Warning about no style information when displaying an XML file




File Handling
14 years ago
12 years ago


(Reporter: diwatkin@comcast.net, Assigned: Ben Goodger (use ben at mozilla dot org for email))


Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)




14 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8a3) Gecko/20040804 Firefox/0.9.1+
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8a3) Gecko/20040804 Firefox/0.9.1+

When an XML file is loaded into the browser, a grey banner appears across the
top of the screen with the following text in it:

"This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it.
The document tree is shown below."

While what it is saying is correct, this message should be removed.  It implies
that all XML files must have a stylesheet, which is not always the case.

A common use case of a browser is for people to open an XML file (in my case
XSD's) to get it pretty printed, and then to print out the formatted text.  This
message has no relevance in this case and is extremely annoying.

Reproducible: Always
Steps to Reproduce:
1. Open an XML file without style information in the browser

Actual Results:  
Message is displayed at the top of the browser then the pretty printed XML text

Expected Results:  
Just the pretty printed XML should appear

Comment 1

14 years ago
I suggest WONTFIX.

The visual presentation of the document is not what the document is, thus the

Comment 2

14 years ago
I disagree.

I agree that the document and the visual presentation are two seperate things. 
The problem here is that the default presentation chosen embeds text that is not
a part of the original document into the display (and this text gets carried
forward into any subsequent print out).  This is just plain wrong.

Default behaviour for any file type should be to show the document as is, not to
add something that was not a part of the original document.  If I had wanted to
add text to my output, I would have provided a stylesheet :-)    

As the person who created the XSD file in the first place, I am aware that it
doesn't have any style information.  So I do not need an intrusive message being
forced on my display (and paper print outs) telling me something that I can see
quite clearly.

So, in summary, if a stylesheet is provided it should use it, if not it should
print the document out as-is (although I would keep the pretty printing as that
is universally accepted behaviour for displaying XML).

Comment 3

14 years ago
Could this be solved by making the warning message optional?  Users that don't
want it, should be able to hide it if they like, either by setting an option in
the options dialog.

Comment 4

14 years ago
Putting it as an option wouldn't be my first choice, but I could live with 
it.  At least it would let me look at, and print, files without any additional 

My main concern is just that the whole idea of this message is a fundamentally 
flawed design concept.  

Firefox does not do content sniffing for mime types because it is not the job 
of a browser to determine the contents.  It expects the server to do that.

This, to my mind, is similar.  Firefox is examining the content of the file 
and, seeing that no stylesheet has been provided, decides to display a 
message, even though the file is valid XML.

While the information that the message displays is correct, it implies that an 
XML file is not valid without a stylesheet, which is not the case.  The 
browser is essentially making a judgement based upon a view of XML that is not 
supported by anything in any standard.

It is because the message gives a misleading impression of what XML is, and 
because of the inconsistency of this behavior when compared to content 
sniffing, that I believe the message is incorrect and should be removed.

This is an automated message, with ID "auto-resolve01".

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Last Resolved: 12 years ago
Resolution: --- → EXPIRED
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