Re: DSSSL & Interleaf

Glenn Adams (
Mon, 15 Jan 96 12:06:10 -0500

Date: Mon, 15 Jan 1996 17:15:53 +0100
From: Hakon Lie <>

Glenn Adams writes:

> I do not believe that the other style sheet proposal for HTML (CSS),
> will attract serious attention from vendors or content providers whose
> primary investment in content technology or content represents a longer-
> term strategy than a few months at the most.

I'm like to learn more about Glenn's reasons for stating the above (of
which I disagree), and I propose taking the discussion to

You asked ...

For starters, the syntax and semantics of CSS (to the extent that they are
specified at all), seem to encounter significant changes every few months.
In contrast, DSSSL is now an ISO standard.

Moreover, the proposed style features represented by CSS seem to be
poorly conceived, poorly specified, and, for the most part, a recipe
for incompatibility.

Finally, there is little direct involvement by the vendor community in
the specification, development, or deployment of CSS. Rather, it appears
to be more of an academic exercise in building an experimental style
system test-bed.

In my opinion, the exact opposite of the above holds for DSSSL.

The above should not be construed as any statement about what my company
will implement and/or productize w.r.t. CSS. Indeed, we have already
implemented support for some but not all of the core semantics of CSS.

Actually, it is my experience in implementing this support that it will be
of limited utility for even current Web content providers since it is
not capable at this time of describing the presentation behavior of
popular UAs. To give a quick example, try to specify the indentation
and list item numbering/bullet semantics for the following in a manner
consistent with current Netscape display behavior using rules not based
on this particular document (disregard the fact that the following does
not conform to an HTML2.0 or HTML3.0 DTD -- users don't care):

<TITLE>Fun with List Items</TITLE>
<LI>Substitute a long paragraph here.
<TD><LI>Substitute a long paragraph here.</TD>
<TD><LI>Substitute a long paragraph here.</TD>

Glenn Adams