We often take the printed form of information for granted.
Yet how many of us are satisfied with the printing functionality of a web browser? How often have you found the paginated result of printing a lengthy web document as easy to navigate as the electronic original?
Navigating a paginated document is very different from navigating a web page, and browser-based navigation mechanisms, understandably, will not work on printed output. How would we follow a printed hyperlink when the visible clickable content hides the underlying hyperlink target address?
When we produce a paginated presentation of our XML information, we necessarily must offer to the consumers of our documents a set of navigation tools different from those available on our web pages. These navigational aids have been honed since bound books have been used: headers, footers, page numbers , and page number citations are some of the constructs we use to find our way around a collection of fixed- sized folios of information.
Layout and typesetting controls give us the power to express our information on pages in a visually pleasing and perhaps meaningful way using a set of familiar typesetting conventions. Vendors of printing and publishing software have offered proprietary solutions implementing their choices of controls and aspects of layout using their semantics for paginated production. We may have been reluctant to use these proprietary tools for fear of locking ourselves into a technology not supported, or not supported well, by any other application.