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Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful


Subject: Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful
From: James Clark <jjc@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 08:41:15 +0700

Håkon Wium Lie wrote:

>  > 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.

With XSL you also always have the possibility of doing the right thing. 
Instead of sending the client a document that uses XSL FOs along with an
XSL stylesheet that does the identity transform, you normally send the
client a semantically meaningful XML document along with an XSL
stylesheet that transforms that into XSL FOs.

I still don't see how Formatting Objects are any more "harmful" than
CSS.

> 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.

I don't see anybody recommending a Web of FOs any more than I see
anybody recommending a Web of <span style="..."> HTML.

James



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