Mulberry Technologies, Inc. logo

DSSSList – The DSSSL Users’ Mailing List

The complete and searchable DSSSLList archive is available at

This is the Web page of, the DSSSL Users’ Mailing List.


DSSSList is provided as a forum where users of DSSSL – Document Style Semantics and Specification Language – can exchange ideas and solutions. The DSSSL standard is comparatively new, DSSSL implementations are even newer, DSSSL embodies many concepts that are new to many people, and as yet there is no great body of reference implementations or reference books for people using DSSSL. The DSSSList is provided as a means to bootstrap DSSSL usage – people using DSSSL helping other people using DSSSL so new users can avoid common pitfalls and we can increase the spread of DSSSL knowledge rather than have every user having to learn everything in isolation.

DSSSList is provided by Mulberry Technologies, Inc., as a service to the DSSSL user community. It was started because we felt the need for a forum such as this when we were writing our first stylesheet. Since there was no place to turn to for help, we decided to create one. It’s as simple as that.

Only subscribers can post to DSSSList, but since the goal is to increase the level of DSSSL knowledge, DSSSList is being archived on Mulberry’s web site for everybody to view. The topics discussed on DSSSList change as new ideas arise or existing problems are dealt with, but the archive contains all of the ideas and solutions that have been discussed on the list.

Subscribing to DSSSList

To subscribe to the list, fill out the form at

Daily Digest

Daily digests – copies of a whole days DSSSList messages (or a 40,000 character chunk, whichever comes first) sent as one email message – are available. Not only is it one mail message containing all of that day’s DSSSList messages, it averages half the bytes of the individual messages since it doesn’t include the overhead of the mail headers from each message.

To unsubscribe from the list and subscribe to the digest, use the form at


Only subscribers can post to DSSSList, and only from the address they used when they subscribed.

There is no restriction on what may be posted provided it is related to DSSSL. Items related to XSL should be posted to the XSL-List. When deciding between the two, consider if the item is of more interest to those interested in DSSSL more than XSL or those interested in XSL more than DSSSL.

Do not begin your subject line with “help” or “subscribe” since the list software will bounce the message because it looks like is an administrative request.

Both subscribers to and subscribers to should post their messages to, and the messages will be received by both subscribers to the list and subscribers to the digest.

Do not start a new thread by replying to an unrelated message and just changing the subject line since the header of your message will contain references to the previous message and your new message will appear in the archive as one of the replies to the original message. It is better to start a new message for a new thread.

Before You Post...

Use Informative Subject Lines

When posting to DSSSList, do not use uninformative subject lines like “Urgent”, “Question”, or “Problem” that don’t say anything about what your problem is. Instead, use a meaningful subject line that will make sense to the people whose help you are trying to get. It may even get a response from people who normally shy away from “beginner” questions.

Furthermore, informative subject lines make the DSSSList archive a lot more useful since people with the same problem will more easily find the relevant threads.

Do not Cross-Post

Cross-posting to the DSSSL-List and to another list, even XML-Dev or the XSL-List, is often counter-productive unless everybody who replies to the thread is on both lists. No list’s archive will contain the complete thread, cross-posts from non-subscribers continuing the thread will bounce, and DSSSList subscribers who are not also on the other list will only see half of the thread, as will those on the other list who are not also on DSSSList. Subscribers to both lists may see two copies of the message, annoying them as well.

In addition, threads that are half on one list and half on another will not be adequately archived by either list.

Replies go to DSSSList

The reply address of DSSSList messages (and of digests) is so REPLIES GO TO THE LIST BY DEFAULT. If you want to reply to just the author of a post, you should change the "To:" field in your reply.

Use Short Quotes of Previous Messages in Replies

Please do not quote entire messages just to add a few lines at the beginning or end. Instead, quote the parts to which you are directly replying or quote enough to establish the context.

Everybody on the list has already received the message that you are quoting, and anyone searching the archive will find your message and the previous message listed under the same thread.

Subscribers to DSSSList will just ignore most of the quoted messages and move to the next post, but subscribers to DSSSList Digest will mostly have to page past the quoted messages to reach the next material in which they are interested in reading.

Attachments are Banned

Since Mulberry’s mailing lists have in the past been unwittingly used for spreading viruses in e-mail attachments, all e-mail attachments are banned from DSSSList.

DSSSL stylesheets are SGML files, and SGML files are text files, so this does not affect the majority of posts to the list since you can include the files’ text in the body of your message. If you need to refer to a binary file such as a PDF file, you should put the file on a Web site or FTP site and include the file’s URL in your DSSSList post.

If you do include an attachment in your DSSSList post – even a HTML attachment – your message will bounce.

Disposition Notifications are Banned

Disposition notification headers, which trigger “return receipt” messages from some mail systems, are not allowed on DSSSList posts. Disposition notifications don’t make much sense on a mailing list, and the headers are noted as being used to collect e-mail addresses for later spamming, so messages with disposition notification headers will either bounce or have the disposition notification header silently removed.

Unsubscribing from DSSSList

To unsubscribe from the list, use the form at

Unsubscribing from DSSSList Digest

To unsubscribe from the digest, use the form at

If You Stop Getting DSSSList Messages

Ordinarily, mail bounces back to dssslist-owner only because a user’s account has been closed on their system without the user unsubscribing from the list. If mail to an address bounces for an extended period, that address may be removed from the list.

If you stop receiving DSSSList message, you may have been removed because mail to you was bouncing. You are not being picked on, and you can just rejoin the list.


DSSSList messages are archived at

The archive is updated NIGHTLY. If you don’t see the message that you sent today, wait until tomorrow.

DSSSL Documentation Project

The DSSSL documentation project is a collaborative effort by DSSSL users to write and disseminate documentation on all aspects of DSSSL for the purposes of:

  • Introducing DSSSL to new users
  • Educating both new and experienced users
  • Assisting people using DSSSL

The project draws on the combined experience of present users of DSSSL, principally those subscribed to the DSSSList mailing list (which also hosts the discussion between project participants). You are free to use the material produced by the documentation project, and you are encouraged to contribute as you are able.


[OJ] and [OpenJade] in Subject Lines

Subject lines beginning with [OJ] and [OpenJade] are related to the development of OpenJade, the collaborative successor to James Clark’s Jade.


“XS:” and “DD:” in Subject Lines

Subject lines beginning with “XS: ” in the archive are posts related to the discussion of xml-style. xml-style was a precursor to the current XSL effort. The appropriate place to discuss XSL is the XSL-List. See

Subject lines beginning with “DD: ” are posts related to the DSSSL documentation project. See

Further Information on DSSSL

Two excellent sources of information about DSSSL are the DSSSL page of Robin Cover’s “XML Cover Pages” at and James Clark’s DSSSL page at

Reporting Bugs in Software

Bugs in software should firstly be reported to its author rather than to DSSSList.

XSL-List – The Open Forum on XSL

Mulberry Technologies, Inc., also provides the XSL-List – the open forum on XSL. For subscription information and the XSL-List archive, see


If you have any questions or problems, please contact