First experiences with XSL
cbullard at hiwaay.net
Sun Feb 1 17:16:07 GMT 1998
Betty Harvey wrote:
> On Sat, 31 Jan 1998, len bullard wrote:
> > Can anyone show that XSL (if indeed, a Turing complete language) is any
> > easier
> > than Java? XSL is a programmig language and there are far more mortals
> > (programmers in some cases) who understand and can easily use Java than
> > XSL/DSSSL. Why? Object-oriented programming is the rule
> > tremendous
> > shocks of syntax. It is an easy transition.
> My experience is it is XSL is easier. I was able to
> take the XSL tutorial and create a simple example of an
> XSL stylesheet.
> If you have Microsoft Explorer 4.0 or higher you can test my first
> example at: http://www.eccnet.com/xmledi.
> My initial thoughts are that it doesn't do everything I
> want it to do - but I am going to hold judgement until the XSL
> standard becomes more stable. Initially - I am impressed and
> looking forward to what XSL will offer us - thank goodness
> someone is not only thinking about style and behavior but
> moving towards a standard implementation effort - what
> FOSI tried to do 8 years ago.
That is good to hear. Yet, the XSL/XLL discussion to me
has the feel of attending a summer stock presentation of
Hamlet: famous lines all carefully memorized, spoken
thousands of times before, and Hamlet still dies in the
last scene. Don't take it as a "I don't like XSL" but
a cautionary, "we know our parts so well we can sleepwalk
through them." So yes, compelling examples are needed.
The FOSI perished in complexity, HyTime has almost met
the same fate, and DSSSL never got out of the gate before
events and technology have overtook it.
We have to meet the criticism that XML technology is a
solution looking for a problem. We need something better
than the same defenses we presented for SGML/HyTime/DSSSL
to the same criticism.
I sense a deflation in the enamouring of the Web. Joe Q
Public has discovered the anemia of the infrastructure.
Still, experimental team efforts such as VRMLDream which
will demonstrate a puppeteering technology for virtual
theatre has promise. For these applications, it is 1945
and each TV network is a world unto itself. These groups
see the Internet as a broadcasting medium. Maybe Clinton
will survive his current problems and deliver on that
"1000X the bandwidth" promise. There is little doubt that
replacing the Internet infrastructure is needed ASAP.
Business interest is stable, yet the groups who control
the corporate standards are from printing backgrounds
and marketing. They see the Internet as a publishing
medium. They tend to be underwhelmingly technically
talented, aversive to technology whose practicioners they
do not control, and able to restrict the application at
the heart of the matter: funding. While the true
practicioner seeks to expand capability, the purse stringers seek to
restrict it and successfully. It is necessary to look
at the whole of the framework and how that can best meet
business needs, in content developement, maintenance,
production, and distribution. The architectures must
be sold accordingly. (one rung up the CALS spiral).
Beware jargon; beware complex examples,
beware precise description that fails to engender
imaginative application. The hook is the imagination.
Sink the hook to reel in the fish. Overall efficiency
is becoming the primary issue given the size
and bugginess of the framework. Building
evermore compelling and sustainable content is still
the goal. Just remember that many many groups do not
believe that putting long lifecycle information assets on
the WWW is a good thing to do. Find out why. </crystalball>
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