Last Call Issued on Initial Stylesheet Linking Draft

Date:     Tue, 03 Nov 1998 15:33:24 -0800
From:     Tim Bray <>
Subject:  Last Call issued on initial stylesheet linking draft

Posting this on behalf the Syntax WG; xml-dev is obviously highly qualified to provide feedback.

Cover letter is from Syntax WG co-chair Joel Nava

The XML Syntax Working Group of the W3C is issuing a "Last Call" for comments on the specification "Associating stylesheets with XML documents - version 1.0"

Please review the document and send any comments you have to,,

Comments are due by Tuesday Nov. 17th. <!-- Friday 20th -->


To save bandwidth, I am including some rationale for the specific syntax we are using in this specification.

As you will notice, the Working Group has chosen to use a special processing instruction, or PI, to link an XML document to stylesheets. Some wonder whether an element or attribute based solution somewhere along the lines of XLink or the XML Namespace mechanism would be more appropriate.

The reasons for our choice are 3-fold:

First, for the most part the working group feels that this syntax is the best for the problem. Many argue that this is the proper use for a PI, because it keeps this information out of the document tree.

Second, timing is an issue. The mechanism that we have produced is very similar to the HTML link element, and was agreed upon many months prior to the formation of this WG. The XML Style Sheet Linking Specification was a partially completed work item from the old XML WG. In the intervening time between the end of that group and the beginning of this group the time to make an impact on the next release from the browser vendors was slipping away. We have tried to move quickly to complete this specification in order to have an impact on what gets implemented. Both Microsoft and Netscape have agreed on this syntax, and as far as we can guess will be shipping products based on it in the near future.

The third part of this is the fact that time and resources have already been put aside to produce a Version 2 of this specification. "Associating stylesheets with XML documents - version 2.0" will add other mechanisms for linking style to XML document; see:

Joel A. Nava                +1 (408) 536-6209
Adobe Systems, Inc.

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