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Hi Paul:

We have been playing with XML at the CHS, but mainly with a view to
server-side transformations using XSL. The results have been impressive,
and will be made available from the CHS site in due course (of course
since the XML-MTML transformation is handled by the server one wouldn't
necessarily know that we had used XML/ XSL or EAD at all!). Currently no
EAD finding aids are available from our site.

Some early experimentation was conducted with the XSL processor in
IE5b2, but I have found this processor somewhat objectionable as it does
not adhere as strictly to the W3C's Working Draft of 1998-12-16 as does
James Clarke's processor XT (then again, it is *only* a working draft
and MS is free to implement whatever it wishes). A tester file
(admittedly flaky) can be viewed using the processor in IE5.0 at
<http://157.252.227.46/ead/ead_xml.xml>. Very little work has been done
here using MS' version of XSL, so excuse the roughness. The stylesheet
is XSL, and the EAD DTD is not referenced at all. **Anything else you
may see at this site is not formally recognized by the CHS.**

As IE5.0 (and later Mozilla 5) becomes a more common desktop browser, we
shall undoubtedly shift to client-side  rendering via applied
stylesheets. My feeling at this point is that we will go with CSS (1 or
2) which is already a known quantity and is fairly standardized;
certainly far more so than XSL is or will be in the near term. XML + CSS
may well be one of the available options from our site; XML + XSL will
not be until W3C releases a final version of the XSL spec.

I agree that the appearance of the 5th generation browsers is exciting
for EAD workers: finally we have a means to circumvent the "Panorama
Problem," and show our finding aids in something other than HTML


--
Stephen Yearl, Project Archivist
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 Connecticut Historical Society
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