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."

#14 Re:The XSL Challenge

by Michael Leventhal <>

Sunday May 23rd, 1999 11:53 PM

You are replying to this message

> Michael, > Your article is available in two versions... XML and HTML. May I ask why that is?

Because has the policy of publishing in HTML and offering the XML if the author creates it. I wrote the article in XML with a CSS stylesheet using DocZilla and Gecko to view it and then dumbed it down so it would work in IE5 too.

> ...and how that was done?

The HTML was created with search and replace in an emacs-like editor.

> For me, the fact that both are available is the crux of the issue. We are a LONG > way from XML+CSS on every desktop.

Damn straight! Thank God it's on my desktop though, thanks to Mozilla.

Do you think there is any particularly good reason why XML+CSS isn't on every desktop? Mozilla has certainly proven that it works and works REAL GOOD.

> XSLT, although it isn't yet a W3C recommendation, can be implemented today on the server, realtime > or preprocessed,

I don't care what you use on the server and I don't even see any need for it to be a W3C Recommendation. There are a ton of choices for doing transformations to HTML (since this is your point), many of us, myself included, have already been doing this for years and years and years - without XSLT. I am talking only about what goes into the client. XSLT on the client is irrelevant and XSL Formatting Objects are positively dangerous.