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."

#23 Re:The XSL Challenge

by Michael Leventhal <>

Tuesday May 25th, 1999 11:38 AM

You are replying to this message

> I dont know if this is a capability we actually need on the web, but if we want formating with PDF-like power, it is required.

Well, for formatting with PDF-like power there is ... PDF.

There was something called SPDL (Standard Page Description Language) - an ISO standard. I wonder what happened with that? I think it was more or less supposed to be "standard" PDF.

I think we should also remember the special characteristics of the on-line environment. PDF certainly proves that paper-style formatting is possible but the amount of PDF on the Web is still around 1% despite the tight integration of the Acrobat viewer. There are alot of good technical and aesthetic reasons for this.

Michael Leventhal