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Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful

Subject: Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful
From: Guy_Murphy@xxxxxxxxxx
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 18:02:48 +0100


I can only speak personally....

Because it's document-centric.... ie. doesn't address the semantics
relevant for instance for Websites. I would argue for menu semantics before
I would argue for Hn tags. For an awful *lot* of Web sites HTML semantics
have zero relevance. Enforcing Hn tags and the others (what tags in
particular *do* you want?) you are making huge assumptions about what is
applicable or appropriate for the Web site, magazine or whatever concerned.
If you go check the source of the majority of the sites on the Web, they
aren't using the HTML tags with any real semantics, all they are concerned
with is describing the presentation (and in a messy fashion due to a
language poorly suited to the task).

Because current Web design practice is quickly moving away from using HTML
semnatics and resorting to DIVs and SPANs, as can be eveidenced from both
Dreamweaver and Fusion, that encourage a layer paradigm.

Because I believe there is already ample evidence that HTML *is* being
abused *currently* as opposed to the suggestion that XFOs *might* be

Because I believe in abstracting data semantics from presentation

Because I beleive that there are already alternative solutions in existence
for meeting the needs decribed by Hakon, ie XHTML + CSS, but without XFO
those expressing the desire for an XFO-like sollution have limited options.

Because in the persuit of extensibility I believe that XFOs have more of a
future, in that other presentation objects can sit along-side them nicely.

Because the paradigm of base XFOs will hopefully have a mechanism for more
complex XFOs built out of the simple ones.

I'm going to have to trawl through the archives, because I feel sure Paul
that you suggested that XFO sliced off from XSLT would have their needs
better addressed. Well your arguement that XSLT should be sliced off did
indeed come about, and now you're effectively arguing for the death of XFOs
..... which I seem to remember at the time was what I expressed as my
biggest fear.

If I were cynical it might seem that now that we have XSLT, you just want
to quickly close on XSL dropping XFOs off the table.

The whole basis of XML/XSL was supposed to be abstracting data from
presentation. By the time you get to styling it's a presentation issue, the
semantics concerned should be presentation level semantics, not titles, and
addresses and citations etc., this is sheer madness.

What problem are we addressing here? The 0.01% of people that select "view
source" every so often ?

If it's the site impared where is all the support for aural presentation?
We have a see of HTML out there and very little of it is speaking to me.
And what in *particular* about HTML makes it easy to present auraly?

Can we *please* kill HTML and get on with the next decade.



xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on 04/27/99 02:09:56 AM

To:   xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
cc:    (bcc: Guy Murphy/UK/MAID)
Subject:  Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful

I don't see why people are fighting so vehemently against a language that
would have HTML-level abstractions and support XFO-level presentation but
it seems to me to be the right solution.

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