Hixie's Natural Log

2003-09-29 09:35 UTC Never send content in proprietary formats over the wire

This is why XSLT on the client side is a bad idea. Try opening that page in a UA that doesn't support XSLT: all you get is garbage, because the content is not in a language with well-known semantics (it is, in fact, in a proprietary encoding of something vaguely resembling HTML, with metadata encoded in a proprietary language written in XML).

Transformations should be done on the server side, so that what is sent over the wire is in a well-known format (HTML, MathML, etc). The UA can then decide whether to display the content using the author's styling hints (CSS) or to display the content using its own rules (as Lynx does, as Opera typically does on hand-held devices such my mobile phone, as voice-based browsers do, etc).

Accessibility is not just about blind people. It's about a growing set of devices with esoteric characteristics. Don't turn your readers away!