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Subject: Re: Internet explorer 5 new beta
From: Jelks Cabaniss <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:General discussion of Extensible Markup Language <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 9 Nov 1998 13:22:16 -0500
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> A new IE 5 beta became available from Microsoft last week. The level of XML
> support seems to have been enhanced considerably. For example, you can now
> display a stand-alone XML document with a CSS style sheet. (though I don't
> think all the CSS features are covered). According to Microsoft you can do
> the same with an XSL stylesheet. As I've just begun trying to tackle XSL,
> this seemed to me a good chance to try. However, I've not succeeded in
> displaying anything but a white screen or error messages.
>
> Has anyone tried this yet? What do you think of the new beta?

Yes, it's pretty interesting.  It uses a validating parser.  And there *is* XML
+ CSS support (hooray!!!).  But there is a problem: if you have an entity
declared in your DTD as, say, &foo; and later try to reference it in the
document as &foo;, if your document is not *styled* it's replaced just fine.
But if you style it with CSS, the replaced entities are invisible (though
everything else displays just fine).

Example:

in the CSS

        para

                display: block;
                font: 14pt garamond, times, serif;
                color: navy; background: transparent;
                margin: .5em 0;
        }

in the DTD

        <!ENTITY foo "bear">

and in the Markup itself

        <para>Mama &foo;, Papa &foo;, and baby &foo;.</para>

All you will see is

        Mama , Papa , and baby .

styled correctly, but without the entities replaced!  Remove the reference to
the stylesheet, and you get a collapsible XML doc (with tags), and with the
entities replaced just fine!

There were a few other problems.  For example,

        para { font: 12pt garamond, times, serif; }
        para:first-letter { font-size: 36pt; }

caused the entire paragraph to be rendered in 36pt garamond!!!

They still haven't gotten around to implementing some of CSS1 (not to mention
CSS2), preferring instead to introduce extensions like "CSS behaviors" (booooo).
(As to XSL, I haven't paid much attention to it, since it's not even supposed to
be finalized until sometime middle of next year.  CSS1 will have been a
recommendation for two years as of December.)

All in all, though, things are starting to look up with XML support in browsers.

/Jelks

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