XSL considered harmful

=?iso-8859-1?Q?H=E5kon?= Wium Lie (howcome@operasoftware.com)
Fri, 21 May 1999 14:43:41 +0200 (MET DST)

A remarkably fresh set of articles titled "XSL considered harmful"
have been published by on xml.com [1]. Tim Bray distances himself only
slightly, and Michael Leventhal is given prime bandwidth for his
"Declaration of war" [2]. His argues that:

- XSL, a "sometime in the future" technology, full of beautiful (if
vague) prognostications about its "power" and "richness", offers
no useful improvement in capability over current and implemented
full W3C Recommendations for stylesheets and transformation.

- XSL has no role to play in the evolution of web technology into the
"new desktop" as it does not support interactive documents.

- XSL is a great danger to a major objective of XML, the inclusion
of semantic information in Web pages, as it replaces XML elements
annotated with formatting information by XSL formatting objects.

- XSL is the most hideous and unwieldy language imaginable and
stands absolutely no chance of acceptance by the web community.

- XSL advocacy has blurred the focus of the W3C, by introducing
competing standards for styling and transformation, and set back
by at least two years the goal of vendor-independent, semantically
rich "open information highway", by undermining support for existing
standards such as CSS and the DOM.

[1] http://www.xml.com
[2] http://www.xml.com/xml/pub/1999/05/xsl/xslconsidered_1.html


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