The XSL Challenge

Friday May 21st, 1999

C. David Tallman has news of an interesting article at In it, Michael Leventhal of CITEC (the group creating DocZilla) takes off the gloves and challenges XSL to best XML/CSS/DOM in a competition of functionality/usability in the web application space. Interestingly, Mozilla plays an important role in the contest. From

"Anything XSL can do in the Web environment, I can do better using technologies supported by current W3C Recommendations. Of course, what is 'meaningful' in the Web environment is open to a variety of interpretations. Therefore, the subject of the challenge should be one that the XSL camp and I agree is meaningful. I am also ready to make this bet a little bit more than an academic exercise. If I lose, I will pledge that I, and my crack mozilla development team, will assist in implementing XSL in the mozilla open source project. If my opponents lose they will agree to desist from XSL advocacy, vote against an XSL Recommendation if they are members of the W3C, and will join me in calling for full, flawless, and unequivocal vendor support of CSS1 and CSS2, DOM Level 1, and XML 1.0 as the very first and top priority of the web community."

#13 Parallels with programming types

by mpt

Sunday May 23rd, 1999 8:36 PM

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Now I think I understand XSL. It seems that XSL is the style equivalent of functional programming (e.g. Haskell), whereas CSS+DOM is the equivalent of procedural programming (e.g. C).

Now I've done a fair bit of functional programmin, and it can achieve some things very elegantly -- far more elegantly than procedural programming does. BUT which kind of programming is used most often in the real world? Procedural programming, by far, because it's (a) more useful, (b) easier to implement, and (c) quicker to execute.

I think the same applies to styling mechanisms. CSS+DOM is far more useful than XSL, so that's what browsers should concentrate on now. XSL can wait until CSS is fully implemented, for the specialist applications which really need it.

-- mpt

PS: Ian Young -- thanks for the link. Naboo -- I'm looking forward to your article. :-P