Questioning XSL

Tony Graham tgraham at
Sun May 23 05:24:27 BST 1999

At 22 May 1999 21:18 -0400, David Megginson wrote:
 > Charles Reitzel writes:
 >  > The same argument applies, of course, to XML, SGML, TCP/IP or any
 >  > standard.  The need for standards is inversely proportional to the
 >  > scale of the job.
 > Not exactly -- the benefit of standardising the document format (XML,
 > SGML, etc.) is directly proportional to the amount of documentation,

Since we're inventing equations, surely the benefit is proportional to
the amount of documentation to the power of the number of different
output formats or other uses you generate from the document format.

 > while the benefit of standardising the processing methods is
 > proportional only to the number of processing tasks.  That means that,
 > for typical enterprise systems, there is a very big bang from choosing
 > a standard document format like XML, but only a small pop from
 > choosing a standard processing format like XSL.

It seems to me that the processing benefit depends on how much you do
with the document format.  See previous equation.  If you can do
multiple things with one processing format, you get an exponential
increase in benefit.  If you need multiple document formats or
multiple processing formats, you get a linear increase in benefit for
multiple outputs.

What a way to spend Saturday night: making up formulas of dubious


Tony Graham
Tony Graham                            mailto:tgraham at
Mulberry Technologies, Inc.      
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