First experiences with XSL

Michael Kay M.H.Kay at
Fri Jan 30 17:24:56 GMT 1998

>The goal is of course to create something reusable, instead of everybody
>writing their own favorite and incompatible processors. An other goal is to
>let non-programmers take advantage of a style sheet language. An other goal
>is to keep the language as declarative as possible so if you want to
>effeciently re-generate PART of the output again because the source XML
>document or XSL style sheet changed you can do this.
>No argument here that the current XSL processor is limited. We are working
>on it (as I assume a couple of other companies). Does this answer your
>question ?
My posting wasn't intended to be negative, merely to report early experience
to provide feedback, which is surely necessary if these goals are to be

My expectation was that XSL would be rather like a report writer: much
than programming to achieve simple tasks, but limited in capability. Report
writers have always had this "brick wall" problem: when a simple report gets
more and more complex, you have to switch technology and start again. But
my experience, which I wanted to report, was that I could define a general
and reusable framework in which programming simple reports in Java was
just as easy as programming them in XSL, without the brick wall problem.

If XSL can be turned into a tool for non-programmers, then it will certainly
serve a useful purpose. I don't think it's there yet, but I wish the

regards, Mike Kay

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