W3C Publishes First Public Working Draft of XSL 1.0

Author(s) and publish date


Additional style sheet language extends Web developer toolkit



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.

Flexible online presentation of complex data

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.

Better printing for the Web

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.

Strong support for International documents

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


About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

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/

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W3C Publishes First Public Working Draft of XSL 1.0

Adobe · Arbortext · Bitstream · Enigma · IBM · Inso · Lotus · Microsoft · Netscape · RivCom · SoftQuad · Sun Microsystems ·


"Adobe, as a producer of content authoring tools, has taken a leadership role in the development of XSL. We recognize this draft as a significant step in supporting XML as a key Web technology. By clearly separating the content of a document from its presentation, XML provides for content reuse. The role of XSL is to provide the presentation information. XSL complements CSS in that role and is significant because it provides more flexibility. We support the W3C's efforts to facilitate interchange on the Web and applaud this step toward increased flexibility and accuracy of Web content creation and reuse."

-- Tom Malloy, VP for Advanced Technology, Adobe Systems Incorporated


"Arbortext, a leading provider of standards-based software for the creation and distribution of structured documents, is pleased to be an integral part of the development of this first Working Draft of XSL. Since co-submitting the original XSL proposal to the W3C last year, Arbortext has continued to take an active role in creating a powerful style standard for XML documents and data. The combination of XML and XSL brings the promise of truly interchangeable electronic data in formats that support reuse, repurposing, and multiple delivery targets closer to practical reality. We are excited at the progress of the XSL Working Group, because we believe that XML and XSL form the core of a suite of standards that will revolutionize electronic information processing on the Web."

-- Paul Grosso, Vice President of Research, Arbortext


"XSL holds the promise of providing the world with its first media-independent style sheet specification. This W3C specification will allow you to efficiently publish both interactive Web pages and professionally designed printed documents from the same XML content."

-- Paul Trevithick, Chief Technology Officer, Bitstream Inc.


"As one of the earliest backers of XML, Enigma is excited by the initial draft of the XSL standard. XML promises to bring structured authoring and web publishing to the mainstream, allowing for massive data reuse. XSL is critical because it enables a reliable, highly formatted output to be published in multiple environments. In addition to native support of XML data, Enigma's style sheet editor facilitates the intuitive creation of XSL style sheets."

-- Mickey Kimchi, Vice President of Research and Development, Enigma, Inc.


"XSL, by making it possible to transform and display XML everywhere, is a key step in the evolution of XML as an e-business tool. IBM is pleased to be contributing to the progress of XSL, and looks forward to continuing to work with W3C on this and other initiatives."

-- David Singer, Senior Technical Staff Member and AC Representative for IBM


"Inso is excited and very pleased with the progress of the XSL Working Group. The first draft shows significant progress and validates Inso's plans to develop an enhanced stylesheet editor that combines XSL and CSS to produce high quality web, CD, and print output from a single XML source. XSL sits at the crossroads of electronic publishing, e-commerce, and client server computing; as such, XSL's requirements are both complex and important; again, Inso commends the W3C and the XSL Working Group for their hard work and commitment. "

-- Sebastian Holst, Vice President, Product Management, Inso Corporation


"XSL will be instrumental in providing a compatible migration path from today's HTML-based web to the XML Internet of the future. XSL will also provide powerful formatting services for XML documents and data. Lotus is pleased to support the release of the first XSL draft specification."

-- Alex Morrow, Lotus Fellow and Vice President of Advanced Technologies, Lotus Development Corporation


"Microsoft is excited about the publication of the XSL Working Draft. XSL is an important technology for enabling broad use of XML on the web. It provides a declarative mechanism for manipulating and presenting XML data within a web page or by a browser. XSL's goal of simplifying the delivery of XML content to the end user will give web publishers even richer XML-based solutions in the future. We are proud to have been an active member of the XSL working group and are pleased by the high level of interest generated by the Microsoft XSL Technology Preview Release. We expect XSL to meet with broad acceptance in the future."

-- Mark Ryland, Director of Standards Activities, Microsoft


"As a leading supporter of XML, Netscape is pleased by the release of the first XSL public working draft. Together with other W3C standards like HTML, CSS, DOM, and XML, XSL will provide developers greater power and control for documents and data on the Internet."

-- Jim Hamerly, VP, Netscape Communications Corporation


"Increasingly, the World Wide Web is becoming the backbone for business-to-business communications. But the complexity of business information has outstripped the formatting mechanisms that were built into HTML. As a result, RivCom and others have had to invent proprietary mechanisms for delivering sophisticated XML-based documents to the desktop. The XSL standard will eliminate these obstacles and bring industrial strength publishing to the Web. At RivCom we will migrate our XML-based publishing projects to XSL as soon as feasible, in order to bring our clients the benefits of this stable, robust, standardized mechanism for publishing XML."

-- Bernard Rivers, Managing Director, RivCom


"SoftQuad is pleased to have been part of the Working Group designing XSL. We are looking forward to being able to offer users of our award-winning tools this powerful style language."

-- Bruce Sharpe, V.P. of Development, SoftQuad, Inc.


"This is a great day for electronic publishing. With XSL, we can finally achieve the dream of truly open, interoperable, international publishing across all media and all platforms. XSL not only makes the development and management of a Web site more flexible and efficient, it increases the speed of information delivery."

-- Jon Bosak, Online Information Technology Architect and Chair of the W3C XML Working Group, Sun Microsystems

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