First experiences with XSL

Sean Mc Grath digitome at
Fri Jan 30 18:21:30 GMT 1998

[Michael Kay]
>I've now implemented the same thing without XSL: I wrote an MSXML
>application in Java that does a recursive walk down the document tree and
>calls a registered "handler" class to process each element type.

Over the years oodles of languages have been used/invented to 
munge SGML/XML in this fashion. Off the top of my head:
 Softquad Sculptor

And now, of course, Java.

Because they are all fully fledged programming languages you
can do essentially *anything* with them. You could, for example, adjust
the point size of your HTML headings based on the Netscape
share price pulled live from divided by
the average seek time of your hard disk:-)

However, a fully blown programming language is overkill
for a lot of rendering applications. You can do a lot with FOSI.
You can do a lot with the Panorama Stylesheet language.
You can do a lot with XSL-Strawman. The people designing
it know full well that there are limits to any declarative
syntax (that is why DSSSL has Scheme built in)

As Larry Wall put it - there is a niche for technologies
that make it easy to go from 0 to 60 but some people
need to go from 60 to 100.

Sean Mc Grath
sean at digitome dot com

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