34Re: A need for consistency and precision when referring to "XSL"
- Jan 16, 2001Andrew,
I have to say that you have hit the nail firmly on the head and
Chris's observation is most likely the cause of the problem....
I think you proposal is right on the mark ....but of course the real
world maybe harsh on this suggestion ......it would break a lot of
code ...better to break early than late......
maybe just correct the spec and live the namespace alone....I'm not a
fan of this suggestion...but it would make it sooooo much easier to
teach others......believe it or not some of use the spec to teach
others.......watch out for the sentence in the "xsl-fo spec" :-) were
it states that it is not tutorial in nature:
"This document is intended for implementors of such XSL
processors. Although it can be used as a reference manual for writers
of XSL style sheets, it is not tutorial in nature" I think that your
logic about the miss use of the term "XSL" would still
stand.....Implementors need to understand to......
good job of stating this problem......
Robert A. DiBlasi
--- In XSL-FO@egroups.com, "Chris Ryland" <cpr@e...> wrote:
> I share your annoyance/concern.
> I think the schizophrenia involved with the committee's terminology
> from the days when XSL encompassed both -T and -FO in one standard.
> were later broken into two separate standard proposals.
> Now that they're separate, the simple fact is that XSLT is getting
> the attention and press, and -FO tends to be forgotten in the "real
> But, yes, I can't help but second your proposal for more accuracy
> standards documents themselves.
> Chris Ryland * Em Software, Inc. * www.emsoftware.com
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <AndrewWatt2001@a...>
> To: <XSL-FO@egroups.com>
> Cc: <xsl-editors@w...>
> Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2001 12:43 PM
> Subject: [XSL-FO] A need for consistency and precision when
> > Robert & others,
> > The issue addressed in this post may go some way to help some
> > understand why they are having problems understanding parts of
> > Candidate Recommendation, which in my view would be better termed
> > "XSL-FO" CR.
> > What follows is a slight re-edit of a past post on another list.
> > ***Re-edited quote begins***
> > This post is a plea for a beginning in consistent use of the
term "XSL" in
> > W3C documents. The current CR stage of XSL-FO and the first WD of
> > give an opportunity to W3C to remove longstanding inconsistent
> > introduce coherence and consistency.
> > For those who have not yet considered the problem let me
> > difficulty and inconsistency by the use of two "equations" which
> > two mutually contradictory positions about what "XSL" is which
> > (implicitly or explicitly) in the current versions of W3C
> > To avoid ambiguity I use the term "XSLT" to indicate XSL
> > the term "XSL-FO" to indicate XSL Formatting Objects.
> > The two equations are:
> > 1. XSL = XSLT + XSL-FO (see e.g. Abstract of XSL-FO CR)
> > 2. XSL = XSL-FO
> > Stated as baldly as this I expect to potentially elicit howls of
> > along the lines
> > of "Of course XSL is the summation of XSLT and XSL-FO". But the
> > currently present in various W3C documents contradict this
> > and consistency.
> > Let me illustrate. .... In the XSLT 1.0 Recommendation of
November 1999 it
> > stated in the Abstract, "XSLT is also designed to be used
> > XSL.", a statement which cannot be true if XSL = XSL-FO + XSLT
> > be used independently of "XSL" since XSLT is _part of_ "XSL") and
> > contradicts, for example, the Abstract of the XSL-FO CR. However
> > statement also
> > contradicts the position taken earlier in the Abstract of XSLT
> > addition to XSLT, XSL includes ....". So, XSLT seems to
be "included in"
> > but
> > is also can be used "independent of" it. Something doesn't add
up. What is
> > happening is that the first part of the preceding sentence refers
> > to equation 1. and the latter part to equation 2.
> > Thus, in theXSLT 1.0 Recommendation (and repeated verbatim in the
> > WD) we have the use of both "equations". Which equation is true?
> > XSL-FO + XSLT or is XSL = XSL-FO? XSLT 1.0 effectively uses these
> > contradictory positions within a few lines of each other.
> > The same inconsistency also appears in the current XSL-FO CR. As
> > above the Abstract indicates unequivocally that XSL includes both
> > XSL-FO. But in Section 2, confusingly labelled "Introduction to
> > Transformations" it is stated, "The XSL namespace has the URI
> > http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Format.". The placement of a statement
> > I would call the XSL-FO namespace in a section on XSLT is
> > But if, as the Abstract of the CR implicitly states, XSL = XSL-FO
> > there are two "XSL" namespaces viz.
> > http://www.w3.org/XSL/Transform, not one as the XSL-FO CR states.
> > There are many ways of slicing up these inconsistencies but, in
> > are founded in the use of "XSL" in the same documents to have two
> > meanings. Is "XSL" the same as "XSL-FO + XSLT"? Or is "XSL" the
> > "XSL-FO"?
> > I would suggest that the W3C "XSL" editors ... by which I mean
> > for the XSL-FO CR and the new XSLT 1.1 WD need to decide
what "XSL" is and
> > then use the term precisely and consistently. At present neither
> > nor consistency is achieved.
> > I hope these two examples serve to illustrate the ambiguity or
> > of the use of the term "XSL" in current W3C documents. I could,
> > possibly, go on at length about how the inconsistency plays out
> > W3C documents. Rather, I think it is more important to find a
> > is logical, clear and consistent.
> > Suffice to say that the inconsistency within XSL/XSL-FO/XSLT
> > to some degree in other specs too.
> > My suggestion for how to move toward coherence would be:
> > 1. Confine the generic term "XSL" to situations which refer to
> > XSLT collectively.
> > 2. When referring to XSL Formatting Objects the abbreviation to
> > should be either "XSL-FO" or "XSLFO".
> > 3. When referring to XSL Transformations the abbreviation used
> > "XSL-T" or "XSLT".
> > 4. It should be recognised that there are two "XSL Namespaces".
> > Namespace has a namespace URI of
> > XSL-FO Namespace has a namespace URI of
> > 5. The confusing "indicative prefix" (my term) for those two
> > should be corrected/made consistent. I would suggest that the XSLT
> > use the "indicative prefix" of "xslt" rather than "xsl" i.e. as an
> > the present
> > <xsl:stylesheet> element would become <xslt:stylesheet>.
> > indicative prefix would become "xslfo" i.e. <fo:root> would become
> > <xslfo:root>.
> > I would propose that the W3C Core XML Group (do I have the
> > correct?) review the current inconsistency in terminology across
> > currently in draft or under revision and give clear, unambiguous
> > which meaning "XSL" has in W3C documents.
> > <side_issue>
> > [ With regard to the more specific problem relating to the naming
> > current XSL-FO CR could that not be called the "Extensible
> > Language Formatting Objects, XSL-FO" Recommendation in due time?
> > another very short "XSL" REC indicate that XSL version 1.0
> > REC of November 1999 and the XSL-FO REC, currently at CR stage?
> > XSLT 1.1 is finalised "XSL 1.1" could be defined as "XSL-FO 1.0"
> > 1.1"? Just a thought. :) ]
> > </side_issue>
> > Consistent usage of the term "XSL" is desirable. With the current
> > a XSL-FO CR and an XSLT 1.1 WD there is an early opportunity for
> > introduce consistency where hitherto inconsistent and confusing
> > term "XSL" has been rather too visible.
> > *** Re-edited quote ends ***
> > Returning to Robert's question about the "fo" namespace and the
> > that that term caused him - If my suggestions were adopted we
> > that as the XSL-FO namespace with, in my view, much less
ambiguity than a
> > supposed but essentially spurious "XSL namespace".
> > Sorry, to those for which this is pretty hard going. You need to
> > familiar with how the specs use the terms to see that there is a
> > perhaps more familiar to diagnose it and suggest a (hopefully
> > remedy.
> > I hope that the XSL-editors wil prove responsive to these
> > would make teaching some parts of XSL/XSL-FO/XSLT to relative
> > a little bit easier if the "standard" terms were used
consistently in the
> > definitive documents.
> > Andrew Watt
> > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> > XSL-FOemail@example.com
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