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Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful

Subject: Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful
From: Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 1999 14:52:00 +0200 (MET DST)

James Clark wrote:

 > I dont understand this debate at all. What is the difference in
 > harmfulness between
 > <span style="display: block; font-size; 12pt; font-family: Verdana">Some
 > text</span>
 > and
 > <fo:block font-size="12pt" font-family="Verdana">Some text</span>

About the same. Any document containing only presentational tags is
harmful for the Web:

  A Web of XFO documents can be compared to a Web of HTML
  documents with only FONT and BR tags.

[1] http://www.operasoftware.com/people/howcome/1999/foch.html

(DIV and FONT tags are actually a better comparison)

 > CSS+HTML has just as much potential for abuse as XSL FOs.  Any
 > stylesheet language that provides an inline style mechanism has the
 > potential for abuse: it allows you to use inline style instead of
 > semantically meaningful markup.

In theory, yes. However, when using HTML you always have the
possibility of doing the right thing. Normally, a SPAN element comes
in between more abstract elements and is only used for the odd visual
effect. Fairly harmless.

If you use FO as a document format, you only have a formatting
vocabulary at your disposal and your objects are bound to a certain
media type.


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

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