Re: text transformations in CSS?

Scott E. Preece (
Sat, 9 Dec 1995 22:33:02 -0600

From: Paul Prescod <>

| At 10:13 AM 12/8/95 -0600, Scott E. Preece wrote:
| >
| >Has the group thought about including more general textual
| >transformations in CSS? Something like
| >
| > P.abstract {text-edit: "<B>Abstract</B> #value"}
| This is, again, an issue of separating form and content. If the style sheet
| can modify the parse tree, it will become impossible to validate the HTML
| document without "testing it out" with every style sheet engine.


No, it's not a separation of form and content issue, it's a processing model issue. My suggestion was aimed squarely at support for form control (like inclusion of boilerplate headings for certain classes of paragraphs or control of the order and punctuation of elements within compound elements (admittedly, with the HTML DTD this would require ugliness, like using a classed SPAN to define the compound element, but the capability would make the stylesheet model suitable for use with extended DTDs that *do* have meaningful compound elements, too)). The transformations important to me are purely form, not content.

Actually, now that I think about it, I guess I could work around the restriction, by allowing the right hand side of the rules to specify multiple spans, with independent typographic styling:

P.abstract { "Abstract" font-weight: bold, #value }

where top-level commas separate sequential output forms. This would be a little bit of a hassle for the author, who would have to be careful to coordinate the styled spans with the built-in markup (so that the styling of Abstract, in the above example, matched the styling of a <B> element in the text), but I guess it would be workable.

So, given a restriction on including markup in the right-hand sides, what does the group think about the proposed text-manipulation capability?


scott preece
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