[XML-SIG] Hello

Vladimir Marangozov Vladimir.Marangozov@inrialpes.fr
Sun, 31 Oct 1999 04:51:59 +0100 (NFT)

Christopher Petrilli wrote:
> Vladimir Marangozov [Vladimir.Marangozov@inrialpes.fr] wrote:
> > 
> > I wish that the people at DC consider a strategical move for Zope, 
> > so that this excellent product incorporates (or is interfaced with)
> > the W3C standards. Damn, even the examples in Zope are not in valid HTML!
> > DTML is good (it was developped before the current standards), but a shift
> > or a bidirectional converter DTML<->XSL/T would be a major win.  Whether
> > this is doable is another story. I don't know too much of the details yet,
> > but I plan to get at full speed shortly :-)
> > 
> Without wishing to start a "flame war", I would argue that storing your
> data in XML has little if any value... being able to represent it in XML
> which needed is much more important.  XML is from my perspective a data
> interchange format, one which easily surpases nearly all others.  It's not
> a database format, however.  Maybe I've just been scared off by all the
> hype.

My opinion differs quite a bit: XML is about giving _semantics_ to the
content, and it has little to do with syntax or format. Of course, this
semantics has to be expressed in some way, so both structure, syntax and
format are involved.  Want to know what the people doing fundamental
research on the Web here are preparing for us in the forthcoming years?
It's called "Semantics Web". :-)

> Anyway, as for Zope (since I'm one of the product manager), DTML was
> never inteded to be XML + XSL/T, for a couple reasons:
> 	o DTML predates XML by year and years
> 	o XSL/T is a moving target
> 	o XSL is way too burdensome for most users
> As for the last, I put forward that if it takes myself or someone else
> I work with HOURS to figure out how to do something that we do in DTML
> trivially, then it's not as simple as it should be.  DTML provides things
> like tree representation with automatic handling of expansion/closing,
> as well as batch management.  It is a REPORTING language, not a transform
> language, there is a fundemental difference in the targets.

I agree with your agruments, but personally, I'm more concerned about
adopting the "right way", which is not measured in terms of complexity.

I can do very nice things with DTML easily -- that's true, but...
If I adopt DTML per se, I foresee potential problems with the presentation
of my content in the future, because the content is not really decoupled
from the presentation style at design time. (You can find some more friendly
arguments of mine in a message posted to the zope-dev mailing list).

In case I want to move in the future my contextual navigation menu from left
to the right, what do I do? Change 50 templates by hand? Define DTML methods
that manage to reshape all my HTML layout dynamically on page demand? This
is not really what I want.

I believe that the XML/XSL-T combination will pay off in the long run,
especially when the same content has (will have) to be delivered according
to the presentation abilities of the client's device (traditional Web
browser, mobile, a Web browsing device for people with disabilities, etc.).

That's why I'm really willing to use Zope, but in combination with XSL-T.
(And no, I'm not religious about the standards, but I know quite well what
the W3C people are doing, what they are not doing, and why).

> I personally don't believe there are applicable standards for anything
> we're doing,

Wow. I personally can't believe that you believe this :-) Take any HTML
page delivered by Zope, and http://validator.w3.org will tell you which
standard applies. It will even tell you why ;-)

> and we follow where we can.  The new syntax of DTML is closer
> to being sane, but the full weight of moving to something like a pure
> XML syntax or XHTML is too much for our users---with little gain at
> this point.  Potentially in the future.  DTML isn't an interchange format
> any more than Crystal Reports or PL/SQL is an INTERCHANGE format.  This
> is importan to understand when analyzing the problem domain.
> Having said that, we're commited to using XML where it's appropriate,
> and have some cool stuff that works with DOMs right now.


> It will be driven by customer needs, however, rather than blind adhearance
> to standards.

If I didn't like Zope, I wouldn't have taken the time to discuss, suggest and
contribute things related to its perennity! OTOH, what about seeing my posts
as a potential customer need?

Bummer. I'm already way too much off-topic for this forum.

       Vladimir MARANGOZOV          | Vladimir.Marangozov@inrialpes.fr
http://sirac.inrialpes.fr/~marangoz | tel:(+33-4)76615277 fax:76615252