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http://www.w3.org/ -- 18 August, 1998 -- Continuing its longstanding commitment to richly presented, structured and accessible information on the Web through the use of style sheets, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today announced the first public working draft of the Extensible Style Language (XSL) 1.0 specification. XSL joins Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), the other W3C-developed style sheet language implemented in current popular browsers, as part of the W3C Style Sheets Activity.
Style sheets allow information about presentation to be kept separate from the content. This allows more flexible and efficient Website maintenance, makes Web pages more accessible, and makes the Web faster.
W3C will be developing both the XSL and CSS style sheet languages in parallel, as they are both useful for Web sites and they give Web designers an expanded set of tools to do their work. CSS is used to style HTML and XML documents on the Web. In addition to styling XML documents, XSL is also able to generate new XML documents from XML data. XSL and CSS will share the same underlying concepts and will use the same terminology as much as possible.
XML, the W3C-developed format for information exchange on the Web, allows the creation of complex, highly structured documents and data. XSL allows XML data to be abstracted and displayed to the reader in many different ways, generating different virtual XML documents in response to user queries.
W3C recognized early on that printing on the Web was not fulfilling its potential, and held a workshop on Web Printing to explore possible improvements. XSL aims to allow the specification of print styling of Web documents at least as well as a typical wordprocessor. In addition, future support for high-end print typography is planned.
The Web has become increasingly World Wide. XSL allows documents to be written in any language, including historical languages. It allows the specification of any writing direction; the uses for this range from modern Japanese vertical text to ancient Greek and Aztec for scholarly publication. Further internationalization support is planned for future drafts.
For more information on XSL, see http://www.w3.org/Style/XSL
The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) in the USA, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: the development of open, industry standard specifications; a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users; reference code implementations to embody and promote standards; and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, more than 275 organizations are Members of the Consortium.
For more information about the World Wide Web Consortium, see http://www.w3.org/