen so much absurd abuse on the Web (Lars named a few), and I've
spent a few years of my life fighting them. All features and artefacts
which reliably can be used to put pixels on someone's screen have been
abused. If you disagree, name a few that havn't.

 > > - XFO documents are bigger than the XML/XTL source

The fact that XFO documents will be slightly bigger is no significant
hindrance. The big win in terms of size is the move from transmitting
text in images to transmitting text as characters.

 > > - XFO documents are more device-dependent than the XML/XTL source

The same reason never stopped anyone from using images to render text.

 > > - XFO documents don't contain the semantics of the XML/XTL source

For many, this is a feature. "Don't tell them what internal formats we
use!" "Let them pay for semantics, if they want it!" "Hey, it looks
fine to me!"

You might be right, I might be right. But I don't see why W3C should
take the risk and recommend XFO as a new interoperable piece of the


Håkon Wium Lie             http://www.operasoftware.com/people/howcome
howcome@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx                      simply a better browser

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