XSL allows better automated program manipulation (Re: Questioning XSL)

Rick Jelliffe ricko at allette.com.au
Mon May 24 14:02:50 BST 1999

From: David Brownell <david-b at pacbell.net>
 > "XSL Sucks Less" for many folk

We need a stylesheet language whose interactions are clear enough that
it is possible to cut and paste portions of the stylesheet along with
portions of the document.  Of course, you can take any language and
parse it and figure out which pieces go with which, though this is often
only in the context of a single instance: trying to do this in
JavaScript seems a nightmare to me, and probably impossible.

XSLT may make this problem tractable: like LISP (especially Scheme and
DSSSL) it doesnt distinguish data and program syntactically, it is
functional and side-effect-free, yet it is more-or-less declarative like
CSS with the ability to name any level of structure.

I think XSL's excitingness lies in this area more than any other: it
gives a much better form to allow automated manipulation of stylesheets.

XSL has a long way to go before it can compete with universal tools like
OmniMark or Perl: it will need a lot better handling of input and output
streams and data string manipulation: XSLT does not provide these and I
doubt if XSLStyle will either.  But OmniMark and Perl have side-effects
and are not declarative (event-driven != declarative), so XSL does
create a new kind of application.

Rick Jelliffe

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at ic.ac.uk
Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo at ic.ac.uk the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at ic.ac.uk the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at ic.ac.uk)

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list